How Long Do Golf Ball Last And When To Switch?

Golf is a sport that combines skill, strategy, precision, and equipment. Within this world of fairways and greens, the golf ball stands as the fundamental instrument of the game. But have you ever wondered just how long does a golf ball last? 

There are lots of things that affect the golf balls like moisture, frequent usage, striking, and temperatures. Golfers must keep their golf balls safely due to optimal performances.  

In this article, I will expose “How Long Do Golf Ball Last And When To Switch?” questions answer with all the related terms it needs. Stay tuned…

What is Golf Balls Durability? 

A golf ball’s durability depends on its storage condition, usage, the materials manufacturers use on it, and its construction. 

One of the main factors that relate to the golf balls’ durability is “Temperature”. Both extremely hot and cold temperatures can affect golf balls in various ways. 

Extreme temperatures:

1. High temperatures can cause the core of a golf ball to expand, leading to changes in compression. This altered compression can affect the ball’s bounce, distance, and control. When the core expands, the ball becomes softer, which can result in increased spin and reduced distance off the tee.

2. Excessive heat can soften the cover of a golf ball, making it more prone to scuffs, cuts, and other damage. This can impact the ball’s aerodynamics and overall performance.

3. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause a golf ball to lose its resilience, making it less responsive to the clubface. This can lead to a decrease in ball speed and overall distance.

4 . Storing golf balls in a hot environment, such as a car trunk during the summer months, can accelerate their deterioration. It’s advisable to store golf balls in a cool, dry place to preserve their integrity.

Cold Temperatures:

1. Cold temperatures can have the opposite effect of hot temperatures. The core of a golf ball may contract in the cold, leading to increased hardness. This can result in reduced compression, making the ball feel harder and potentially causing a loss of distance.

2. The cover of a golf ball can become more brittle in cold weather, making it more susceptible to damage from impacts with hard surfaces like trees, rocks, or cart paths.

3. Golfers may experience a loss of feel and control when playing with cold golf balls, as they may not compress as much as desired on impact. This can affect shot accuracy and performance around the greens.

Another factor that weakens golf balls is “prolonged exposure to moisture”. Moisture can have various adverse effects on golf balls, impacting their durability and performance in several ways:

1. Moisture, particularly if it includes acidic or corrosive substances, can damage the cover of a golf ball. Waterlogged golf balls may become more susceptible to scuffs, cuts, and nicks. Over time, this damage can affect the aerodynamics of the ball and its ability to maintain optimal flight characteristics.

2. Water can penetrate the core of a golf ball, especially if the ball has a compromised cover. This can lead to swelling or deformation of the core material, altering the ball’s compression and overall performance. Waterlogged cores can result in reduced distance and control.

3. Mold and Mildew: Moisture can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew on golf balls, especially if they are stored in damp or humid conditions. These fungal growths not only make the ball unsightly but can also affect its surface texture and playability.

4. Absorbing moisture can change the weight distribution within a golf ball, leading to inconsistencies in how it reacts off the clubface. This can result in erratic shots and reduced predictability.

The frequency of usage is another crucial factor that can significantly impact the lifespan of a golf ball. Golf balls are not invincible, and their durability can wear down over time with repeated use. Here’s how usage frequency affects golf ball longevity:

1. Every time a golf ball is struck with a club, it experiences compression. Repeated compression can gradually reduce the core’s resilience, leading to a loss of initial velocity and distance. Frequent use can accelerate this process, especially if you consistently strike the ball with high-speed swings.

2. The cover of a golf ball can accumulate wear and tear from impacts on the clubface, turf, and other surfaces. Frequent use can result in scuffs, scratches, and cuts on the cover, diminishing its aerodynamic properties and overall performance.

3. Golf balls can pick up dirt, grass, and other debris during play. Over time, this accumulation can affect the ball’s trajectory and spin characteristics. Cleaning golf balls regularly is essential to maintain their performance.

4. Frequent golfers are more likely to lose golf balls due to bad shots, water hazards, or dense rough. Replacing lost balls can add to the overall cost of playing golf and impact your investment in golf equipment.

let’s explore the following examples to illustrate the deteriorating effects of age on golf balls:

Example 1: Extreme Heat and Cracked Covers

Imagine a dedicated golfer who stores their golf balls in a garage located in a region with scorching summer temperatures that can exceed 100°F (37.8°C). Despite being stored in their original packaging, the golfer notices significant deterioration in their golf balls( loss of distance and control when playing) after just a few months of storage. 

Example 2: Waterlogged Golf Balls from Wet Conditions

Consider another golfer who frequently plays in wet and rainy conditions but neglects to dry their golf balls after each round. Over time, he noticed the deteriorating effects of moisture on their golf balls. He will see results like reduced distance, accuracy, and inconsistent play. 

Understand The Basics of a Golf Ball

Before discussing the durability of a golf ball, it’s essential to have a fundamental understanding of its basic structure. A standard golf ball consists of two main components: the cover and the core. These elements work together to determine the ball’s performance characteristics and durability.

The Cover of a Golf Ball:

The cover of a golf ball is its outermost layer and the part of the ball that comes into direct contact with the clubface during a golf swing. It plays a critical role in shaping the ball’s flight and durability. Here are some key aspects of the golf ball cover:


Golf ball covers are typically made from one of two materials: Surlyn or Urethane. Surlyn covers are more durable and provide excellent distance but may offer less control and feel. Urethane covers, on the other hand, offer better control, spin, and feel but may be less durable.


The cover is adorned with dimples, which are strategically designed depressions that create turbulence in the air as the ball travels through it. This turbulence reduces drag and allows the ball to achieve better lift and distance.

Related: How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball?


The cover’s dimple pattern and material influence the ball’s aerodynamic properties. Different dimple patterns can affect the ball’s stability in flight, helping it maintain a more predictable trajectory.

Feel and Spin:

Golfers often associate the cover material with the feel and spin of the ball. Urethane covers provide a softer feel and greater spin control, which is preferred by many skilled golfers for shots around the green.

Cosmetic Features:

The cover is where manufacturers add branding, logos, and color designs to distinguish different ball models and brands.

The core of a golf ball

The core of a golf ball is a critical component that significantly impacts the ball’s performance. It plays a pivotal role in determining the ball’s characteristics, including its distance, spin, resilience, and overall feel. Understanding the core is essential for golfers who want to optimize their game by selecting the right ball for their playing style and skill level. 

Related: 78 Golf Balls Specifications

When Should You Switch Your Golf Ball?

Knowing when to switch your golf ball is crucial for maintaining consistent performance on the course. Several factors should be considered, as you’ve mentioned:

Physical Damage

The most obvious indicator is visible physical damage to the golf ball’s cover, such as scuffs, cuts, or deep marks. These imperfections can disrupt the ball’s aerodynamics and affect its flight and spin characteristics. Golf balls with noticeable cover damage should be replaced immediately.


Run your fingers over the golf ball’s surface. If the ball feels rough to the touch or exhibits an unusual texture, it may have suffered damage or wear that’s not immediately visible. A rough texture can indicate a compromised cover, which can lead to inconsistent performance.

Distance Loss

If you notice a significant reduction in distance off the tee or with your irons, it may be time to replace the ball. Changes in compression or damage to the core can lead to distance loss.

Performance Inconsistency

If you experience inconsistencies in your shots or notice that the ball is not behaving as expected, it could be a sign that the ball has deteriorated. Inconsistent spin, ball flight, or shot control may indicate a need for a fresh ball.

In general, a golf ball without visible damage can last for several rounds, often up to seven 18-hole rounds. 


The time a golf ball lasts can vary based on different things like how it’s made, how much you use it, and where you keep it. When you know about these things, you can make your golf balls last longer and work better, which can help you get better at golf.      

James Krig is a skilled content writer at Nattygolf, known for his engaging storytelling and passion for golf. With ten years of experience, James offers insightful articles that captivate and educate readers. As a dedicated golfer, he brings authenticity and expertise to his writing, making him a valuable asset to the Nattygolf team and the golf community.