Why Are Golf Balls Numbered (1 to 4)

Why Are Golf Balls Numbered (1 to 4)?

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When you buy a box of golf balls, you will notice numbers on each of the balls. Some golfers might take this small detail for granted, but it is relevant to the game. If you are new to the game, you must be curious about these numbers. So, why are golf balls numbered?

The main reason why golf balls are numbers is identification. While there are many brands of golf balls, you will find that most golfers will buy the same type of golf balls. The numbers on the golf balls help players identify the balls they are playing with.

Depending on the manufacturer, numbers on golf balls can differ as some use numbers from 0-9 and others 1-4. Other manufacturers can have single digits and other multiple numbers.

Golf ball numbers can have another purpose aside from identification, and that is what this article will delve into to begin with.

What do Single Digits Mean on a Golf Ball?

What do Single Digits Mean on a Golf Ball

If you pick up your golf ball right now, you will see a single digit under the manufacturer’s logo. The primary purpose of this number is identification.

Each player needs to know which ball they are playing with during a game, and two players playing with the same ball can lead to a penalty.

It is common to find several players using the same type of balls in a game. Fortunately, each ball will have a number from 0-9 or 1-4. Most top golf ball manufacturers use numbers from 1-to 4.

While the best Bridgestone golf balls, for example, you’ll find that they use a unique system based on letters, such as the popular Bridgestone Tour B series which includes the RX, RXS, and XS models.

A box of golf balls will have four rows of three balls each. The first row of balls will be numbered 1, the second row, two, etc.

Even though you and your mates might be using the same type of balls, it is improbable that you will end up using balls with the same number. However, if you do, you can add a mark on your ball to help you identify it for the rest of the game.

What do Double Digits Mean on a Golf Ball?

What do Double Digits Mean on a Golf Ball

Some brands like Titleist and Taylormade use double digits on some of their balls to help players identify their balls. However, double digits are also used to show the compression rate (compression rate tells you how hard or soft a golf ball is).

When you see numbers between 70 and 80 on your golf ball, it means that it has a lower compression rate; thus, it is best suited for female players. Conversely, numbers between 90 and 100 indicate a higher compression rate, and the ball is best suited for male golfers.

  • 70-80 on golf ball: low compression rate, best suited for female golfers.
  • 90-100 on golf ball: high compression rate, best suited for male golfers.

Today, very few manufacturers use double digits to show a ball’s compression rate. Instead of being printed on the ball, those details will probably be listed on the box. However, putting the compression rate on a golf ball was very popular in the 90s.

What do Three Digits Mean on a Golf Ball?

What do Three Digits Mean on a Golf Ball

Any number above 100 on a golf ball shows the number of dimples on the ball.


Because dimples on a golf ball affect its flight through the air.

Previously, the number of dimples was always indicated on the golf ball, but this has changed. Newer models of golf balls show the number of dimples on the box.

Note that there is no relation between the number of dimples and the ball’s performance. It depends on how hard you hit the ball, so don’t focus too much on the dimples.

Are There Any Number Restrictions on Golf Balls?

Are There Any Number Restrictions on Golf Balls

Numbers on golf balls are not subject to any restrictions. This means that they do not have much importance besides helping golfers identify their balls. Whether you are playing for fun or professionally, you will not be penalized if you play with a ball without numbers.

Additionally, there are no rules to govern manufacturers on which numbers they can and cannot use on golf balls. It just happens that most of them use 1-4. Some companies will print numbers from 0-9 and others from 00-99. Again, the primary purpose of these numbers is for each golfer to know their balls during a game.

Players also have the freedom to print custom numbers on their golf balls. For example, Rory Mcllroy’s balls have the number 22 printed to remind him of his wedding anniversary.

Other notable players with custom numbers printed on their balls are: Sergio Garcia with the number 10 and Justin Rose with the number 99.

What Color are Golf Ball Numbers?

What Color are Golf Ball Numbers

Golf ball numbers come in two different colors, red and black.

There is a little bit of history behind why the numbers have two different colors. In older games, players used to play specific compressions. So the color red represented 90 compression balls and black 100 compression balls.

Back then, golfers were convinced that temperature affected a ball’s compression, so the colors helped them make the based choice.

Today, these colors do not mean anything, but manufacturers have maintained using red or black simply for aesthetic purposes. However, some companies will use the same colors to indicate whether a ball has a soft or firm feel.

4 Other Golf Ball Numbers You Should Know About

4 Other Golf Ball Numbers You Should Know About

Now that you know the answer to “why are golf balls numbered?”, let’s learn some more useless golf ball trivia!

The numbers we will discuss in this section are unnecessary, and they are usually not indicated on the ball.


If you are interested in the game and want to know more, here are some numbers you should know about.

1. Golf Ball Diameter

All golf balls have a standard diameter of 1.68 inches or 42. 67 mm. This is the best size because it ensures that all golf balls fit inside a standard golf hole.

2. Weight of a Golf Ball

The standard weight of a golf ball is 1. 62 ounces or 45.93 grams. The mass of a golf ball affects how it travels through the air meaning a heavier ball will differ n momentum from a lighter ball.

3. Speed of a Golf Ball

The average speed of a golf ball after being hit off the tee is 160MPH. However, the rate of a golf ball differs per player because it depends on how hard the impact is. Pro players’ balls will travel faster because their hit is more potent than an amateur or newbie golfer.

4. Special Characters

Finally, golf balls can have other markings besides numbers. For example, if you have an unnumbered ball, you can use a marker and put a unique marking on your ball. Besides that, some players draw straight lines or dots to help them line their shots.