Golf balls are important to your golf game, so you need to properly store them instead of keeping them just anywhere in the house. There are some myths suggesting people store golf balls in a freezer to extend their longevity. Please be aware that extreme temperatures will negatively affect the ball, resulting in diminished longevity and poor performance. So how to store golf balls, let’s find out.
The ideal places for storing golf balls include golf bags and cardboard sleeves. These containers are designed especially for golf ball storage. Moreover, it’s advisable to store balls in a cool and dry place while keeping them away from moisture.
This article talks in detail about how to store your golf balls and give them longer longevity and great performance.
Golf Balls And Their Shelf Life
Interestingly, golf balls have a shelf life, surpassing which they’ll start to degrade. The results will be in the form of ugly appearance, reduced performance, etc. So what’s the shelf life?
A golf ball can last for several years under normal circumstances when stored properly. However, improper storage habits include storing the ball in a freezer or a car trunk during summers.
Some experts suggest normal storage conditions of a golf ball are when the golf balls are stored in 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so can make the ball last forever. However, based on the number of pieces of construction of a golf ball, expect a change in their shelf life. We will discuss piece construction below.
- Two-Piece Construction Balls
The construction has a solid rubber core with a plastic cover. In some balls, the cover contains Urethane or Ionomer. These balls last the longest. Several people have claimed the balls to retain their performance even after 5-7 years.
2.Three-Piece Construction Balls
These balls have a solid core (or liquid in some cases) covered with elastic windings. The outer cover is Surlyn or balata. They last a little less than two-piece, and the expected duration is 2-5 years. These balls undergo windings’ stress relaxation causing diminished longevity.
More Important Golf Ball Details
A myth (as stated previously) suggests storing a golf ball in the freezer. Please note that doing so won’t retain the compression and freshness. Instead, playing with a frozen or cold ball will result in a changed performance. The ball won’t drive properly, you may expect changed direction when hitting the ball, or the launch won’t be as expected. In addition, a cold ball will need more energy to drive farther away.
Another myth suggests storing the ball in a hot environment. Again, the extreme temperature will ruin the ball. The molecules will expand more than average, resulting in broken or damaged cover. The quality and life of rubber inside the ball will reduce drastically. Some typical hot storage environments include garages, closed areas with minimum to low air ventilation, and car trunks.
Golf ball manufacturers are working hard to improve the balls’ quality every day. However, even if you store your golf ball for years properly, you’ll still be missing the improved features that a modern golf ball has to offer. Therefore, storing a ball for a long time isn’t a good idea.
Effect Of Temperature On Golf Balls
Air temperature and the ball’s temperature will cause a change in the golf ball’s performance. This section talks about how temperatures can affect your golf ball’s performance.
How Ball’s Temperature Affects The Performance
The warm ball becomes resilient, enabling the rubber core to respond appropriately. As a result, you’ll experience increased distance coverage in case of a warm ball. The club will transfer energy precisely in a warm ball, leading to an improved lift.
Heat causes the ball’s molecules to expand, making the rubber elastic. It makes the ball bouncy, allowing it to move even further after hitting the ground.
How Air Temperature Affects The Performance
Cold air means increased density, which means thicker air. The ball will require extra speed to cut through the thick air. As a result, the friction will increase, which slows down the ball. Moreover, it’ll expect the golfer to input more energy into the ball through the club. All these factors work against the golfer who’ll be trying to gain more distance per shot.
On the other hand, warm air will allow the ball to easily cut through it since the air molecules will be dispersed. The ball will be elastic and easily cover more distance in the air.
Selecting The Stock
Now that you know how temperature affects the ball’s performance, the ball and club selection will differ accordingly.
Selecting The Right Ball
Playing in cold weather will demand a very soft compression ball because the softcore will harden slightly in the cold weather, becoming suited to playing in a cool environment. Playing with a hardball will further make the game challenging in cold weather.
In summers, using a hardball won’t make much difference. A soft compression ball is suited as well. But avoid playing with ultra-soft balls with a compression level of 60.
Balls have a dimple range of 338- 500 that aid aerodynamics. When playing on a windy day, always prefer a ball specially designed for windy conditions. It’s written on the box whether or not the ball is designed for windy days. It’ll tackle the high wind speeds to some extent, which will enable it to retain its direction and momentum.
A hardball should never be stored in cool areas such as a garage, car, or place without direct sunlight. Doing so will cause the ball to harden further, making it almost useless to play during winters.
Selecting The Right Club
Using the same club in different weather conditions will give different results. For a reduction of every 10 degrees, you’ll lose 2 yards of coverage. Cold weather demands a 7-iron club, while hot weather is suited for 8-iron clubs. However, selecting the right club isn’t important until you’re comfortable losing a few yards when playing in a cool environment.
Golf Ball Warmers
Considering that warm golf balls perform well, several manufacturers have launched their golf ball warmers intended to warm a freezing or cold ball. The device becomes ideal during winter seasons when the ball tends to get cool quite often.
The manufacturers claim this device to be efficient enough to make the ball perform better. It’s an electronic device that aims to transfer heat to the warmers (just the opposite of a refrigerator). While some variants work similarly to a microwave oven. Most people assume these devices to be helpful, while some still doubt their performance. Storing a golf ball during a game in a ball warmer is advisable.
Recycled Golf Balls
A recycled golf ball will perform similar to a new golf ball, provided that it’s not severely scuffed, damaged, or isn’t too old. Any recycled ball stored properly is still usable as a fresh piece. Recycled balls are retrieved from the trees and water hazards. These balls can be stored like new balls at home.
Storing Golf Balls In Different Places
Store your golf balls in a cool, dry, and temperature-controlled environment.
It’s never a good idea to store the balls in a car trunk due to multiple reasons. The temperature in a car trunk can touch 200 degrees. Golf balls exposed to such high temperatures will undergo serious chemical changes, potentially destroying their performance. Please note that warming a golf ball doesn’t mean exposing it to severely high temperatures. Moreover, car trunks can get hot when cars are parked under the sun. It will again hinder the longevity of the ball.
Some people store the balls in the car trunk because they’ll be taking the ball out again after a few days, which is inadvisable. No ball should be stored in a trunk for more than a day. However, putting the balls in a golf bag and storing it in a car trunk isn’t inappropriate.
Golf bags store all golfing materials such as clubs and balls. These bags are the safest place to store your golf balls. Moreover, the bag can be stored anywhere, but it’s still advisable to store it in a dark and dry place.
A garage often experiences lacking air ventilation, which can raise the room’s temperature. Still, storing the balls there isn’t inappropriate. Golf balls are safe to be stored there for a few days, and it’ll be best if you put them in a bag instead of simply keeping them open. Ensure the balls are not exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. Also, ensure that they don’t stay wet for too long. Do not keep the clubs and golf balls together in the garage if it experiences moisture. That’s because the clubs can rust, and if the balls are kept with a rusty club, it’ll damage the balls.
Storing Balls For A Long Time
Storing them in the drawer or wardrobe is safe provided that it doesn’t get exposed to moisture for a long time. Never keep the balls under any hard or heavy object. For example, try to avoid storing it in a drawer with multiple small and sharp objects such as scissors. Sharp objects can pierce through the ball in the long run. Keeping a ball under the bed isn’t recommended either.
Storing In A Bag
There’s no such rule of thumb that you need to store the balls in a golf bag. If you have a spare bag or a pouch lying around in the house, feel free to store the balls in it. The bag will protect it from insects, direct sunlight, excessive moisture and even reduce the chances of accidentally stepping on it. Moreover, storing in such a manner will help you find the ball several months later, reducing the chances of losing them.
How Long Does A Golf Ball Last?
Based on how you decide to store your golf balls, their life will be significantly impacted by your decision. The life of different parts of a ball is studied differently.
The cover may be made of Urethane, Ionomer, or plastic, where the Ionomer cover is less durable, and the Urethane cover is expected to last the longest. If the ball is stored poorly, the Urethane cover will damage quickly, resulting in damage to the ball. Moreover, Urethane is usually thinner than other covers, which will damage quickly due to poor storage. Balls made of these covers have a two to five-piece construction. As the number of pieces increases, their longevity decreases (discussed above).
Ionomer cover can retain the performance unless scuffs are visible on it. Stepping on these balls will damage them; hence advisable to store them to keep them out of reach of children. An Ionomer cover ball should last for four years on average.
The central part can contain rubber and or extremely durable polymers. The purpose is to facilitate the transfer of energy to the entire ball. Almost every core can retain the shape irrespective of the number of times the club hits the ball.
A core can experience cracks and damage from the inside due to severe impacts, such as stepping on it or experiencing extreme pressure. High temperatures can cause a breakdown in the core as well. Hence again not advisable to store in a high-temperature environment.
Where To Stock The Balls?
There’s no rule of thumb stating that you should store your balls differently based on the materials that make them up. However, suppose the core is rubber. In that case, we suggest not storing it in a freezing environment because extremely cold temperatures will cause the rubber to undergo permanent chemical changes.
A ball made of rubber core is best stored in a warm environment such as indoors. Store them anywhere in your bedroom, storeroom, or even garage (for a few weeks).
Balls whose core consists of durable polymers can endure slightly lower temperatures. So you can store them in dark areas that lack sunlight most of the time. Storing these balls in a warm environment is fine but don’t expose them to too high a temperature for a long time.
A ball with a Urethane and Ionomer cover is perfect for storage at moderate temperatures. Balls with plastic covers can handle slightly more extreme conditions, such as going below 50 degrees.
This section suggests some interesting and useful storage ideas to store and stock your golf balls conveniently.
Ideal golf ball storage options include storage boxes, pouches, racks, and buckets where we’ve already covered the bags previously.
Boxes can be as simple as a regular cardboard box or a fancy box made of metal or plastic. The size varies, though.. It’s not incorrect to use a regular paper or cardboard box lying around in the house. Even an old shoebox would work, provided it’s in good condition.
Metal boxes are more durable and offer enhanced protection to the ball. It’s crucial to ensure that the box isn’t rusty, or else it’ll leave scratches on the ball. A metal box is more preferred over a regular cardboard or paper box to store balls for a long time, such as several months.
Wooden boxes are prevalent, but they quickly get damaged from water and moisture. Also, the balls may get a foul smell if the wooden box gets wet. Additionally, taking a wooden box outdoors on the golf course isn’t recommended since it can get damaged from termites and insect attacks.
Finally, plastic boxes are durable, won’t leave a foul smell to the balls, won’t get attacked by insects, and won’t get damaged from water and moisture. These boxes are durable and can protect your balls for a long time. Moreover, plastic is very cheap, making plastic boxes affordable and convenient to store the balls.
A small pouch can hold up to 3 balls. You’ll get pouches in different designs, styles, and colors. It’s not important to opt for a high-quality pouch to store your golf balls because it’ll hardly make any difference.
You may choose pouches made of leather, polyester, cotton and linen. Leather pouches are the most durable, while other pouches are pretty durable as well. The benefit of using a polyester pouch is that it’ll keep your balls cool in a hot environment, allowing them to retain their performance. Moreover, they’re very lightweight and cost less.
These are highly efficient in organizing your golf balls to showcase them. They’re made of plastic, acrylic, or sometimes of wood. You’ll find several sizes. Racks are the least reliable mode of storing your golf balls among all four options discussed here.
The primary purpose is to show off your balls with other golf accessories. The balls will stay protected from heat, dust, direct sunlight, and moisture. These racks will help achieve a classy look in your living room, especially when you have some premium or expensive balls or ball(s) signed by your favorite player.
Golf ball buckets are quite famous and are preferred when playing the game. They’re made of plastic that has a long life. Players can leave the ball in the bucket for a few days without hindering their quality. Buckets are highly convenient in carrying multiple balls, especially when you’re playing with several players. Some expensive buckets come with a strong metal handle that golfers commonly use.
Reasons For Damage To The Golf Balls
Poor storage will cause damage to the golf balls. Here’s how:
- Leaving the balls in the open for a long time unattended will introduce moisture on them. If the ball is kept unclean, it’ll attract germs, causing a potential decline in its performance.
- Leaving the ball in water for a long time will leave permanent damage to them. However, some studies suggest that the balls can retain their durability even if sitting in the water for three months. Several golf ball manufacturers have taken the contract to recover golf balls lost in the water hazard.
- A few studies have suggested golf balls being responsible for potentially spreading diseases. Studies suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transmitted through sports balls. Hence, it’s crucial to clean the balls and store them precisely to avoid spreading diseases.
- Store the balls in the basement to protect them from extreme temperatures. Moreover, they’re extra safe from kids.
- If the ball is frozen or too cold due to any reason, never try bringing it back to the normal temperature too quickly. Let it warm slowly and steadily because sudden temperature changes will cause disturbing chemical reactions in the ball.
- Avoid using alcohol to clean the ball as it’ll damage the ball’s outer cover.
- The high temperature will result in changed dimples structures of the ball. It will affect their aerodynamics, making the ball useless in the worst-case scenario.
- It’s safe to store balls in a glass container. There are no scientifically proven adverse effects of doing so. Moreover, it looks appealing when storing balls in a glass container.
- During winter, it’s a good idea to store the balls with your clothes. It won’t make them warmer but won’t make them cold either.
- Avoid using any chemicals to clean the ball before storing it. Washing it with a rug and or water is sufficient.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do golf balls go bad if used over time?
Any golf ball that has received massive damage and or scratches will definitely go bad over time. Balls receive damage from being hit by the club, knocked in the trees, water hazards, temperature changes, etc. Leaving the ball dirty also affects their life. The way the balls are stored also determines their longevity.
Store them in a normal temperature and normal environment, and you’ll be able to use them for years without experiencing a change in the output. However, playing too much with the same ball will make it useless sooner than expected.
Do golf balls go bad if kept in the water for a long time?
Keeping the ball in water for 12 hours will allow it to enter the core. If kept for an even longer time, it’ll damage the cover. The core is made of rubber, which is less likely to be affected by water. Urethane and Ionomer, on the other hand, can be damaged by the germs present in the water. Moreover, some chemical reactions can be expected when the ball stays in contact with water for so long.
Potential results include loss in the ability to drive for a long distance. If kept in water for 2 weeks, a two-piece ball will lose approximately six yards of distance. Leaving it for a total of three months will make it lose 9- 10 yards of coverage capacity.
Similarly, balls with 3-5 piece construction will lose 6 yards of loss after 7 days and 12 yards if kept in water for three months. Ball staying in water for 6 months will lose 15 yards.
Can unused golf balls spoil?
Expect the balls to last for up to 10 years if stored at 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Some experts suggest it’s impossible to figure out the differences between a fresh and 10-year-old piece.
Do urethane golf balls go bad?
The material is known for its toughness. Any urethane golf ball, if stored precisely, should last for five years or more. Longevity depends on how you handle it.
Do Pro V1 Golf Balls Go Bad?
Pro V1 are four-piece construction balls that last less long than most two-piece balls, hence requiring additional care when storing. They have a complex build, attain a longer distance, and spin a lot in the greens.
Expect these balls to last for up to five years if stored properly. Only extreme temperatures are said to be the main harmful elements in the case of these balls.
By the end of this article, we learned that golf balls should be stored at room temperature, free from moisture, away from direct sunlight and harsh conditions (extreme cold or hot environment). While there are several ideal options for stocking the golf balls, you can prefer your own stocking method unless they’re safe from above mentioned harmful elements.