Golfers often talk about how they take great care of their clubs, keeping them tucked away in a safe space. But you rarely hear them talking about keeping the golf balls in good condition or making sure they do not tarnish or ruin. Does that mean golf balls do not go wrong?
On the contrary, golf balls tend to lose their flair and worsen their quality throughout consistent play. While people do not frequently talk about it, golfers must make sure they use high-quality balls in good condition not to affect their performance.
Through trial and error, more and more companies are designing them to be more durable and endure harsh weather and different environments such as sand, water, and damp places. However, it is still necessary to keep them in dry, cool places so they can last you a while.
Shelf Life of Golf Balls
Let’s talk about new golf balls that you have stored away. These balls will be safe and ready to use as long as you hold them at room temperature, around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In such conditions, golf balls can last up to 10 years!
However, the average shelf life is estimated to be around seven years long as it is not used and stored under the right conditions.
On the other hand, golf players usually have several golf balls tucked away safely somewhere. While it might be tempting to keep them there for a long time, we recommend you take them out and use them. If the current balls you’re using have scuff marks, then definitely switch to the unused ones, as scuffs impact its performance.
What Happens to Golf Balls Over Time?
Asking if a golf ball goes bad over time is like asking if your teeth will rot if you do not brush them. Like any other material in the world, it is susceptible to damage the more you use it. While modern balls are longer-lasting, it does not make them immune to damage or scuffing.
The way you know if your golf ball needs changing soon is by its scuffing. The scuffing impacts the consistency of the exterior structure and will affect the way the golf ball flies through the air. That is why it might be difficult to notice a worn-out ball at first glance.
There is a general rule of thumb golfers use to evaluate whether they should use their golf balls. If the paint is chipped off, the golf ball’s scuff or defacement is smaller than a dime. Then it is still good to go and ready to be used again!
While that seems illogical, it is a great general rule to follow when you’re thinking about discarding your golf balls. It is not worth getting rid of a perfectly reusable golf ball!
Do Golf Balls Go Bad In Water?
First of all, let’s talk about having water on your club’s face or playing with a damp club. Suppose there is some water on your clubface. In that case, it has the potential of making any existing scuffing or damage on the golf ball even worse, as it manages to tear off some of the paint too.
This is because water acts as a frictional surface between your ball and club, which could lead to the ball slipping and your golf club’s grooves “grabbing” the ball. This increases present damage on the ball and will lower overall performance as the friction causes some energy to dissipate.
While older golf balls have the reputation of wearing out if they’re waterlogged, brand new golf balls do not wear off as quickly, if at all!
There was a study back in 2018 conducted by Oakland’s Michigan University to measure durability. They found that balls sitting in water for 1, 3, or even five months do not perform any differently than the brand new ones.
Hence, the next time you stumble upon a golf ball sitting in a pond, do not dismiss it. Grab it, check it for paint-chippings or scrapes. If it looks ready and good to go, then do not hesitate to use it and test it out.
However, do not forget to keep your clubface completely dry to prevent any additional friction that will chip the paint off the golf ball.
How Long Should You Use Them?
The time it takes for a typical golf ball to wear off depends on numerous things. That includes the material, design, and conditions it is stored. Usually, you can play with one ball for the duration of at least seven complete 18-hole rounds without sacrificing any of its performance or layering.
Generally, some chipped-off paint or grass marks are could brush off, but you should watch for any scuffs on the cover. Scuffs feel rough to the touch. You can quickly know that the rest of the golf ball is usually smooth.
To make sure it stays as long as possible in optimal condition, keep track of the following:
No. 1: Storage
Make sure you store them at room temperature after you finish with your play. Do not expose them to high temperatures or low temperatures.
No. 2: Wet Clubfaces
You should ensure that your clubface is never wet. The wetness between the club and the ball will accentuate cover damage, rapidly deteriorating the ball.
No. 3: Marks
Make sure you clean golf balls regularly. As soon as you see a spot on your golf ball, take a step back. If it is a big scuff, you might want to change it to affect your performance. If it’s only some chipped-off paint, you’re safe to go!
In conclusion, golf balls lose their quality, but unused ones will take many years to deteriorate. However, it would be best to keep them in a dry and cool place to prevent any environmental effects.
Moreover, do not forget or throw away all around the course. As they do not disintegrate quickly, this can damage the environment. Plus, do not be too quick to judge if your golf ball is not worth playing with anymore. It takes much more than some splashes of water for you to discard a golf ball.
The most important thing to keep an eye out for is any scuffs. That is usually the number one indicator that the ball needs changing. It will affect your performance more than you would like.
So do not worry too much about your golf balls going bad; worry more about how you store them and notice any marks.
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