Is there anything more frustrating than losing a golf ball? Especially a golf ball that you just took out of the sleeve and essentially threw away $3-$5 due to a bad swing?
For most people, this is one of the most frustrating things about playing golf. Even if you hit a golf ball out of bounds or in water, the penalty shots sting but if you find the ball you get some relief. But losing a ball and getting the penalty isn’t ideal (especially if it’s a new expensive ball).
However, some golfers might benefit from using X-out golf balls as they’re offered at a steep discount. As you likely know, golf is a lot of things but cheap isn’t one of them. Thanks to golf equipment, tee times, and other gear, it can get quite expensive if you play regularly.
Playing an X-out ball might be a good way to save money each round and it won’t sting as bad if you do lose a few during the round. Keep reading to learn more about X-out golf balls and see if they’re right for you, plus some frequently asked questions.
What is an X-Out Golf Ball
If you’re like most golfers you’re probably thinking what does X mean on a golf ball? What are X-out golf balls?
An X-out golf ball is one that has a cosmetic imperfection of some sort due to an error in the manufacturing process.
Essentially, there are some differences between it vs. a normal golf ball that don’t allow the company to sell them at normal prices. Due to the imperfections, which sometimes aren’t visible to the naked eye, they must sell them at a discounted price.
Most (if not all) golfers can’t tell the difference in terms of performance vs. regular balls!
However, you can tell a ball is an X-out due to the stamping on the ball. In the past, manufacturers would put the stamp over the brand (for example, Callaway) but now they put them on the side of the golf ball. Plus, they’re typically sold in larger quantities like 18 or 24 golf balls vs. a dozen making them a great deal.
X-Out Ball Price
Almost all leading golf ball makers sell X-outs including top names in the game like Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade, and Srixon. These balls (when sold for retail prices) are $40-$55 in the non x-out version. But the X-outs typically have a discount of 30-60% depending on where you buy them.
For example, Walmart currently sells a dozen Titleist Pro V1 x-out golf balls for about $15! As stated on their website, “Whether you are headed for a full round or simply want to practice your long swing at the range, the cut-proof technology guarantee ensures your shot always flies true.
Inside you will find one dozen golf balls, each covered in surly. This material is a type of lightweight resin that is placed around the outside to increase durability and prevent deformation with frequent use.”
X-Out Golf Balls in Competition
So, are X-out golf balls legal?
Golfers who want to play a premium golf ball without the premium price can enjoy using X-out golf balls. The only issue is that they are not legal by the R&A or USGA so you cannot play them in competitive events. They are banned from competition as they aren’t fully tested like normal golf balls.
According to the USGA rule 4.2a, “If the Committee hasn’t required that you play a ball that is on the List of Conforming Golf Balls, then you may use a practice or X-Out golf ball. When using an X-Out ball in this circumstance, if there is strong evidence to suggest that the ball does not conform, it must not be used.
However, if the Committee says that the ball you play must be on the List of Conforming Golf Balls, then you can use a practice ball but must not use an X-Out ball.”
As you can tell by rule, it’s a little bit of a gray area in some cases but overall, not worth getting disqualified from competition. Make sure to clear your bag of X-outs before tournaments just in case you need to hit a provisional and don’t accidentally grab one from your bag.
FAQs About X-Out Golf Balls
Do you have more questions about x-out golf balls and practice balls? Keep reading to learn more now to ensure you are using the right golf ball.
Who should use X-golf balls?
Beginner golfers are best suited to use X-out golf balls as the small imperfections won’t play a huge part in the ball flight. Since new golfers don’t have as much swing speed, they won’t be impacted by a damaged golf ball.
Conversely, elite players with higher swing speeds will get impacted more in terms of distance and spin if there are any cuts to the golf ball. But typically, X-out golf balls are more cosmetic mishaps than structural ones.
Plus, new golfers tend to lose more golf balls than more experienced players which can make the sport expensive. Losing X-out golf balls that were bought at a discounted price won’t sting quite as much when they get lost.
What are the best X-out golf balls?
Almost all manufacturers make X-out golf balls as they’re identified in the development process and allow them to recoup their losses. It’s more of a “break even” style business but better than nothing. Some of the best X-out golf balls include Titleist Pro V1 and Callaway.
Is a practice ball the same as an X-out?
Yes, they are very similar and just have different printing in reference to being a practice golf ball or X-out golf ball. Higher end golf courses (typically private or semi-private country clubs) tend to use nicer practice balls for their driving range like a Titleist Pro V1.
The way to tell the difference is simply the printing; practice balls usually have “practice” or “P” on the ball and others have X-outs. But some courses and driving ranges also use limited flight range balls so it’s important to check or ask the golf shop.
Ironically, practice golf balls are allowed to be used in competition according to the USGA. Both types of golf balls are better suited for beginners and new golfers who won’t be able to tell the difference from normal golf balls.
What golf ball goes the farthest?
The longest golf balls in terms of distance is the Titleist Velocity. They’re also very durable thanks to the resilient urethane cover. Great for beginner to intermediate golfers who want to add some extra yards to their driving game.
If you want more strategies to start hitting it longer off the tee, learn how to increase club head speed here.
Where can you buy X-out golf balls?
You can buy X-out golf balls online, golf stores, retail stores (like Walmart or Target), and even some golf shops at courses. Make sure to read the description as some balls are used normal ones while others are new X-outs.
What ball is better than Pro V1?
As Titleist boldly states in their advertisements, “The number one ball in golf.” They’re the most used golf ball by professionals and continue to make upgrades each year. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best golf ball for you.
Other players with slower swing speeds might prefer other Titleist options like the AVX. While other golfers will prefer a different brand like Bridgestone (which Tiger Woods plays), Callaway, or TaylorMade.
What is the difference between Pro V1 and X?
This is a good question because each has their own type of player profile. Some golfers will benefit more from a Pro V1, while others will benefit more from the Pro V1X version.
The Pro V1 has mid-flight, soft feel, and mid-long game spin. While the Pro V1X has high flight, firm feel, and high long game spin. Both have tons of short game spin too. According to Titleist the Pro V1X is suited for “All players that prioritize performance, and need or want higher flight and spin.”
To learn more about the difference between one of the most popular golf balls ever, click here.
Final Thoughts on X-Out Balls in Golf
While it’s not a perfect golf ball, X-out balls are balls you can buy at a steep discount thanks to cosmetic blemishes. For the most part, a cosmetic blemish is nearly impossible to see with the naked eye and has very few flaws. Performance wise, they won’t impact your golf game at all for a lot of everyday golfers. In some situations, using X outs is better a better option than using used golf balls.
It’s important to remember that X-out golf balls are cosmetic blemishes, not structural issues. They shouldn’t have any noticeable cracks or issues with the core of the golf ball that will impact distance or spin rates. This gives you the ability to purchase great golf balls at a discounted rate from a variety of stores.
X-out balls are great for recreational golfers who are more likely to lose golf balls, players who want to save money. Or, golfers who want to use them only in practice sessions. Plus, they’re great to use in a shag bag for short game shots as they have very similar spin rates to your normal golf ball.
Finally, make sure to not use these non-conforming balls in competition.