For a few years now, one of the hottest names in golf balls has been Kirkland Signature, the house brand for all things Costco.
And that hype has been well-warranted for the most part. Their initial four-piece golf ball was one of the hottest sellers when it debuted before being pulled from shelves, and then its replacement, a three-piece urethane ball was similarly a solid ball, but ran into some quality issues with many people complaining about the durability of the cover, or lack thereof I should say.
But when the balls are priced at $1 per ball, and you get two-dozen in a box, not having the best durability was a somewhat fair trade-off for the performance you got, when a similar ball is easy $30 and up for a single dozen.
Enter the Three-Piece Urethane Cover Golf Ball v2.0. Yes, that’s the real name, and it is an entire mouthful, so from here forward, we’ll just stick with calling it the 2.0.
I must confess, I never had the chance to play the original four-piece or three-piece, because I straight up didn’t have a Costco membership and never ran into anyone who happened to have them, but was intrigued.
Well, this past fall my wife and I bought a membership, and sometime around Christmas, I saw the 2.0s in the store and threw a box in the cart just to have and to eventually try out when the weather got nicer.
Before ever hitting the course, I did get the chance to roll a few putts and chip a few at home, and initially off the putter it felt good. It wasn’t the softest ball I have ever used, but it also wasn’t a complete rock, and seemed to feel nice and spin well in the little 10-15 foot chip shots I was able to hit inside the comfort of my own home.
One initial thing that seemed odd to me, and maybe this is just to my eye, but taking one out of the box and looking at it, it just appeared to be cheap. Again, it is a buck a ball, and maybe it’s the Kirkland Signature logo stamped on it, or the dimple pattern, but it doesn’t look as fancy as a Pro V1 or Callaway Chrome Soft does when you first look at them.
But none of that really matters if the ball performs well on the course, and after using it this past Saturday in my first round of the year, I will say I came away very impressed and would not have any issues using it again during a round.
Before we get started, let me note here that my current USGA Handicap is about an 8, so right around a scoring average of 80. I’m not a pro, but I’m also not a weekend hack who drinks six beers and shoots 110.
Let’s start with distance. I’m not a bomber by any means, but hit it about 250 to 260 yards off the tee pretty consistently. One thing I had heard with the original three-piece was that you would lose around 10 yards or so off the tee with them. With the 2.0, I did not see any distance drop-off. Temperatures were around 65 when the round started, the sun was out, and it wasn’t overly windy or anything. Well-struck shots went the distance I expect to hit my clubs throughout the bag. Driver was in that 250 to 260 range, a 7-wood went 220 yards, and my 7-iron was flying around 155 yards. From a distance perspective, absolutely zero complaints, I didn’t see any gains with the ball, but more importantly I didn’t lose anything, which is all you can ask.
When it comes to spin, it felt a bit like a mixed bag to me. One of the complaints with the original v1.0 was that they spun too much, and people couldn’t get used to how much they spun. With full irons, notably my 7- and 8-irons, balls were stopping quickly, and in the case of one 8-iron on a par 3, even backed up a couple feet. It’s also worth noting that three days earlier, the area had a TON of rain, so the greens were likely still a little soft from that, but not to the point where pitch marks on the green were overly deep or large. So on full shots, the spin with irons impressed me.
For whatever reason, I just didn’t see that same spin with my wedges on chips around the green, no matter what distance I hit them from. Greenside chips with wedges, bump and runs with my 7-iron, the ball just didn’t seem to check as much as I expected or hoped for them to. Again, the greens may be some of the issue here, it’s early in the season and they were fairly bumpy in some areas, so who knows how many might have been affected by weird hops when they landed.
The ball also feels good on putts and chips, as well as full swings throughout the bag. I didn’t find it overly soft, or overly hard, even as temps cooled into the 50s by the end of the round. It’s just…a solid middle of the road golf ball in terms of its feel. Maybe a touch on the hard side, but you don’t notice it with the urethane cover.
And now for the big one: Durability. For me, I was fine with its durability. I didn’t lose a ball during the round, so getting to see how it looked at the end of the day worked out really well from that perspective. Full confession: I nailed two trees with it during my round, both of which resulted in the ball getting fortunate bounces and coming back into the fairway. I never thought to check the ball for damage or scuffs after those shots, just being more relieved that I was able to find it. So at the end of the round, the ball was dirty, and had two decent-sized scuff marks in it, one you can clearly see, and one that blended in a bit more in the second photo above the logo.
But I will say this: I don’t know how long those scuffs were on there, but I did not notice any massive drop-off in performance or feel. Neither of the scuffs were HUGE, as in, both were smaller than a dime, but they were definitely noticeable at the end of the round. Safe to say, the next time I tee it up, I won’t be re-using this particular ball.
Overall, I was very impressed with this ball, even without considering the price point. I wouldn’t say it’s on par with a Pro V or a Chrome Soft, but it does match up with other balls in the three-piece category, like the TaylorMade Tour Response, which retails for about $35 a dozen.
And the fact that it helped me to a season-opening 77 on a course that was a handful of yards over 6,000 shows me that it is a more than capable ball.
My takeaway: If you just want to tee it up and are concerned that you may lose a few, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value for the performance you got out of this ball. I don’t know if I would play it in a tournament, or even full-time, but if you head to a course where you’re unfamiliar with the layout and where hazards are, this would be a great option to get good performance, while also not feeling awful if you did happen to lose one.