The USGA has regulations on just about everything golf-related.
If you are purchasing a new driver, playing a round of golf, or buying a new golf ball, the USGA will have had their hand in it at some point.
Illegal golf balls are those that the USGA has not approved for tournament play.
For golfers that never play in a tournament, the illegal golf balls can help them get extra distance and more performance as well.
If you are a golfer that wants the game to be fun and a bit easier, then illegal golf balls could be an excellent choice for you.
Our Top Illegal Golf Balls in 2023
- Bandit Maximum Distance Golf Balls (Best Illegal Golf Balls)
- Volvik Magma Golf Balls (Runner Up 1)
- Bandit SB Golf Balls (Runner Up 2)
- MG Senior Balls (Best Illegal Golf Balls for Seniors)
- Polara Ultimate Straight Golf Balls (Best Illegal Golf Balls for Fixing A Slice)
- Polara XDS (Best For Straight Distance)
Best Illegal Golf Balls: Bandit Maximum Distance
- Bandit golf is a well known name for distance
- Lots of distance
- Dimple design to help decrease spin
- A little hard around the greens
The Bandit company makes some of the best non conforming golf balls on the market. These Maximum distance balls are built to give players distance that they could have never had in the past.
With the impressive dimple pattern and low spin, the Bandit is too long for the USGA to approve it for tournament play.
The Bandit features a Surlyn cover with an advanced dimple pattern. The DuPont Lithium Surlyn cover helps to make these golf balls useful for more than just one round.
The core of this ball is built to help players transfer energy from the club to the golf ball and get extra distance.
When it comes to feel and short game control, the Bandit is likely not going to be your best choice. However, it is important to know that most non-conforming golf balls are not great for around the green.
Bandit golf is well known for its golf ball choices when it comes to distance.
Runner Up 1: Volvik Magma Golf Balls
- Super reactive core
- High ball speed
- Easy to see colors
- Low spin around the greens as well
Volvik Magma Golf balls are larger than standard golf balls. The idea behind the larger ball is that they are easier to see and easier to make good contact with.
If you feel like you have a hard time playing golf with a standard ball, the Magma could be considered a great choice.
Like many of the other Volvik golf balls on the market, the Magma is available in bright colors. There are plenty of Volvik golf balls that are conforming and a great choice for golfers that play in tournaments.
With the dimple pattern that the Volvik golf balls have, they are designed to have very high ball flight as well. This is a golf ball built for the slower swing speed player that needs extra distance and ball velocity in their golf game.
The Magma has a high-speed core that helps to maximize energy transfer.
Runner Up 2: Bandit SB Golf Balls
- Smaller golf ball stays in the air longer
- Durable cover
- It makes putting a bit easier
- Not great for golfers with poor eyesight
Bandit golf makes our list yet again with their Bandit SB. Bandit SB stands for small ball technology.
The small ball is used to help golfers have an easier time getting the ball in the hole. If you think about the size of the golf ball, this small ball should technically fit in it much easier.
With the small ball technology, you can get quite a bit of distance and more time with the ball in the air. The Bandit Golf maximum distance balls earn our top spot for distance, but these SB are among the top distance golf balls on the market.
This is a newer design with a 338 dimple pattern to help reduce the number of hooks and slices. Overall the SB is a great choice if you are searching for the best illegal golf ball on the market.
Best Illegal Golf Balls for Seniors
- Equipment built for slower swing speed
- Great distance golf balls
- Dimple design for long distance
- Very distinct sound takes a while to get used to
The MG Golf Balls are an excellent choice for the senior golfer that does not play in golf tournaments. After teaching hundreds of seniors to play the game, only a small percentage of them will play in a tournament situation.
With countless hours spent being frustrated about distance and golf performance, playing with an illegal golf ball could be a welcome reprieve.
The MG Seniors are golf balls built for the slower swinging players that need distance. Some players are noticing that they are getting one to two clubs more distance by switching to the MG Golf balls for seniors.
Another great thing about these senior golf balls is that they still have a decent feel on the putting green. Although they won’t spin all that much, a light tap of the ball on the green won’t send this flying across.
Best Illegal Golf Balls for Fixing A Slice
- Less aerodynamic lift
- Reduces slice
- Point the arrow directly at the target
- Won’t be able to hit the ball as high
For the golfer that hits lots of hooks and slices, sometimes playing an illegal golf ball is going to be the only way to help improve your golf game.
The Polara Self Correcting 2 Piece golf balls are a great choice if you are looking to try and straighten out your golf shots.
Slices and hooks are incredibly frustrating. With all the years I have spent in the game, I can fully understand that the slice is a reason why a golfer may want to switch to an illegal golf ball.
The great thing about the Polara is that it helps you straight your shots out, but it feels great as well.
This is a golf ball that will perform very similarly to a top selling ball, but it still helps you keep the ball much straighter. The central core is surrounded by a durable outer cover.
Although the Polara is certainly not magic, it can help you see a significant reduction in the slice that you normally hit.
Best Illegal Golf Ball for Straight Distance
- Slice and hook correcting
- Extra distance
- More spin control around the greens
- Not the best for the slowest swinging player
The Polara XDS Golf Ball is a bit different than the Ultimate Straight. This golf ball takes a great look at the overall spin that you can get from a ball. The idea is to give a lower spin from the tee but a higher spin around the greens.
With the Polara XDS, you can get almost a 50 percent reduction in the amount of spin you get off the tee. This means that a golf shot that was at one point going to slice its way off the course can not be straight down the middle.
In addition, there is an arrow on the ball that allows for a straighter flight and a better overall distance. Golfers playing the Polara XDS get lots more distance than those playing with a legal golf ball. Over time this is a golf ball that should help you get the ball in the hole a bit faster.
Illegal Golf Balls Buying Guide
As you can see, there are some excellent golf ball choices on the market for the golfer that wants something non conforming.
Remember that if you are playing in golf tournaments, these golf balls are not going to work for your game. Here are a few other factors that you should consider before purchasing an illegal golf ball.
What Makes A Golf Ball Non Conforming?
The United States Golf Association helps to make sure that the integrity of the game of golf remains in place for years to come.
When a golf manufacturer releases a new product, they will have to make sure that the United States Golf Association approves of the product. If they do not, then it will have to be sold as a non-conforming product.
Most of the time, a non-conforming golf ball is illegal because it travels too far. The ball usually has very low spin, lots of roll, and it performs in a way that the USGA has deemed unfair.
Non conforming golf balls also tend to have illegal dimple patterns, or they are different than a standard size golf ball.
Are Illegal Golf Balls Worth It?
Illegal golf balls can be an excellent choice for the golfer that is looking to straighten their shots out or get some extra distance on their golf shots.
If you have no desire to play in a golf tournament but want to have a bit more fun on the course, the illegal golf ball is a great choice.
For highly competitive golfers the illegal golf balls are not a good choice. Tournaments are always going to follow the rules of golf, and if you want to play in them, you should play with conforming golf equipment.
Illegal golf balls are typically priced about the same as traditional golf balls and sometimes a little bit higher.
Does An Aerodynamic Dimple Pattern Make A Difference On A Golf Ball?
Aerodynamic dimple patterns are designed to help a golf ball spin less, drag less, and ultimately perform better. It can be hard to tell which dimple pattern is better than the next. Some golf ball manufacturers believe that more dimples are better.
Others will change the pattern of their dimple or create a dimple in dimple design.
Overall an aerodynamic dimple is not going to be a bad thing, but it will be hard for amateur golfers to base their golf ball decision on the dimple pattern alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about illegal golf balls. Although you have to make the commitment to not play in a USGA event, there are many people that find an illegal golf ball to be a good addition to their game. Here are some things to consider before moving forward with an illegal golf ball purchase.
Who Should Use Illegal Golf Balls?
Golfers that play golf simply for fun are going to really enjoy what an illegal golf ball can do. In addition to the fact that you can hit illegal golf balls a long way, they also help you to straighten out your golf shots. The reason that these golf balls are illegal is that they are a bit too easy, and the USGA cannot allow them for golf tournaments.
Are Illegal Golf Balls And Non Conforming Golf Balls The Same Things?
Illegal golf balls and non conforming golf balls are the same things. Essentially if a golf ball is non conforming with the USGA, it is illegal. For players that are serious about the game and want to play in tournaments and events, it does not make much sense to purchase illegal golf balls or illegal golf clubs.
What Golf Ball Should I Use With a 70 Mph Swing Speed?
Golfers with a 70mph swing speed should consider using a Callaway Supersoft if they want a legal golf ball and a Volvik Magma if they want an illegal golf ball. The 70 mph swing speed with a driver is considered pretty low, and a distance golf ball could help make the game a bit more manageable.
Are Low Compression Golf Balls Better for Slow Swing Speeds?
Low compression golf balls are best for slower swing speeds. The best low compression golf balls make it easier for a slower swing speed player to get a high launch and plenty of distance. If you are a faster swing speed player, the higher compression balls will allow you to capitalize on your swing speed and overall distance.
Illegal golf balls can make sport type golf quite a bit more entertaining and fun. If you are just playing for fun, why not go out there and hit the ball as far as you possibly can.
If you want a fun round of golf with distance, you have yet to see give the Bandit golf balls a shot.