Golf lovers know that there are few things in life as simply perfect as a trusted golf ball. Small and round, perfectly bouncy, golf balls are perfectly engineered for the game. And every golfer has his or her own unique relationship with golf balls, from our favorite brand to that lucky golf ball you just can’t play without.
But have you ever stopped to wonder if that lucky golf ball is still working as well as it did when you first played? In this post from the golf store wizards at Totally Driven, we’ll dive into whether a golf ball can become worn out, what it does to your game, and how to tell. When you need new golf balls or you’re just wanting to talk swings, stop by Totally Driven’s golf store and say hi!
To Throw Away or Keep?
When you love golf, it can seem like golf balls are lurking in every closet and drawer of your home. But when you come across your favorite forgotten golf balls from back in the day, are they just as good as they originally were? Or should you consider donating them or even throwing them out?
The truth is that if you hang out on the golf course long enough, you’re likely to see some old-timers using golf balls from way back in the 90s that work just as well as they ever did. But the lifespans of golf balls can actually vary depending on the manufacturing techniques used.
All golf balls are either manufactured with a dual-layer or multi-layer underneath the top layer. Keep in mind that they need to handle a force of more than 100 miles an hour along with repeated impacts from a golf club. Because there’s less engineering to stand up to impacts, dual layers will lose their pizzazz sooner than multi-layer balls.
Testing your golf balls for quality can be a fun way to kill an afternoon when you’re not out on the golf course. Follow these steps to determine if your favorite golf balls have lost their edge:
1. Examine Them
This is the easiest way to identify an obviously bum golf ball, but it’s also only the first step in the process of looking for more subtle quality issues. Take a close look at your golf ball to examine it for obvious chips, splits, or cracks.
Next, look closely at the dimples, since sometimes less prominent scratches and splits can be hiding along their peaks. These dimples can become damaged over time as they make contact with a golf club, and a wet club can have an even greater impact on them. Any of the above issues are a sign that your ball won’t pass the compression test and should be tossed out.
2. Float Them
You’ve heard of a root beer float. But what about a golf ball float?
When we’re playing 18 holes, we want to avoid hitting our golf balls into water hazards. And if your golf ball does end up in that pond, there’s a decent chance you’ll never see it again since golf balls sink in freshwater.
But do you know what type of water golf balls float in? Like many materials and objects, golf balls are buoyant in seawater. The only exception will be if there are cracks in the surface that allow water to seep into the ball. These cracks represent a design fault that will compromise the ball’s compression rating and clubhead response.
Since there’s not a whole lot of ocean water in Minnesota, you’ll need to make your own. Try boiling water and add two tablespoons of salt for every cup. Once the water has cooled, drop your golf ball in. If you don’t see any air bubbles popping up, walk away for a few minutes. Is your ball still buoyant after some time has passed? That means it’s watertight and the exterior is intact.
3. Drop Them
One of the simplest ways to check your golf ball’s performance is by giving it a good, old-fashioned bounce using any hard surface like a tile floor or countertop. Your goal is to make the ball bounce as high as you can reasonably bounce it without damaging anything in your home.
The trick here is to bounce your ball alongside a new ball and try to make a visual comparison of their performance. While your new ball will likely have a little more bounce, your older golf ball should be close in its performance.
4. Drop a Dime
This golf ball test for scuffed-up golf balls comes to us from golf experts in the UK. If you’ve got a favorite golf ball that’s looking a little rough around the edges, it can be hard to know when to throw in the towel on it. One golfer tested dozens of used golf balls and found that minor damage doesn’t necessarily impact performance. If scuffs are smaller than a coin and there are no clear cracks, the ball is still probably fine.
Making Your Golf Balls Last
Modern golf balls are manufactured to be incredibly durable and resilient. Their ethylene coves are able to withstand extreme temperatures while maintaining the integrity of the ball’s inner core. Nonetheless, it’s best to store them between temperatures of 37 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
UV light is one of the few things that can cause the ball’s structure to break down, so avoid using golf balls that have been left outside for long. Additionally, never golf with a wet club. Instead, keep a spare towel or two in your golf bag to dry off your clubs any time it rains.
Get Your New Golf Balls from Totally Driven
When it’s time for new golf balls or golf clubs, stop by Totally Driven. Our golf store has everything you need to bring your best game out on the golf course. From custom fit golf clubs to driver fittings, we’ve got you covered. Contact us to learn more about our services or give us a call at (952) 681-2728.