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How Many Rounds Does a Ball Last?


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I tend to not lose balls very often.  I'm on my third round with the same ball (Bridgestone B-330 RXS).

Is there any standard for how long you can use a golf ball before performance (i.e., distance) suffers and it should be replaced?

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Today's balls last a long time. I have played with one ball for 30 rounds and it was still fine. I usually take the ball out of play after hitting a cart path or it just starts to look old. When the lettering on the ball starts to wear off it is a good time to take it out of play.

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Yep, depending on the cover material they tend to hold up pretty well.  I tend to keep my ball down a bit with roll out so I have them smooth a little.  

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Yeah, I've never bothered to retire a ball thats still in my possession.  They all last until they're lost.

I think I'll feel like I've "made it" if I get to the point when I have to start making those decisions myself. :P

Edited by Golfingdad
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32 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

 

Yeah, I've never bothered to retire a ball thats still in my possession.  They all last until they're lost.

 

This..  Although I have had cart path damage that retired them early.

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As long as there aren't any deep scratches, there shouldn't be much of a reason to stop using a new golf ball. They don't "go bad" or anything long that (within reason).

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My friend has been using the same ball for over a year. Its gotten to be a "thing" with us where we make sure its found if anywhere near OB. Not me I lose at least 1-2 per 18  :-O

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It would seem to me that if are not losing at least a few balls, you are not being aggressive enough. Not sure what that number is but, some.

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I'll play them until they have deep scratches as @jamo stated.

I had this one ball that I either found or got through Lost Golf Balls that had a photo of a guys face on it. This ball would not get lost or even damaged too badly. I played it maybe 8 rounds and no matter what, it always ended up in a place where I could find it regardless of the shot. 

I finally retired it, but still have it somewhere. That might be a good premise for a golf horror movie someday.

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22 hours ago, spusa said:

Is there any standard for how long you can use a golf ball before performance (i.e., distance) suffers and it should be replaced?

Personally, I've never kept a single golf ball long enough to know.  I do take a ball out of play after its bounced off a cart path a couple of times, I just don't like looking at the road rash.  Other than damage like that, all of my golf balls escape to freedom before they diminish in performance noticeably.

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If I manage to keep a ball for up to two rounds (rarely) I simply toss it. I have to say it is primarily based on how it looks not sure what the change in performance is in a quantifiable way.

Edited by GolfLug
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3 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

If I manage to keep a ball for up to two rounds (rarely) I simply toss it. I have to say it is primarily based on how it looks not sure what the change in performance is in a quantifiable way.

I tend to do the same thing. If it starts to look crappy I toss it into the range.

However, Titleist balls seem to keep their luster much longer than any other ball I play. :-D

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Usually, golf balls are lost before they wear out.  Instances of balls being used for 30 rounds or for a year are highly unusual...I don't see that very often. There isn't a formula or anything on when a ball should be replaced...he durability will vary depending on the construction and materials used along with a few other variables.  

There are several things that can eventually cause a ball to become "worn out" or unplayable.  If hit enough times a ball can crack.  It can happen to any brand or model, and it's fairly common for balls used in an indoor simulator to crack because each shot has 2 impacts...when the club hits the ball and when the ball hits the screen or back-stop.  After a few hundred full-bore shots with a driver, any ball has the potential to crack.

main-qimg-9d7e529007fb1015e961be0d334ee411-c.jpg.61947cfc19b52b3e6b438026d4422376.jpg

The club impacting the ball is a very violent interaction, and puts stress on the different materials the ball is made of.  Players who have a high swing speed will magnify the effects of impacting the ball which over time will become more noticeable.  

Since the cover of the ball gets the direct brunt of impact with the club and impact with the surface it lands on (could be hardpan, sand, the green, cartpath, etc.) it's the part of the ball that will show wear and tear and eventually become worn out.

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There is not a certain amount of time or set number of holes that this will occur...the same player using the same model ball might last 36 holes one time and 25 the next.  Inspect the ball throughout the round and look for scuffs or other damage that might affect the performance and replace when needed.

 

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7 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

Inspect the ball throughout the round and look for scuffs or other damage that might affect the performance and replace when needed.

I recently noticed this during a round, on a ball I'd played for maybe two previous rounds.  It's right on a scuff mark from a cart path, but that usually isn't enough to cause a crack.  But it got me wondering how many holes I'd played with it like that (probably not many).

58d9a4aedc6e6_callawaycrackedcover.thumb.jpg.2e2a36dceb51d2c5409a26af92e99daf.jpg

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20 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

I recently noticed this during a round, on a ball I'd played for maybe two previous rounds.  It's right on a scuff mark from a cart path, but that usually isn't enough to cause a crack.  But it got me wondering how many holes I'd played with it like that (probably not many).

58d9a4aedc6e6_callawaycrackedcover.thumb.jpg.2e2a36dceb51d2c5409a26af92e99daf.jpg

That looks to me like it would be very noticeable in the sound at impact, and also the flight of the ball I would think would be different.  I am right along with everyone else.  If the ball doesn't look dinged up I usually play it until it is lost.   Like @Golfingdad I feel a sense of accomplishment if I need to take a ball out of play that I have been using for quite some time.  I think my longest before I took a ball out of play was 10 rounds or something like that.  There was nothing wrong with the ball, but I just figured 10 rounds was a good number to move on to the next one.

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I recently played a K-sig of mine I think 3 or 4 rounds. That ball looked like crap but it still PLAYED fine (in my opinion). It had a couple of dings and scratches but I felt like it didn't hurt it much. At least not enough for me to care. A cracked/split case though, no way. That ball would be done.

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13 minutes ago, Grinde6 said:

I think my longest before I took a ball out of play was 10 rounds or something like that.

Impressive.  This would make a good thread on its own (and I have a vague memory that maybe awhile back, it already has).  In my recent memory, I believe that something between 2 and 3 rounds is the longest a ball of mine has lasted.

There are a few balls in my bag that have been there awhile, but they are balls I found.  I always start a round with a new ball or something close to a new ball, so those balls are just ones that get used later in the round or for provisionals, etc.

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On 3/27/2017 at 10:11 AM, GolfLug said:

If I manage to keep a ball for up to two rounds (rarely) I simply toss it. I have to say it is primarily based on how it looks not sure what the change in performance is in a quantifiable way.

 

On 3/27/2017 at 10:16 AM, Lihu said:

I tend to do the same thing. If it starts to look crappy I toss it into the range.

However, Titleist balls seem to keep their luster much longer than any other ball I play. :-D

Whenever I take a ball out of play, I hang onto it and throw it in the shag bag when I get home.  Having a supply of practice balls that are the same model that you normally play with is nice because it keeps everything consistent.  If you don't have a shag bag, maybe keep a few for chipping and pitching when you warm up before a round.

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