This post was most recently updated on January 20th, 2022
Most golfers take extreme care of their clubs but not always their golf balls. A question that is often asked is if golf balls go bad after a certain period of time.
This depends on a number of factors including how they are stored and how they are used. If golf balls are kept too long in the cold or in the heat, they can deform. If they are scuffed after many rounds their value can also decrease.
Do Golf Balls Go Bad Over Time (If Used)?
Since many players enjoy using their balls for multiple rounds, it is essential to understand if they can go bad over a long period of time. Golf balls can easily go bad if they are extremely scratched up.
To prolong life, it is good to wash them and clean scuffs off them with the magic eraser brush. If you store them in a normal temperature not too hot or too cold this will also extend how long they perform well.,
Do Golf Balls Go Bad In Water?
If a golf ball sits in a pond for 12 hours the outer layer of the ball will have water seep into the golf ball. If even longer, permanent damage can occur to the golf ball. The primary effect will be losing driving distance.
If a 2-piece ball spends about a week submerged under water it can lose nearly six yards of carry and roll. If it is underwater for three months it will lose about three more yards.
For a 3-5 piece ball it averages about six yards loss after a week, 12 yards after three months and 15 yards after six months.
Do Unused Golf Balls Go Bad?
If unused golf balls are stored at room temperature which is around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, they can last for 10 years.
Golfweek.com indicates that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a new ball off the shelf and a new one that has been stored for years. Unless you are playing a 100 year old ball, the performance will be maintained.
Do Urethane Golf Balls Go Bad?
Urethane golf balls are the most common outer layer of golf balls found on the market.
The durable shell will last for years if new or in mint condition. If they get too scuffed up or are found in ponds they might lose performance.
Do Pro V1 Golf Balls Go Bad?
Titleist Pro V1 golf balls are four-piece balls that are highly priced due to their complex build, long distance, and high-spin around the greens.
Golf ball researchers at Titleist noted: “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.”
In conclusion, unless golf balls are stored in extremely cold or hot temperatures, scuffed up, or water-logged, they should last for many years.
Be wary when picking balls out of ponds. If they appear deformed, lighter, heavier or uncleanable, then it is probably best to not play them.
What are your experiences? Do golf balls get olf or go bad? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section.
Lawrence Smelser is part of the Golfible editorial staff and is a freelance golf writer. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour and most recently the 2019 Masters. He holds a journalism Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas