When Should You Throw Away Golf Balls? (5 Ways To Know)


Depending on what Golf ball you have, throwing them away can seem like a waste as balls like the Titleist ProVI are expensive. However, there comes a point where you need to throw them away, in this article you will learn when this point is.

If a ball takes on wear during the normal course of play the average Golfer will not see a drop in performance, but if the ball hits a cart path or ricochets off a tree and paint loss, scuff, or damage to the ball is less than a size of a dime it can be used according to a Titleist representative.

A Golf pro-Alex Chiarella used one Titlelist Pro V1X ball for all 72 holes on his route to his first Mackenzie Tour victory, so what excuse does any average gofer have changing their ball all the time? Golf ball durability has improved so much in recent years making what Alex did possible.

I will explain if Golf balls go bad with age, and how you can tell if a Golf ball is still good, read on to find out

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How Can You Tell If A Golf Ball Is Still Good? (5 Tips To Tell)

1. The Bounce Test

Take a new golf ball and bounce it next to a ball your testing at the same exact height and at the same time, this can be done on any hard surface that will make the ball bounce, like a tile floor, see how the balls move.

If both bounce at relatively the same height your older golf ball should be okay, this is the same test as testing old Tennis balls.

Just like you used to do in Science class, the test must be fair, so keep all variables like the height you bounce, and the time you release the balls the same. Do not look down at the balls as they bounce as that’s a ticket to a golf ball to the face!

Golf is all about feeling, this is why pro golfers typically putt without a glove to get the best connection to the club possible, to know why Pro golfers take off their gloves after every shot check my post.

2. Test If The Golf Ball Can Float

I’ve written about if golf balls can float in my article, so check it out as you will need to understand how to make saltwater to try this next test, but you will need a beaker and some salt to do the test.

After creating your saltwater drop the balls it can wait for 1-2 minutes, you will notice if your cover is intact as there will be no leakage to the internal area of the ball if the ball starts to sink or any air bubbles arise out of the ball that is a clear sign your ball has a microfracture.

A micro-fracture ruins the compression rating of the ball, affecting how the ball responds to a clubhead, if is cracked internally you should throw it out.

3. Test Your Golf Balls Audible Pang

This can be done on the course or driving range or your backyard if you have a Golf net, if you don’t have one I highly recommend purchasing one, allowing you to practice anytime in the comfort of your own home without destroying the neighbors’ window.

Get one of the best golf nets on the market the FRANKTECH backyard net for a bargain on Amazon.

The test is simple, use your driver to smack the ball, do you know that crisp sound when you hit a brand new ball right out of the packet? This distinctive ping sound is the vibrations rattling throughout the layers of the Golf ball and then reverberating off the cover usually made out of ethylene.

If the noise is gone then likely the cover is cracked making it needing to be replaced, if the noise is not gone but a little faded it means the ball still has some life yet.

I wouldn’t use that ball for competition, but see how many more games you can get out of the ball using the following steps in this article.

Wonder if Golf club quality really matters? Learn the truth in my article.

4. Can The Ball Go The Distance?

If you are a competent Golfer you should know your yardages, even if you’re a novice you would expect to drive a ball x amount of yards, struggling to drive the ball far? See my post to fix the issues you might be making.

For this test, go to your driving range or course and mark all the balls your considering to get rid of with a market, then hit them with your driver and remember where they are and collect them.

Ideally, use a laser range finder before you hit them to understand how far you want them to go. Range finders don’t have to be expensive, get the Gogogo laser range finder with all the bells & whistles you need at an unbeatable price from Amazon.

If the balls went as far as you expected you don’t have to throw them away, but if you didn’t go as far then maybe they don’t have the yardage they once did as when a ball is faulty it can lose 5-25 yards depending on the damage.

5.Is The Golf Ball Chipped?

What would cause a ball to crack like this? Felt funny when I chipped on to  the green. : golf

The most obvious test is seeing if the ball is chipped in any way, if you see scratches all along the peaks of the dimples this is a good sign it’s chipped.

A representative from Titleist said if the chip or scuff ‘is bigger than the size of a dime’ then it should be thrown away, however, test the ball with the bounce test and other tests in this article as the chip might be superficial and not affect the compression of the golf ball too much.

Do Golf Balls Go Bad With Age?

Golf balls do not go bad with age, they are designed with multi-layer surfaces and solid cores and will not go bad to impact performance. If the ball has scuff marks caused by hitting other objects or over-play these marks could impact the roll and aerodynamics of the ball

This answer was submitted by a representative from Callaway to Daril Pacinella the Director of Instruction at Turtle Creek Country Club in Rockledge.

Under normal conditions 70-80(21-26C) degrees Fahrenheit a Golf ball could last forever, now if you were to tee up a ball stored at room temperature for 1000 years you won’t get the same performance to a fresh ball from the packet, but a decade or two will not affect a balls performance.

There has been no scientific study to determine the shelf-life of a Golf ball but golf balls especially a two-piece solid ball will last a long time.

Are you curious how much reshafting your clubs should cost, and if you can do it yourself? Learn the facts in my post.

How Long Will A Two- Piece Golf Ball Last?

Peter Peterson’s research and development direction for Wilson golf balls said ‘“For a two-piece ball, we’ve really seen no changes after five to seven years.”

Solid golf balls are designed for Golfers with a higher handicaps, they tend to produce more distance especially if your swing speed is slow.

How Long Will A Three-Piece Golf Ball Last?

Three-piece golf balls are targeted at better players, featuring a solid rubber or liquid center surrounded by elastic windings and either a Surlyn or balata cover

Peterson said ‘three-piece wound balls are a bit different because they go through stress relaxation of the windings{they should last] a couple of years’.

A three-piece golf ball, usually targeted at better players, features a solid rubber or liquid center surrounded by elastic windings and a Surlyn or balata cover. “Three-piece wound balls are a bit different because they go through stress relaxation of the windings, ” said Peterson, adding that they should last “a couple of years.”

When storing your balls don’t put them in the freezer, as playing with cold ball will reduce their distance, keep them in a cool dry place and they will last a long time.

Golf ball researchers at Titelist state Today’s Titleist golf balls can be safely stored for five years or even more, as long as they are kept away from excessive heat. … Normal indoor conditions should be fine for storage.”

Store golf balls in your house or wherever it’s room temperature and they should be fine. Do you play with coloured Golf balls? To know what are the best colors to use and what your missing out on only using white balls see my article.

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