This post was most recently updated on January 20th, 2022
Many golfers will find a ball on the links or at the store with the brand’s name covered in three “x’s”.
These are X-out golf balls that are unable to be sold with their true name nor at retail price.
This article will explain what goes into making the ball an X-Out and the differences between normal balls and X-outs.
What are X-out golf balls?
X-out golf balls are balls that were created with small mistake in the manufacturing process. They contain a tiny cosmetic imperfection that is usually difficult for the common eye to see.
Golf companies cannot sell the ball as normal so they stamp the ball as an X-out at an extremely discounted price.
Are X-out balls legal?
Unfortunately for golfers wanting to use an X-out ball in a tournament, they are illegal. X-out balls are not on the USGA and R&A’s list of conforming golf balls, therefore they cannot be used in a competition.
Since X-out balls are not submitted by their companies to the R&A or USGA, they will probably never be legalized.
For practice rounds or golfing with friends, X-out balls can be used.
Benefits of X-out balls
X-out golf balls can be beneficial due to their prices. Instead of purchasing balls at MSRP prices for practice rounds, golfers can purchase x-out balls for much cheaper.
Due to the ball having a tiny cosmetic issue, you probably won’t notice a difference while playing.
If you are a golfer who tends to lose the ball a lot, using them during practice sessions is a good idea.
One example of a benefit to playing an x-out is playing a Titleist Pro V1 or another top-end golf ball for an entire practice round vs. their brand’s x-out.
By the time you reach a certain hole both balls will have slight wear on them or a “cosmetic imperfection.”
Are Titleist X-outs good balls?
Titleist is one of the leading golf ball makers in the industry. The company sells Pro V1 X-outs as well as other surlyn golf balls such as their NXT Tour line.
Buying high quality Titleist X-out balls are a great way to maintain a great quality ball in your game with a reasonable price.
If you want to play a Titleist ball during a tournament, using an x-out for practice rounds will have practically an identical performance.
What are Titleist Pro V1 X-outs?
Pro V1 X-outs are x-out versions of the brand’s highest quality ball: the Pro V1.
Titleist Pro V1’s are some of the most expensive balls on the market thanks to their high spin and long distance features.
Titleist sells Pro V1 X-outs as X-outs rather than a standard ball due to a tiny “cosmetic blemish” which can include ink imperfections, paint malfunctions or a stamping registration error.
Pro V1 X-out balls have no performance malfunctions nor construction issues when built. This ensures the golfer can rely on the ball’s peak performance and not be disappointed by a build issue.
Some companies x-out the brand name on the ball but Titleist makes sure to keep the brand name visible and put a small x-out label on the side.
Similar to refurbished golf balls, X-outs are a great way to save money and keep performance high on the course. These balls cannot be used for tournaments but are great balls for practice rounds thanks to their minor cosmetic defects.
Don’t be afraid to share your experiences with X-out golf balls in the comments section.
Lawrence Smelser is part of the Golfible editorial staff and is a freelance golf writer. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour and most recently the 2019 Masters. He holds a journalism Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas