Life span of a well traveled ball

How do you know when a golf ball life has come to an end? Ask the experts, of course.

Image of a worn golf ballIn this month’s sparkling, shining special travel issue of GottaGoGolf, the magazine for women who love the game, a reader wonders how she can tell when her golf ball’s traveling days are over. After all, the average woman player hits the ball pretty straight and not very far, so she doesn’t lose many. If anything, she’s got to worry about all those hours they spend in her hot trunk. So, how long should a golf ball last?

Good news, GottaGoGolfers, the experts say that the average woman golfer doesn’t do much damage to the golf ball or notice slight differences in aerodynamic performance due to wear. Meaning, we can travel light and play that ball for as long as it’s looking good.

According to Brandon Sowell, Director of Marketing for Bridgestone Golf: “With advanced technology and constructions today, really the primary way it would get tired is through visible abrasions from use. Evaluate the cover for any abrasions from cart paths, trees, rocks/pebbles, etc., and remove from play as needed.”

“In terms of performance,” says Nike’s product director for golf balls, Mark Alan, “a ball does have a long shelf life. Little scuffs can affect aerodynamic performance, but most golfers won’t see that. You’ll see it on the (optimally swinging) robot. (Little scuffs) don’t even really affect putting, unless you can see ridges that would alter the roll. In general, if the ball looks shiny and has all of its dimples, a ball will still perform adequately.”

A single-digit handicapper with great ball control, Alan said, might notice inconsistencies with wear and tear. But those of us merely aspiring to hit the ball long and far really won’t. Be sure to check out Gotta Know, in the May 2011 issue of GottaGoGolf, for a few tips for anyone concerned about maximizing the effectiveness of their golf balls.

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