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shermanM4A1

Golf Balls

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I've got a couple questions regarding golf balls:

1. How can I tell whether or not a golf ball is too old to use in gameplay? (I know that during a game, I should ask my partners to check out the ball if I want to replace it. I just want to know which balls I should not bring to the golf course in the first place)

2. Is it legal for me to write my name or make a marking on my golf balls with a Sharpie? I use Nike balls and sometimes Titleist, and many other people have exactly the same balls.

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I've got a couple questions regarding golf balls:

No idea. Sorry. Also, you can replace a ball for any reason (including no reason) between holes. Officially, you must use the same make and model, but it doesn't really matter for a casual round.

2. Is it legal for me to write my name or make a marking on my golf balls with a Sharpie? I use Nike balls and sometimes Titleist, and many other people have exactly the same balls.

Yes. And it is encouraged to make some sort of unique mark so you can identify that it is yours. Titleist even does commercials sometimes on how their TOUR players mark theirs.

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I've got a couple questions regarding golf balls:

For the most part you can play any ball that is not visibly scuffed or horribly discolored. You would probably want to avoid really old golf balls, but anything from the last 5-10 years is probably going to be fine. Premium golf balls will have their playing properties changed a little by time because they will absorb some moisture, but most 2 piece balls will not be affected at all for a long time. During the course of play you are expected to complete the hole with the same ball you started it with unless the ball is lost during the hole. If a ball is visibly damaged in some way you can ask a playing partner if you can replace it, but this seldom happens (scuffs from trees or golf carts do not count; a 'cut' caused by club or something else 'might' if it is believed that it makes the ball 'unplayable'). As for as the question about marking your ball - go ahead and mark the ball however you want - there really are no restrictions as long as you are not changing the playing properties of the ball and a Sharpie (or other such permanent marker) is not going to do this. Most regular players develop their own identification mark on their ball and tend to use it regularly (I use a red sharpie and 'x' out the number). Duffy Waldorf on the PGA Tour lets his kids draw artwork on his balls (or at least he used to when they were younger). Sometimes when he was putting you would notice some pretty funky markings on his ball. The main thing is to mark the ball in such a way that you can quickly identify your ball and the markings can not be confused for someone else's ball (at least not in your group).

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I've got a couple questions regarding golf balls:

Age matters little with the modern balls, especially if you aren't a pretty skilled player. Most likely any ball you play, even the ones you find, will last much longer than you can keep it in play.

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Many (if not most) beginners in golf play with 100 different balls. They buy lake balls at the pro shop and pick up anything they stumble upon on the course.

I suggest you find one ball and play with it. Not a Pro V1 or Nike One, at a high handicap they are very expensive and most likely does not suit your swing. If you can, test different balls at a golf centre or something and pick the one that suits you best. Rock hard Tip Flites are not something I would recommend. The ball should be hard enough to give you distance without a high swing speed, but also soft enough to be comfortable on and around the green.

Once you find a ball, stick with it, don't use a random ball you pick up. This will give some level of consistency to your game and I believe it will make you a better player since you don't want to hit them all away. If you hit one ball into the woods and come back with 5 balls, the mind will make hitting the woods to something positive. The hardest part about golf is the full swing, also where most of the balls are shot into the woods or lake. On a long shot, the make of ball does not matter as much as on and around the green where feel is important. You need the right touch to get the chip close to the flag or ball into the hole. If you use the same ball you will soon know how it feels and how it should respond. If you putt on a Top Flite on one hole and Pro V1 on the next, you'll have a hard time finding the right touch.

Put some dots, circles or lines on your ball which you can identify and play with it. I also recommend to take notice of the numbers on the balls, or put on numbers yourself. If you hit a provisional ball and find both balls in the same area it's nice to know which you hit first.

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Many (if not most) beginners in golf play with 100 different balls. They buy lake balls at the pro shop and pick up anything they stumble upon on the course.

Excellent Post.

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To go on the HOW OLD question since the life of an unused golf ball is pretty long, how cut up do you let a ball get before you stop using it? Modern wedges can put a pretty good hurtin' on a modern ball.

I try to overlook the mars on my $2.50+ balls as long as there isn't any chunks hanging off of the ball, and keep using them until I send them to the bottom of the lake. I don't notice much/any difference in consistency of flight throughout the round, but then again, I'm at a point where I get it to go straight 95% of the time, but still not trying to really shape it.

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To go on the HOW OLD question since the life of an unused golf ball is pretty long, how cut up do you let a ball get before you stop using it? Modern wedges can put a pretty good hurtin' on a modern ball.

With a softer covered ball (which includes most of the premium balls), cuts and scuffs can happen a lot more than with the harder covered balls. In those cases I usually 'retire' the ball to my shag bag. A scuff on these balls will cause more ball flight inconsistencies than with firmer covered balls. With those harder balls real 'cuts' seldom happen and when they do the ball is probably not worth playing anymore. A 'scuff' doesn't make that much difference most of the time, though. The minor shreddings on these harder balls caused by sharp grooves do not cause much flight change either.

Basically, the harder the cover on the ball the less the performance is affected by minor scuffs, scrapes and shreddings.

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Note: This thread is 4083 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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