Kirkland golf balls are manufactured by Costco and intended to be premium level golf balls at a discount price. The first Kirkland golf balls were made available for sale at Costco stores in 2016 and created quite a buzz in the golfing community. Costco stores and their online inventories were completely sold out of these balls very quickly. The Kirkland ball offered premium performance at about a third of the cost of other leading premium golf balls. Costco claims that they do not mark up any item more than 15% of its cost which is why they can sell such a high-quality ball at such a low cost.
Costco was sued shortly after the release of the Kirkland ball by Titleist claiming patent infringement and false advertising, among other claims. In 2017, with the federal lawsuit still pending, Costco has re-released Kirkland golf balls with a new three-piece design that Costco still calls The Kirkland Signature golf ball. In this article, we will review the new Kirkland Signature golf ball and compare it to some other premium golf balls to see how it stacks up.
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ABOUT KIRKLAND GOLF BALLS
Image from Amazon
Kirkland golf balls, which are manufactured for Costco, have been designed to be high-performance premium golf balls at a third of the cost of other leading premium golf balls. The original Kirkland golf balls that appeared on Costco shelves in 2016 sold very quickly, and many people found the claims of outstanding performance to be accurate. These Kirkland golf balls played very similarly to the Titleist Pro V1, but only cost about $15 a dozen. Costco has released the new Kirkland Signature golf ball in a different design. This ball is still marketed as a premium golf ball and is available at a very low price. Costco stated during the original release of the Kirkland ball that they did not anticipate how popular the ball would be. However, premium golf balls cost around $4 per ball so it’s understandable that a ball that offers similar performance at a much lower price would generate lots of buzz.
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Kirkland golf balls are designed to perform outstandingly. The Original Kirkland Signature series ball which was released and quickly sold out in 2016 delivered on this promise. The original Kirkland Signature golf ball featured a four-piece design that offered low spin rates and a more penetrating ball flight than most four-piece balls. Also, the original Kirkland Signature ball displayed outstanding spin rates on wedge shots and a soft responsive feel on the putting green. However, Costco has re-released Kirkland golf balls after a year of absence from its stores. This newly released Kirkland Signature golf ball is a three-piece design with 338 dimples and a urethane cover. This ball is still a soft golf ball that gives the player excellent feel on the putting green and on approach shots. However, this new Kirkland ball under-performs on full swings and wedge shots. The Kirkland 3-piece ball spins more than most other premium golf balls off the driver which results in a higher trajectory ball flight and not as much roll. Also, the Kirkland ball displays more sidespin off the driver which reduces accuracy on mis-hit shots. The spin rates on a wedge and a short iron shot are lower than average and certainly lower than the Pro V1. Lower spin with a wedge shot makes it harder to shape shots and judge distance on approach shots. A high-spinning shot allows the player to stop the ball very quickly which is necessary for some shots due to the slope of the green, pin placement, etc. Players report that the Kirkland ball has a soft feel on the putting green and performs well on putts. Overall, the new Kirkland Signature golf ball is a different design than the first of the Kirkland golf balls that hit Costco shelves in 2016 and delivers different performance as a result. Mid to low handicap players will not notice a difference, but for low handicap players, the new Kirkland ball doesn’t match the performance of its competitors.
Kirkland golf balls are priced at about $12 a dozen making them extremely affordable for any player. This price range is a substantial savings over most other premium golf balls, and virtually any other ball for that matter. The Kirkland Signature golf ball is available for sale at Costco but can be found for re-sale on Amazon and other online marketplaces.
HOW IT COMPARES
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- SRIXON Z-STAR XV
- TAYLORMADE TP5X
The Kirkland Signature series is a very durable ball. However, as with all golf balls with urethane covers, it is susceptible to scuffs and scratches with heavy use that can affect performance.
The three-piece Kirkland Signature golf ball falls short of other premium balls in this category. The Kirkland signature golf ball has higher spin rates with driver shots and lower spin rates with wedge shots than many of its competitors.
The Kirkland Signature golf ball is an excellent value, and while the performance will be slightly below par, the price tag still makes this an excellent buy.
- Urethane cover for great feel
- Good performance on putting greens
- Lower spin rate on wedge shots than other premium balls
- Higher spin rates on driver shots than other premium balls
The Srixon Z Star XV is a four-piece, premium golf ball by Srixon. The Z Star XV is available in white or yellow and features a slightly different design for 2018. The newest version of this ball features 338 dimples which reduces drag and increases carry distance off the tee. The inner core is slightly softer than previous versions and is paired with a firmer outer core to give this ball increased speed. The compression rates of this ball are slightly higher than the Pro V1X but are still low enough that players with high swing speeds won’t lose distance. The Z Star XV has excellent spin rates with wedge shots and short iron shots giving the player the ability to shape their shot while being able to judge distance and stop the ball where they need to. Overall, the Z Star XV is a very good premium golf ball that is available for about $10 less a dozen than many of its competitors.
Srixon golf balls are designed with durability in mind and the Z Star XV is no exception. However, most premium golf balls feature urethane covers that can be damaged with heavy use.
The Srixon Z Star XV offers an outstanding performance that one would expect with a premium golf ball. The carry distance is not quite as good as with a Pro V1X off the tee, but otherwise, this ball performs very well.
Srixon golf balls are some of the best values on the market. The Z Star XV is priced at less than $3 a ball making it a very good value for low handicap players.
- Srixon’s “Spin Skin” design reduces side spin and increases accuracy
- Soft feel on putting greens
- Great value
- Carry distance is slightly less than its competitors
- Only low handicap players get a benefit from this ball
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The TaylorMade TP5x represents a decade of research and development for TaylorMade. This golf ball is a five-piece design with a tri-layer core that produces exceptional ball speed and lower spin rates on full shots. The urethane cover is slightly thinner on the TP5x than the TP5 which gives a softer feel and more feedback. The spin rates with wedge shots are very good allowing the player the confidence to aim for the pin on approach shots. Overall, the TP5x is an impressive golf ball that TaylorMade hopes is a game changer in the premium golf ball industry.
Premium golf balls typically feature urethane covers which can be scuffed and scratched with heavy use.
The TaylorMade TP5x offers an outstanding performance with a low spin on mid-iron and driver shots while delivering high spin on wedge shots. You do not have to sacrifice control for distance or vice versa with the TP5x.
The TaylorMade TP5x is a good value for low handicap players and is priced to compete with most other premium golf balls.
- Unique 5-piece design
- Low spin on full shots for increased distance and accuracy
- Soft feel offers excellent feedback on shots
- High cost
- Only low handicap players will get a benefit from using this ball
Kirkland golf balls are a unique story in the golf ball industry. The Kirkland Signature golf ball that is currently available is marketed as a premium golf ball comparable to othe brands at a fraction of the cost exclusively through Costco. This new release of the Kirkland Signature golf ball offers a great value at right around $1 a ball but it does underperform in many categories when compared to its competitors. At such a low price, however, the Kirkland Signature golf ball is an excellent value.