Used Golf Balls: How Long Do Golf Balls Last? [2021 Guide]

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Something that can be an issue for golfers who are on a budget is the constant requirement to stock up on golf balls due to cost.

Therefore what golfers will do is choose to buy used golf balls. Despite wanting to still achieve top performance, golfers will be left asking themselves the question ‘do golf balls go bad?’

In this guide we will uncover what you should do next time you’re considering buying used golf balls or fresh golf balls.


When it comes to choosing used golf balls. There are plenty of avenues that you can choose online with the biggest players being both Amazon & Ebay.

The main reason that a golfer would choose to purchase older golf balls is because they are significantly cheaper than new premium balls while still offering an acceptable level of performance.

How much cheaper are they comparatively?

Well on Lost Golf Balls you can pick up a premium golf ball such as the Pro V1 for around half the price of buying the golf ball new. Alternatively, you could choose to buy a large bag of balls such as the balls pictured. For some golfers this is a great option, especially if they aren’t the most accurate drivers of the golf ball on the golf course.

Also, starting out you may be concerned about losing golf balls. Therefore, you’re already in the market for beginner golf balls as well as looking to save money elsewhere.

New Golf Ball Benefits

For golfers looking to really invest in their game they will always be on the lookout for the latest equipment and choosing the best golf balls provides no exception to this rule.

When it comes to a new ball it is important to consider that they probably will last longer, especially if they are a premium brand. This is because golf balls that aren’t durable will go bad faster.

You may be able to get extra golf ball shelf life by storing the balls correctly as this has been seen to preserve the balls to last longer. In fact, Titleist has stated that they can last up to five years if stored correctly.

Additionally, in winter you might want to look for specific cold weather golf balls that can usually be picked up for a good price.

How Long Do Golf Balls Last?

To answer the question how long do golf balls last, a study from Golf Digest found that golf balls can last up to 7 rounds before they show visible wear and tear that may affect the performance of the golf ball. The typical signs of wear and tear that would affect the performance of a golf ball to look out for would be signs such as visible scratches, scuff marks and damage to the golf ball that may affect both the connection and flight of the ball.

Every little detail can make a difference in golf when it comes to scoring and when it comes to choosing the best balls this is no different.

Used Golf Balls Vs New Golf Balls: Is There Any Difference?

So the real question is how do the two compare against each other. Well studies have remained inconclusive whether a new ball will see you perform better but Practical Golf decided to take a test and see how they performed side by side.

Using the driver as an example they found when using a launch monitor that the key balls stats were comparative when using a used golf ball vs a new golf ball. For example the golf ball speeds were similar (148 vs 149) and the spin rates were comparative (1969 vs 2028). In fact they found that the drive went slightly further with the used balls (although this can be hard to judge on a swing by swing basis). This helps to alleviate any concerns that even distance golf balls might not perform as well.

So this can leave you wondering if it is even worth investing in used golf balls.

One thing that we would say when it comes to comparing the two side by side is that despite performance being similar. Used golf balls may be likely to go bad faster than a new ball as they are further down in their shelf life. This can especially be the case if they aren’t a premium brand such as Callaway, Taylormade or Titleist.

Do Golf Balls Go Bad: In Summary

To answer the question ‘do golf balls go bad?’ we have to say that the specific evidence is unclear as technically golf balls can last a long time. As we showed above, if terms of performance of the golf balls as long as the balls are in reasonable condition the actual performance shouldn’t be compromised too much.

However your overall choice can all depend on your own specific needs when it comes to what you want out of the game. If you are always looking to get a competitive edge with no expense spared then new balls, especially the most expensive golf balls are probably a better fit for you with discount golf balls being a great way to save money. However, if you are a recreational golfer that wants golf balls that will last and if the performance dips slightly in the long term but can live with it then used golf balls are probably a better fit for you.