Golf has been played for hundreds of years. Many historians agree the official game started in Medieval Scotland. However, there is also evidence the Romans played a similar game called “paganica”.
Golf balls have evolved significantly since then. The Scotts were known to use a ball called a feathery. These balls were made of leather and boiled feathers and didn’t last like modern balls.
Distance and accuracy are much more manageable with modern golf balls due to their aerodynamic form and composition. However, this doesn’t mean they’re invincible. They can lose distance, but it isn’t closely related to age.
So, do golf balls lose distance with age? Age itself will not impact your golf ball’s performance or distance capabilities. Instead, wear, poor storage or water damage may affect your golf ball. New golf balls have been manufactured with improved methods to perfect their performance. If you use an older golf ball design, you may find it falling behind newer models.
Keep reading to learn what modern golf balls are made of (and how that affects distance), how use impacts golf ball distance, tips for off-season storage, and steal ideas from the pros!
Golf Ball Shelf-Life is Related to Composition
There are three common types of golf balls in use today. These are known as two piece, three-piece, and four-piece balls. Each has a different expertise level and shelf life due to its composition.
Two-Piece Golf Ball Composition
A two-piece golf ball comprises two main parts:
- The core
- The coating/cover
These golf balls are the easiest to work with and typically give the most distance with ease. These are recommended for beginners and will last for decades when stored properly.
Three Piece Golf Ball Composition
A three-piece golf ball is made of:
- A liquid or gel core
- A rubber binding
- A cover/coating
These balls are trickier but are favored by many skillful players. They can give a better spin and are better suited for those who want to enhance their game. Due to the less solid interior, these golf balls do not last as long as the two-piece balls.
Four Piece Golf Balls
A four-piece golf ball is similar to a three-piece, but it has an extra layer within the ball’s core. This is typically a heavier compound, making it harder to hit and control.
The four-piece golf ball variety is best for those who feel confident in their swing and accuracy. These have about the same shelf life as a three-piece ball.
How Use Impacts the Distance of Golf Balls
Most golf balls are very durable and last a couple of decades. The biggest culprit for damage is the elements rather than use.
Use can damage golf balls easily if the golf ball is already damaged. Golf balls do not store well at extreme temperatures, which can cause them to become brittle. Therefore, when you use them, the force of the swing might crack the brittle surface.
Wear and tear will occur as you use your gold balls over time. However, this damage is somewhat unavoidable if you enjoy the sport. But, proper storage can extend the life of your golf ball to decades.
Common Causes of Golf Ball Damage
Common causes of damage to golf balls typically come from extreme cold temperature, humidity, and water damage. Golf balls tend to crack under extreme temperature changes and may become dry rot when exposed to the elements.
This is especially true if the golf balls are left sitting in pools of water for extended periods. Golf balls will absorb water from the environment, whether from humidity or pooled water. And this is especially true for three and four-piece golf balls.
Damage is the most likely cause of a golf ball losing distance. To maintain your golf ball’s performance make sure to store them properly.
The best way to prevent this is to store your golf balls properly. The best way to keep your golf balls includes proper golf bags, plastic containers, and other solid storage containers.
How to Properly Store Your Golf Balls to Prevent Damage
Properly storing your golf balls can ensure they last for decades without losing momentum. The most crucial factor in golf ball storage is that the storage is dry and away from extreme temperatures.
Some examples of proper golf ball storage containers include:
- Plastic shoeboxes with a lid
- Cardboard box away from any water
- Plastic or cardboard cylinder
- A proper golf bag
Keeping your golf balls in your home is the best way to maintain their abilities. We do not recommend keeping them in your backyard shed or storage containers. These spaces are not usually environmentally controlled.
You can keep them in your basement, although we recommend this only if the basement is not moist. If you struggle to keep the moisture down in your basement, you could try keeping a dehumidifier nearby.
Why Do Pro Golfers Change Their Golf Balls So Much?
One of the main reasons pro golfer change their golf balls is the type of balls they use. Pro golfers tend to use three-piece, four-piece, or higher-level golf balls. Due to their structure, these golf balls are more vulnerable to water damage and other forms of wear.
Pro golfers also use their golf balls far more than the average person. Therefore, they likely receive more damage from simple use and wear.
Other causes include how they swing and strike the golf ball. Pro golfers use a more potent high swing rather than the weaker low swing used by amateurs. These swings give the balls more distance and precision, but they take a toll on the ball.
How Often Should You Replace Your Golf Balls?
Golf balls can last for decades when maintained well. There is no set rule about how often you need to change them. Instead, determining when to change your golf balls depends more on the visible damage on the surface.
Scuffs and bumps on the exterior of your golf ball are a tell-tale sign it’s time to change your ball. This is because these scuffs and bumps can interrupt the ball’s aerodynamics. The dimples on the golf ball are essential for its ability to travel far and straight.
Therefore, if you notice this surface getting damaged, it will likely prevent you from getting the distance you want. Golf ball distance is dependent on several factors, but the exterior of your ball has a significant impact.