What Golf Ball Does Ernie Els Use?

With over 70 professional wins worldwide and four major championships, Ernie Els has established himself as one of golf’s greatest players over an illustrious career spanning three decades.

When a legend of his caliber plays your golf ball, it speaks volumes about its quality and performance.

Throughout his hall-of-fame career, Els has partnered with some of the biggest names in golf equipment. Let’s take a closer look at the various golf ball models trusted by “The Big Easy” and how manufacturers have catered to his world-class game.

What Golf Ball Does Ernie Els Use

Titleist Pro V1

For the majority of his professional career, Els was a loyal Titleist Staffer and relied upon the renowned Pro V1 golf ball. He first put the Pro V1 into play shortly after its introduction in 2000 and used it for over 15 years while under contract with Titleist.

The Pro V1 rose to become the #1 ball on the PGA Tour in large part due to trust from elite players like Els. For his high ball speeds and penetrating ball flight, it delivered the ideal performance through a long stretch of Els’ prime years on tour.

Key Features Benefitting Els’ Game

  • A very low long-game spin from the high-speed core formulation
  • Urethane cover generated excellent greenside spin and control
  • Penetrating trajectory even into the wind
  • Durable cover withstands Els’ fast swing speeds
  • Excellent visibility off the tee and approaching greens

The Pro V1 paired perfectly with Els’ powerful, repeating swing. He trusted it implicitly to deliver maximum performance for his game.

Golf Ball Ernie Els Use

Callaway Chrome Soft

After his long-time partnership with Titleist ended in 2011, Ernie Els signed with Callaway Golf to play their equipment. Part of this new partnership brought the Chrome Soft golf ball into Els’ bag starting in 2015.

Callaway touted Els as a key marquee player supporting their premium tour ball line. The Chrome Soft maximizes distance off the tee while providing an extraordinary feel on shorter shots with its soft Graphene-infused core.

Key Features Benefitting Els’ Game

  • Revolutionary dual core maximizes fast ball speeds
  • Insane distance from high launch and low spin
  • Soft urethane cover and Graphene core generate an excellent feel
  • Great workability and greenside spin from the urethane cover
  • A moisture-resistant cover helps playability in wet conditions

The Chrome Soft’s superior aerodynamics and reduced drag translated into maximum yardage for Els’ powerful swing.

Srixon Z-Star XV

In 2016, Els made the surprising decision to switch golf ball sponsors again, this time inking an endorsement deal with Srixon and the Z-Star XV tour ball. Srixon utilized Els as a global ambassador to boost recognition for its premium golf ball against established brands Titleist and Callaway.

The Z-Star XV delivered a high launch and very low spin for Els, maximizing the prodigious driving distance he was still generating despite being in his late forties.

Key Features Benefitting Els’ Game

  • Energetic gradient growth core boosts ball speeds across all clubs
  • Reformulated urethane cover improves feel and control
  • 338 dimple design promotes a highly penetrating trajectory
  • Available in Els’ preferred bright white color
  • 78 compression rating matches optimal feel preference

Srixon has benefited greatly from Els’ endorsement of the Z-Star XV as a world-class tour-caliber golf ball.

Ernie Els Golf Ball

Bridgestone Tour B XS

In a surprising move, Els decided to change golf ball sponsors yet again just one year later in 2017, joining Bridgestone Golf to play its premium Tour B XS ball.

Bridgestone specifically designed the B XS model to promote less spin and a firmer feel – perfectly aligned with Els’ hard, sweeping ball-striking ability. The Seamless Cover Technology resulted in increased accuracy as well.

Key Features Benefitting Els’ Game

  • Gradational core compression significantly reduces spin
  • Seamless dimple coating boosts aerodynamic performance
  • Firm feel provides optimal feedback to Els on mishits
  • Alignment aid helpful for Els’ putting
  • Promotes high launch and very low spin ideal for Els

The Tour B XS proved the right solution to maximize distance and control as Els entered the twilight of his professional career.

TaylorMade TP5x

In 2019, Els again made a major golf ball endorsement change, this time signing with TaylorMade to play its TP5x golf ball. TaylorMade leveraged Els alongside other worldwide stars like Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm to promote its premium 5-layer golf balls.

The TP5x delivers high launch and moderate spin along with superb all-around scoring performance. Els credited the TP5x with improving his driving distance and accuracy into his 50s.

Key Features Benefitting Els’ Game

  • 5-layer construction maximizes energy transfer
  • The new speed-enhancing dimple design reduces drag
  • Reidite soft urethane cover improves the feel around greens
  • High trajectory with mid spin ideal for moderate swing speeds
  • Dual-distance core optimizes launch conditions

Even after playing with almost every major golf ball on the market, Els praised the TP5x as maximizing his game as he approached the Champions Tour.

Why Firm Feel Matters to Els

Looking back across Els’ golf ball progression, it becomes clear that a firmer feel with feedback is vital to his preference and performance. The majority of balls he has switched to over the years promote a moderate-to-firm feel at impact.

As Els frequently likes to shape shots, the firmer feel allows him to perfectly transfer energy and spin for optimal control. It also provides critical feedback when he mishits a shot off the center of the face.

This aligns with Els’ penchant for blade irons as well. The sound, feel, and responsiveness of a firmer golf ball matches his precision ball-striking style and allows maximum workability.

Optimal Ball Choice Varies Over a Career

Ernie Els’ golf ball progression illustrates how professional players’ needs and preferences evolve over a long career. While a certain ball may be perfect at one time, changes in swing speed, angle of attack, and desired feel require new solutions.

Younger Els generated extreme swing speeds over 120 mph making the Pro V1’s penetrating flight ideal at the time. As he aged, moderate spin balls like the Tour B XS helped him retain maximum distance. And preferences for feel and workability led to models like the TP5x.

This reinforces why even tour pros continuously test new prototypes and models each year – the optimal ball for one period may not match future needs. Ernie Els has exemplified this model adjustment perfectly throughout his long PGA Tour tenure.

What Ball Should Average Golfers Play?

While Els and other pros have access to an unlimited range of tour-caliber balls, average amateurs have a far simpler task of identifying models matching their game. Here are quick tips for choosing a golf ball aligned with your skills:

  • Faster swing speeds over 100 mph benefit from firmer 3-piece tour balls
  • Slower swings under 90 mph maximize distance with soft, 2-piece balls
  • Spin reduction is key for high launch angles and slower clubhead speeds
  • Moderate swing speeds around 100 mph can maximize value in a 3-piece distance ball
  • Match compression rating to your typical swing force and the desired feel
  • Prioritize durability if playing on scuffed-up course conditions

With a few smart choices tailored to your game, you can find a ball providing performance and satisfaction without breaking the bank on expensive tour balls. Learn from Ernie Els in identifying technology that optimizes your skills over time.

Ernie Els Cements His Ball Legacy

In closing, Ernie Els’ extensive professional career stands testament to maximizing performance through fitting the proper golf ball design and construction to your game.

His pursuit of optimized distance, feel, workability, and accuracy over decades showcases how golf ball technology customizes to a player’s evolving needs.

While tour balls come and go, Els’ legacy of major championships and over 70 worldwide wins proves what is possible when you find the ideal golf ball match.

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