Though most golf enthusiasts aren’t really aware of the existence of illegal golf balls, they’re quickly growing in popularity all the same. These balls may be illegal, but they can provide a bit of harmless fun for amateurs, senior golfers, and advanced players.
When I was testing these out, I increased my drives by about 12 yards give or take a few. Granted around the green they aren’t the greatest, but they sure are fun off the tee box
The lack of awareness regarding the existence of illegal golf balls could be due to the lack of information available on them. Not many golfing websites or blogs mention using illegal golf balls to help improve your playing.
Hopefully, this article addresses this lack of information and helps you choose the best illegal golf ball to better your game. In the following sections, I’ll go through everything from the basics of what an illegal golf ball is to reviews of my top product picks.
CliffsNotes of Illegal Golf Balls
- Polara Self-Correcting – has aiming technology
- Bandit Small Ball – the shallow dimples lets them roll for days on drives
- Volvik Magma Golf Balls – 3 layer design and 432 dimples
- MC Senior Golf Balls – adds 1-1.5 club distance
- Strata BOOM Golf Balls – great durability
Why You Should Try an Illegal Golf Ball
How incredible would your golfing sessions be if you could hit the ball long and straight every single time? For most of us, this is nearly unattainable, regardless of the long hours of practice we put in.
One amateur hook or badly executed slice could leave balls spinning out of reach, never to be found again. After a long and tiring golfing session, nothing could be more painful than hunting lost balls for hours together.
Another thing that’s just as bad as losing balls is making a powerful swing only to find that the ball hasn’t traveled nearly as far as you’d hoped it would. It can chip away the confidence and enthusiasm of even the most advanced golf players.
This is where illegal golf balls come in. These balls only fly straight when you hit them with the sweet spot of your club. They can greatly help enhance your game by allowing your hook and slice shots to send the ball flying straight.
Illegal golf balls are fairly easy to use and even beginners in the world of golf are sure to benefit from them greatly. In order to execute a perfectly straight shot, all you’d need to do would be to point the arrow drawn on the ball at your target and swing.
Alternatively, you could line it up along the center of the fairway and go for the shot. An important thing to note here is that if you’re playing from the fairway you may have to adjust the ball so that the arrow directly points at the target.
So how does an illegal golf ball achieve clean, straight shots? The answer is simple enough: illegal golf balls have less aerodynamic lift than regular golf balls.
In the following section, we’ll explore the specifics of what an illegal golf ball is and why it’s illegal.
What Are Illegal Golf Balls?
Illegal golf balls differ from regular golf balls with regard to their shape, dimples, and core. These balls are generally smaller and heavier than the golf balls you’d normally use. Moreover, they have a relatively hard core too. When you combine the smaller size, the weight, and the aerodynamic lift, it results in more yardage.
Any or all of these factors could help give your swings that extra distance you’ve always wanted. With regards to physical appearance, illegal golf balls have noticeably shallow and deep dimples as compared to traditional golf balls.
Even though the use of illegal golf balls is strictly forbidden in professional tournaments, they’re a huge hit among senior golfers and beginners. Experienced golfers too may use illegal golf balls every now and then for recreation.
These balls are classified as illegal as they are smaller than the 1.68 inches in diameter and weigh more than the 1.62 ounces that USGA is currently allowing in tournaments.
Also, illegal golf balls generally have shallow dimples at the poles and deeper ones around the midway. USGA specifically disallows balls meeting such specifications from all their approved competitions.
Best Illegal Golf Balls Reviews
In this section, I’ll be going through my 5 top picks for the best illegal golf ball and discuss the features and benefits of each. Make sure you go through each of these carefully in order to make an informed choice.
1) Bandit SB (Small Ball) has an energy-packed core that helps maximize ball velocity. These balls may feel incredibly hard to the touch, but they’re one of the best products out there to increase distance. Bandit non-conforming golf balls come in a few different styles, so you’re sure to find one that fixes that slice, or adds yardage to your carry. With the low amount of spin these Bandit golf balls provide, you’ll get plenty of roll too.
- Have a small diameter that increases flight time and distance
- Have a COR energy-charged core that gives maximum ball velocity
- Have a dual radius
- Have a dimple pattern and sleek aerodynamic design
- Very easy for amateurs to use
- Delivers exceptionally well on increasing distance
- The small size reduces drag
- Helps improve putting
Best feature – The small size of the ball helps reduce drag and lowers air resistance which gives you more distance on all kinds of surfaces.
2) Volvik Magma Golf Balls These illegal golf balls are cleverly designed to help you shape your shots in a way that allows the ball to stop on the green. Golfers of all ages and experience levels are sure to find these balls easy and fun to use. Highly resilient ionomer cover with a 432-dimple pattern for excellent lift and aerodynamic performance. A Power Dual Core includes the inner Power Core and outer control layer for smooth smeel and strong spin. Optimized for low driver spin, great wedge spin, and a high trajectory. Their 3-piece construction is designed for swing speeds of 70-90 mph.
- Have a resilient ionomer core
- Have a soft dimple pattern that gives aerodynamic consistency
- Have a dual-core structure
- They automatically point in the direction of a soft feel
- The reduced drag force gives you extra distance
- The weight is ideal for increasing running distance as well
- They’re designed for golfers of all levels
- They’re perfect for short distance hitters
Best feature – The power control that gives you a super smooth feel along with a very strong spin.
MG Golf Balls
3) MG Golf Balls are perfect for senior players looking to increase their speed and distance. These balls are specifically designed for golfers whose drives travel under 250 yards. These non-conforming illegal golf balls are great for amateur seniors or for those looking to get just a bit of extra distance. If you’re done trying to torque the heck out of your back just to get a few extra yards, these MC golf balls will allow you to get the yardage you want, without the strain. The other positive is I noticed they work pretty well around the green too. Not a lot of backspin, but better than some of the other illegal golf balls on the market.
- They’re designed to increase your club by 1 or 1.5 in distance
- They increase flight time and height
- They make putts more solid
- They provide a hotter feel off the face
- Available in a variety of colors
- They’re created for seniors simply looking to enjoy golf
- They greatly increase the distance
- They help correct the dreaded slice
Best Feature – It’s quite reasonably priced and affordable for seniors hesitating to spend a fortune on improving their game.
Polara (Editor’s Choice)
4) Polara Self-Correcting Golf Balls – The Polara 2-piece Ultimate Straight golf ball with 386 dimples reduces hooks and slices by up to 75%. If you’re tired of losing balls and constantly buying new sleeves, the Polara self-correcting golf ball can make golf more enjoyable, help save on ball cost, and improve confidence. With the high number of reviews and affordable pricing, the Polara is the most popular non-conforming golf balls. You can play this ball as it lies or you can literally aim the ball at your intended target and get the assistance it’s designed to provide.
- Made in USA
- Helps correct hooks and slices
- Less aerodynamic lift for straighter shots
- Great for recreational golf
- Straight line improves putting too
- Helps increase distance to get over fairway sand traps
- Straight line reference helps ball go straighter
- Mishits are small leaving you in the fairway vs the rough
Best Feature – The hook and slice correction of 75% is very helpful. Can even speed up your round since you’re not looking for balls in the rough.
Here is a great video showing the amazing results you can get with this illegal golf ball.
5) BOOM Golf Balls – If you’re playing a tight course or anticipate losing a bunch of golf balls these BOOM golf balls might work for you. The affordable price makes them great for courses you don’t want to lose your Pro V1 balls on. The increased distance makes the BOOM one of the longest illegal golf balls available on the market.
- Designed for increase distance
- Reduces hooks and slices
- High-energy core provides greater height
- Affordable price makes them great for unknown courses
- Longer yardage provides confidence
- Less time looking in the rough
- Alignment stamp makes putting more accurate
Best Feature – The distance and durability of these, even with slight mishits makes these a great ball for a long par 5 when you need to get down the fairway.
What Types of Golf Balls are Illegal?
The fact that you can’t use these golf balls in tournaments due to their non-conforming design is what makes the aforementioned golf balls illegal.
Research and design have gotten so good that they can actually design balls to fly further and straighter, giving that person an unfair advantage over their competitors. Usually, these balls have high compression, the weight or size doesn’t meet USGA or R&A standards.
When Can You Use Non-Conforming Golf Balls?
If you’re entering a tournament, you most likely won’t be able to use these golf balls. If there is prizes or money on the line, the advantage over the other golfers will disqualify you.
These illegal golf balls are great for amateurs looking to have a bit of fun or make the sport of golf more enjoyable. If you’re more of a recreational golfer as opposed to a tournament player, these illegal golf balls can add some fun to your game.
If you have a slow swing speed or tend to have hooks and slices, these golf balls will help. When you have a slower swing speed, the ball will come off the club slower, resulting in less yardage. To compensate for this, one of the balls above can offset this, and get some extra yardage without having to increase your swing speed. A nice little perk.
Do Illegal Golf Balls Damage Golf Clubs?
The size and weight of illegal golf balls are what makes them illegal. If you’re using a cheap or lower-grade golf club, these balls can hurt your clubs, particularly if you have professional club speed. If you’re going to use the non-conforming golf balls, I would advise against using any drivers that you’ve invested a significant amount of money in.
Wrapping Up Best Illegal Golf Balls
Let’s not kid around here, these illegal golf balls are not for tournament play and are only to be used when playing with your friends. But that’s what makes them so fun. The longest drive for a beer or for a best-ball tournament amongst friends is when these might be fun to use. If you’re truly trying to improve your game, actually working on your game is your best bet.