Do golf balls go bad? We all know most products have a “Best By” date or an expiration date. But what about products you wouldn’t really expect to have a time limit on their best life? Let’s consider golf balls.
So, do golf balls go bad? The average life of a golf ball, when stored properly, is about 10 years. While golf balls do get old, the overall performance will generally be maintained with proper storage and care.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and look into golf ball materials, a golf ball’s lifespan (do they have an expiration date?), and 7 more factors to consider…
Build of a Golf Ball
Golf balls are made with a variety of material. The modern golf ball an inner core which is constructed from pressurized or synthetic rubber.
The core is the part of the golf ball that affects the speed, distance and spin. The core is surrounded by several layers.
The layers increase the spin of the golf ball and influences control.
The cover and the dimples on the outer layer of the golf ball also affect the golf ball’s spin and makes it more aerodynamic. This allows the ball to travel through the air freely without a lot of resistance.
The Lifespan of a Golf Ball (Do Golf Balls Get Old?)
Throughout its life, a golf ball will see a lot of action. Extending the life of a golf ball requires care on the part of the player. Aside from the golf clubs, the golf ball is the most important tool for a golfer on the course.
Most golfers will want to use their golf balls for more than one round of golf. If you are reusing your golf ball, be sure to inspect them thoroughly before you being playing.
If you see a significant amount of scratching or scuffing on the surface, it’s probably a good idea to use a new ball.
Remember that golf balls take quite a beating on the course. They are constantly being struck by a hard object and oftentimes may hit and bounce off of other hard surfaces such as trees.
You can certainly prolong the life of your golf ball by making sure to keep them clean and blemish free. This can be accomplished by washing or wiping them off frequently during the round of play.
You’ll also want to take care to store the golf balls in a steady temperature (not too hot or cold). This will extend the life and performance of the golf ball.
Do Golf Balls Have a Shelf Life? AKA: Will an Unused Golf Ball Expire?
You can usually get about 10 years out of an unused golf ball, again, provided that it is stored properly.
The best temperature for golf ball storage is around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing an unused golf ball that is 4 years old next to a golf ball that was just manufactured today, you’ll see little to no difference between the two.
Proper storage helps the 4 year old golf ball maintain its integrity and makes it just as good as the brand new ball.
However, one factor you might want to consider is the new technology that has been developed in the time that your golf ball has been sitting on the shelf. While the ball itself may still perform to high standards, those standards will be based on the time the ball was manufactured.
New technology is constantly being developed and the design of golfing equipment is constantly evolving.
Just keep in mind that while your golf ball may still be brand new in the package, a newly manufactured golf ball may still outstrip your ball.
Definitely research new technologies before deciding to tee up with an “older” brand new ball.
Other Factors to be Aware of
Golf balls encounter a variety of surfaces and terrains during a round of golf.
They are being struck with different weighted golf clubs. They sometimes bounce off of the ground. The golf ball may even hit a tree, land in a sand pit, or in a body of water. You’ll want to take care to inspect your golf ball if you’ve retrieved it from a body of water.
Depending on the amount of time the ball has spent in the water, and if there are any scratches on the ball that may allow water to seep in, the integrity of the ball may be compromised.
Once you retrieve your ball, take note of any deformity it may show and take note of whether the ball seems to be lighter or heavier than it was. If you are unable to clean the ball off properly, you’ll probably want to switch to a new ball.
Overall, it can take a long time (months or years) for a golf ball to show enough water damage to truly affect the performance. There’s normally no need to be concerned if your golf ball takes a quick dip in the pond.
But if the ball has been submerged for a significant period, it is possible for water to penetrate the surface of the golf back and compromise its performance.
Conclusion: Do Golf Balls Go Bad?
So what’s the verdict, do golf balls go bad?
Yes, golf balls can go bad, but it is dependent on a number of factors. The materials used to construct the golf ball, storage temperature and care and maintenance all play a huge part in the life of a golf ball.
Most golf balls can last for several hundred rounds of golf or up to 10 years. If you want to get the most life out of your golf balls, you would do well to keep them clean and store them properly. Take care to inspect them frequently and throw out golf balls that are severely damaged, scuffed and/or scratched.