The USGA and R&A do a great job of managing the traditions of the game of golf. They do everything that they can to ensure that golfers are compliant and that the game is fair for all those who want to play.
However, sometimes there are golfers that don’t need to worry about the USGA. Some players enjoy the game purely for fun and just want to have as much success as possible on the course. If you are a golfer that doesn’t play in tournaments and simply wants to have fun on the course, a non-conforming golf ball could be the right choice for you. We have put together some of the best illegal golf balls on the market to help you decide which one is best for your game.
Best illegal golf balls
Bandit Non Conforming Illegal Maximum Distance
The best illegal golf balls on the market are the Bandit Non Conforming Illegal Maximum Distance golf balls. These were made with the distance seeking golfer in mind. The Bandit uses an advanced dimple pattern and some improved aerodynamics to offer players more distance than they are used to with a traditional golf ball.
The Super Reactive Proprietary Core helps to make sure that the maximum amount of energy is transferred from the club head to the golf ball. One of the biggest things you will notice about illegal golf balls is that it will travel a long way. There is no question that these are maximum distance golf balls.
The Bandit is known for staying in the air for quite some time, and as it descends, it comes down on a shallow angle that produces more roll. Overall the technology in the Bandit golf balls is going to be hard to beat.
- Long distance golf balls
- Works well for the slower swing player
- Less drag
- Not as soft feeling around the green
Polara Ultimate Straight Golf Balls
Best For Slice
Some illegal golf balls are considered to be distance balls, and others will have features that will help to correct things such as slices. Polara Self Correcting Ultimate Straight Golf Balls have an aerodynamic dimple pattern that helps to reduce spin off the tee and keep the golf ball straighter. This is a two piece construction that will also bring more distance to any swing speed.
When you play with the Polara Self Correcting Golf Balls, you will simply line the ball up towards your target, swing, and then watch as it flies straight to your target with plenty of extra distance. Similar to the bandit golf ball, the aerodynamic lift helps to ensure that the ball flight is perfect as well. Overall the low spin will help golfers keep the ball straight while traveling quite far.
- High energy core
- Reduces hooks
- Reduces slices
- Helps to increase ball speed
- Two piece golf balls are generally not as soft around the greens
Volvik Magma Long Distance Non-Conforming Illegal Golf Balls
Volvik is a golf ball manufacturer that makes plenty of conforming legal golf balls. However, they also wanted to ensure they had an option for the slower swing speed player that needs to take advantage of the illegal golf ball construction.
This is a three piece long distance ball, and the extra one piece construction helps to provide a bit more spin around the greens. The trajectory of the Volvik Magma is quite high, yet it still will have a lower spin when it starts to come down from the sky. The aerodynamic dimple pattern creates quite a bit less spin than a conforming golf ball would have. In addition, the diameter of the golf ball is reduced, making this a small ball.
- Higher trajectory
- Small ball technology
- Higher ball velocity
- Aerodynamic lift
- Lots of legal options from Volvik make sure to choose the proper illegal golf balls
Bandit SB (Small Ball Technology) Golf Balls
For golfers interested in illegal golf balls, it may help to know that the Bandit brand has more than one choice for your game. The Bandit SB Golf balls are smaller in size than a traditional tournament play golf ball. The diameter is 1.65 inches, and there are a few distinct benefits to this concept. Players can have an easier time getting the ball into the hole, and the golf ball travels through the air quite a bit easier.
The new dual radius 338 dimple pattern helps to provide plenty of impressive aerodynamic features and capabilities. The spin is low, and the ball and the two piece construction are essentially what makes this golf ball break the USGA’s distance limits.
- Very high ball speed
- Durable cover
- Smaller golf ball size
- Maximum velocity
- Takes a bit of adjusting to get used to a smaller golf ball
MG Golf Balls
Some senior golfers that are done playing by the rules will love this illegal MG Golf Ball built specifically for the senior player. The biggest benefit of this ball is that when you hit it, it comes off the club face quite a bit hotter than other options. You will love this ball if your drives are currently flying less than 250 yards.
In addition to getting plenty of extra distance, senior golfers feel as though this two piece golf ball helps them to feel more solid on their putts as well. The biggest reason this ball is illegal, however, is the distance. The dimple design, less aerodynamic lift, and high ball velocity make it fly just a bit too far for use in tournament play.
- Built specifically for senior player
- Low spin
- Aerodynamic dimple design
- 2 piece construction doesn’t always have as much feel as it should
Polara XDS Self-Correcting Golf Balls
The Polara golf ball brand is another golf ball that puts out more than one illegal option. This particular Polara XDS is known for its extra distance and added spin control. Most golfers don’t expect that an illegal golf ball will give them any kind of performance around the green; however, the Polara Self correcting XDS is capable of giving you some added spin control when you get close to the hole.
Overall this golf ball is illegal because of the distance capabilities that it provides. You will do the same thing you do with the other Polara golf balls and point the target directly to the hole when you tee off. This will help ensure that the ball flight is straight and that you get the maximum distance you deserve on your shot.
- Durable cover
- Helps players get more performance around the green
- Still considered to be distance balls
- Expensive golf balls for a non conforming illegal choice
SAINTNINE X Golf Balls
For many years the number of illegal golf ball choices on the market was quite limited. Certainly, the larger market is the conforming golf balls, which kept many manufacturers from getting involved with the legal golf balls. However, more and more companies realize how many golfers play the game purely for fun. The Saintnine X Golf balls are built for the golfer who finds playing the game fun and does not care about the USGA Conforming capabilities of their golf ball choice.
The Saintnine X is built for long distances, it has a premium thing feel ionomer cover, and it has responsive spin. We love that the core of this ball helps to provide distance, but the cover material and spin will ensure that you can also get the performance you need around the green. The Saintnine X is a ball optimized for performance around the entire golf course.
- Very high energy core for extra distance
- Responsive feel
- Illegal because of the distance it produces
- Not quite as durable as a surlyn cover distance ball
Now that you have some of the best choices on the market for illegal golf balls, it may help to know how to narrow down which of these is the best for your game. Depending on the type of golfer you are and your individual strengths and weaknesses, it does matter what golf ball you play with. Here are a few questions that we are asked quite often about the illegal golf ball technology and which will suit your game best.
Are illegal golf balls worth it?
Illegal golf balls typically tend to be around the same price as the conforming golf balls. The downside, of course, is that these golf balls can’t be used in golf tournaments. If you never play in a golf tournament, this really won’t matter.
What you get from an illegal golf ball is typically less spin, more roll, and plenty of extra distance. For golfers with slower swing speeds that can’t get the performance they want from the tee will enjoy the benefits of the illegal golf balls.
For golfers in it to have fun, the non conforming golf balls make quite a bit of sense and are worth the money.
What makes a golf ball illegal?
The best illegal golf balls on the market are those that can travel a long distance yet still offer some performance around the green. Like the Bandit Maximum distance golf balls, some of the illegal golf balls also have aerodynamic properties that help ensure that they can fly through the air quite a bit easier.
Illegal golf balls can offer a better energy transfer from the club to the ball. Overall the illegal golf ball offers so many performance benefits that the USGA decides the ball will not be fair to release for tournament play. The benefits are just too great, and they can make the game easier than it is designed to be.
Who should play with an illegal golf ball?
Golfers that do not play in tournaments and enjoy the game simply for having fun are going to be best suited to play with an illegal golf ball. Illegal golf balls offer tremendous performance benefits, but it is not something you will want to get used to if you plan on playing competitively. In addition, if you keep a strict USGA Handicap, you should be using USGA conforming gear. This is the only fair way to play the game.
And the Best illegal golf balls are . . .
There is no question that the Bandit is the best illegal golf ball on the market. This ball will show your competition that illegal golf balls can make the game more fun. With the way, the ball comes off the club face, the low spin that keeps it rolling for quite some time, and the perfect arc that it creates in the air you will not care what the USGA has to say.
If you never play in golf tournaments and don’t plan to start, take advantage of the technology out there to make the game of golf more fun.
If you are new to PG Golf Links, please be sure to check out our other recent reviews of golf balls including: the best for Distance, Low spin, Cold weather, High Spin, Novice, Scratch golfers, Mid-handicap, 90 MPH swing, 100 mph swing speeds, Slow swing speeds, Women golf balls, High handicap golf balls, or for preventing a Slice, and for the Average golfer. We have hit them all, and we are certain you can find the perfect ball to improve your game.