Refurbished Golf Balls

Many golfers go to the store and see two packs of the same type of golf ball. One is brand new and is at Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) price, while the other set is refurbished and is usually half the price. 

This article will explain refurbished golf balls and how they differ from new balls as well as recycled golf balls

What are Refurbished Golf Balls?

Refurbished golf balls are used balls that have been repainted to appear new and remove dents and scratches. Some of the outer layer of the ball is removed and remade.

How are Golf Balls Refurbished?

A company purchases the used balls and sandblasts them. In doing so, they take away a portion of the cover in order to get rid of all scratches made during use on the course. 

The ball is then repainted with a shiny finish and the ball appears new again. The ball is then labeled with the brand name and model of the ball.

The video below explains how golf balls are refurbished.

According to the R&A, refurbished golf balls are allowed to be used in most competitions. Unless the ball must be named on the List of Conforming Golf Balls required for the tournament, then it may not be used.

Refurbished Golf Balls vs New

Refurbished golf balls are significantly cheaper than their brand new counterparts. They can wear down quicker than new balls after a long period of time.

Performance-wise, according to Rick Shiels Golf, they are extremely similar.

Durability-wise, the new golf balls held up better and had fewer scuffs than the refurbished versions. After 10 bunker shots were hit with each ball, the refurbished showed more signs of wear and damage.

In terms of distance, the refurbished balls actually performed slightly better for Rick Shiels than the standard Pro V1s brand new out of the box.

The biggest difference between the two is the clanky sound when hitting the refurbished ball due to a harder outer shell.

Refurbished vs Recycled Golf Balls

The difference between refurbished balls and recycled ones is in the process of how they are resold.

Refurbished golf balls are refinished with shiny new paint on the outer layers. They are also sandblasted to take away previous scuffs. After having the brand reprinted they are resold at the store.

Recycled golf balls are balls that are found on the course and then cleaned up with soap and water usually.

They are washed and then sold right after. They do not get sandblasted or repainted. They are sold in identical condition to how they were found

It’s easier to see what condition the recycled balls are when you buy them.

📋 Keep in mind: Recycled balls typically work well as practice golf balls for chipping or putting in your back garden where quality isn’t as important. 

Final Thoughts

Refurbished golf balls are a good way to save money and keep ideal performance during a round.  

Durability may take a hit compared to new balls but your wallet or purse will not. If you are a mid-handicapper or beginner that tends to lose a lot of balls, refurbished would be an ideal choice.

Feel free to share your experiences with refurbished golf balls in the comments section.


Do refurbished golf balls lose distance?

Some refurbished golf balls may lose distance if they were damaged before they are found. To refurbish golf balls the old ball is sandblasted which removes nicks and scratches as well as some of the original cover. This impacts on the quality and predictability of the golf ball.

How can you tell if a golf ball is refurbished?

Refurbished golf balls can be identified when it contains a stamp of a relatively unknown brand as the golf ball is stamped with a brand name, ball model, and frequently a “refurbished” sign.

The ball generally has a glossy finish that is slightly different from the clear outer layer used by original golf balls.

How do you refurbish a golf ball at home?

It is hardly economical to refurbish golf balls at home. You need to soak the balls for two to three hours in a container of undiluted bleach, white vinegar, or ammonia. Select one of the three and do not combine the chemicals. Rinse the balls with fresh clean water before placing the balls in a paste made from baking soda. Once the balls are dried thoroughly you can sand blast and repaint the ball. At this stage, you can also add your own logo for ease of identifying the ball.

Are refurbished golf balls any good?

Independent testing has shown that refurbished golf balls can perform as well as the original or sometimes even better. This additional performance could be the result of changes to the dimple pattern during the refurbishment process. Provided that you purchase refurbished balls from a reputable refurbishing company you could save a tremendous amount using refurbished balls without sacrificing too much quality.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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