Do Golf Balls Go Bad? How To Check

Do Golf Balls Go Bad

Golfers are always looking for ways to improve their game. And one of the most overlooked aspects is whether a golf ball is still in good condition. It can be challenging to tell if a golf ball has gone bad, but there are some signs that you should look out for. 

This guide will discuss those signs and gives tips on checking do golf balls go bad.

Importance of knowing the condition of golf balls

Golf ball condition is essential because it affects how the ball performs. A golf ball that has gone bad may not pass as far or as accurately, resulting in a poor game. So, it’s essential to always check the condition of your golf balls before you use them.

Signs of a bad golf ball

A scuff or tear is the most common sign of a bad golf ball. If you notice any scuffs or tears on the surface of your golf balls, it’s time to replace them with new ones. Consider replacing the ball if it has changed color due to dirt or debris.

Another indicator that your golf ball may have gone bad is if it feels hard or soft. A golf ball should touch firm yet flexible, and changes in the surface may show environmental impact.

Checking your golf balls for condition

If you want to check do golf balls go bad, you can do a simple drop test. For this test, you’ll need a hard surface, such as a solid concrete floor or table. Drop your golf ball from a short height (about one foot above the ground). If the bounce is consistent or low, the ball has gone well.

Factors Affecting Golf Ball Performance

Besides condition, many other factors can affect how your golf ball performs. Things such as spin rate, launch angle, and trajectory will all affect the accuracy of your shots.

Storage and Maintenance Tips

To ensure that your golf balls remain in top condition for longer. It’s essential to follow some primary storage and maintenance tips. Here are a few:

  • Keep your golf balls clean and dry. If they become wet, let them dry in the sun until they scorch before storing them away.
  • Store your golf balls away from extreme temperatures. Hot conditions can cause the ball to become too soft, while cold temperatures can make it too hard.
  • Don’t store your golf balls in a damp place, as this can cause them to go bad.
  • When playing or practicing with your golf balls, be aware of any damage that may occur. If you notice any scuffs or tears, it’s best to replace them immediately.

Physical Examination

The first step in assessing the condition of a golf ball is a thorough physical examination. Look for any visible cracks, cuts, or significant discoloration. Damaging the ball could affect its performance.

The Bounce Test

The bounce test is a straightforward way to check the condition of a golf ball. Drop the ball from about six feet onto a hard surface. The ball is still in good condition if it bounces back up to approximately half that height. If it doesn’t, it may be time to replace it.

Water Submersion Test

The water submersion test is another easy method to check for golf ball damage. Submerge the ball in a water container and observe it for a few minutes. If the ball remains submerged, it’s likely in good condition. Yet, if it floats to the top, it could show it has gone bad.

Compression Test

The compression test is the most accurate way to check for golf ball deterioration. To perform this test, you’ll need a specialized compression testing machine. 

Place the ball in the tester and press down with a specific force. The ball may incur damage if the gauge reading indicates an off-spec measurement.

Advanced Testing Methods

For more advanced assessments, there are other testing methods available. These include infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Golf ball tests are accurate but costly and time-consuming.

  • Compression testing is the most accurate method of determining golf ball conditions. Measure ball compression with a machine. You can then compare the results to the specifications of the work to learn its current good condition.
  • Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction offer detailed insights into golf ball conditions. Expensive and time-consuming tests can provide accurate measurements.
  • The bounce test is a simple method for checking the condition of a golf ball. Drop the ball on a hard surface and note its rebound – about half its size indicates usability.
  • Proper storage and maintenance aid golf ball longevity. Keep dry, protect from temperature extremes, and replace damaged balls.
  • Checking the condition of your golf balls is an essential part of golf. It can make a massive difference to your game. Maintain your balls by checking for wear, testing, and storing them.


Q: How often should I check the condition of my golf balls?

A: It’s recommended that you check the condition of your golf balls at least before each round.

Q: What is the difference between a good and a bad golf ball?

A: A good golf ball performs better than a bad one, which may lead to inconsistencies in your game.

Q: How can I make sure my golf balls last longer?

A: Make sure you store and maintain them. Keep them clean and dry, remove them from extreme temperatures, and replace any harmed or scuffed balls now.

Q: Can I fix a damaged golf ball?

A: Unfortunately, repairing a damaged golf ball is impossible. If you notice any cracks, cuts, or significant discoloration, it’s best to replace the ball immediately.

Q: What are some of the advanced testing methods used to assess golf ball conditions?

A: Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction can assess the state of a golf ball.

Final Thought

Golfers should always be aware of the condition of their golf balls. A damaged or worn-out ball could affect their performance on the green. With a few simple tests, you can determine whether your golf balls are still in good condition and do golf balls go bad. So the next time you head to the course, check your golf balls before teeing off!

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