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I usually play a ball for its lifetime. I no longer post scores so I am not worried about a scuff or slight ding as long a the cover is intact I can play one for 10 or more rounds. Now that assumes I don't lose it, but I rarely lose a ball on the course I currently play. Occasionally the rough will swallow a ball and not give it back. I hit most of the fairways so I don' t hit wild shots with any of my clubs. I am short and straight. When I deem it unplayable I throw it into a box of used up golf balls. Usually give it to the local VA so the vets can wail away on them. That is also where my used clubs go as well. 

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If its is really beat up, I'll leave it on the ball washer.

Otherwise its the water hazard or mystery rough

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Many, many years ago, I bought a dozen of Wilson Staff "Smart Core" balls, I don't know how smart the cores were, but the covers were pretty bright! They were incredibly soft and "spinny". I could play some pretty good golf back them, and was raising "pigtails" off the cover on every iron shot! I played one ball through the entirety of the round, and at the end the surface of the ball felt like sandpaper! 

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when I lose it, or if it hits a cart path and is totally f***ed.  But even then I'll eventually hit it again.  I don't really expect to have a scuff mark change my shot result too much. if it's got dimples that arent worn off like an old range ball, i'll play it. 

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I usually retire a golf ball when it reaches 62 and I can divert its social security checks directly to me.  Seriously, I don't usually get too far beyond 18 holes with the same ball.  But when I do I'll retire it around 27 holes.  It may be looking a bit scruffy and at that point the ball seems to lose its "oomph".

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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Never? They normally get lost in OB, threes, water, rough or get destroyed after 3..4 rounds. 
Not a single ball of my regular balls made it to the practice bag. 

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No more than 2 rounds.  Otherwise when there is visible and felt damage to the ball.

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Ideally when the performance is lacking (distance and spin near the green).  It is usually fairly easy to tell when the ball is damaged and then it goes into practice.  Of course, if balls last that long I am happy because I have been playing well and haven't lost a ball

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When it stops listening to me. I'll play a ball until the cover falls off if the ball just keeps finding the cup. I just lost a ball, where the logo was almost completely worn off, but it just seemed to always find the fairway, green, and cup.

Not sure about anyone else, but there have been times when I'm playing well, and then decide that the ball is a little scuffed, and change, and the game proceeds to deteriorate.

 

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5 hours ago, Rkrider99 said:

Not sure about anyone else, but there have been times when I'm playing well, and then decide that the ball is a little scuffed, and change, and the game proceeds to deteriorate.

I have no idea what it is, but when I tee off with an old ball on a hole, it tends to go straight.  Pull out a new or newish and tour type ball on a hole with a hazard or OB off the tee and I am almost certain to find it.  On the other hand, if I have been playing the ball a few holes it is no problem 🤷‍♀️😥

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