New Balls Vs. Used Golf Balls – Comparing Recycled & Refinished Balls With New

Golf Balls compressed

Golf balls are purchased, hit, and lost every single day. Over the course of the year, millions of golf balls will have been put into play and removed from play by the golfers who no longer need them.

This brings up the dilemma of quite a few used golf balls out there. Are these used golf balls good to hit again? Does a golf ball that has been refurbished still play well?

These are all important questions that golfers across the world are asking. We are here to fill you in on everything that a golfer must know about their golf ball.

The truth is that for beginners, using new, top of the range balls is just going to add to your golf bill without improving your game too much. As you get much better, using a newer, top of the range ball can have a big impact on your game, even if it’s mostly just the mental aspect.

How Important A Golf Ball Is To Your Game

Driving Golf Ball

Depending on what type of golfer you are, the golf ball you are playing can have a significant impact on your game. Playing with a golf ball that is too hard or too soft can cause issues in your golf game.

You could be leaving quite a bit of distance and performance on the table by playing with the wrong golf ball. It makes sense to check the type of golf ball you are playing with your golf game type so that you can make sure it a good fit.

As a basic rule of thumb, soft golf balls are easier to hit for slower swing speeds and harder balls can get some more distance. It’s all about finding the right ball for your game.


How Do New & Used Balls Differ

Golf Lake Balls 2

The used golf balls are going to have been hit several times, and this can cause some imperfections. The imperfections on the golf ball will potentially impact your game and cause you to hit inconsistent shots.

A new ball has an entirely smooth cover; it has just been released from a warehouse where it was tested and kept in a controlled temperature environment. These factors will undoubtedly lead to the new golf ball having a more predictable performance than the used golf ball.


Are New Balls Much Better Than Used Balls

A new golf ball is traditionally a little better than a used golf ball, but it is not nearly as large of a difference in performance as you may think. The used balls are usually very high performing and have plenty of life left in them when a golfer abandons them.

After all, it is essential to remember that some used golf balls have only been hit one time, and then they were lost in the woods or the lake. This makes them almost brand new, and you can purchase them at a much lower price.

Is Golf Ball Selection Important For Beginners Or Just Better Players?

Golf Ball Compression Images

Most better players are going to notice a difference as they switch from one golf ball to the next. A beginner is likely not going to notice this same difference. Beginners are so focused on getting their hands, feet, and club in the right positions that they don’t tend to focus as much on the golf ball type.

However, it is crucial for a beginner to understand golf ball compression and how it relates to swinging speed. A beginner with a slow swing speed, playing with a high compression golf ball could lead to some issues for the player.

They may not be able to get the distance that they otherwise would if they were playing with the proper golf ball type for their game.


Who Should Use New And Who Should Use Used Balls

One of the factors for choosing which golf ball to play is going to be your personal budget. If you feel as though you can afford new golf balls that are custom tailored to your game, then you should do so.

If you think that you lose too many golf balls to justify the expense of playing with new, then it makes sense to put the new away and look for something used or refurbished. Sometimes golfers that are on a budget but prefer a more expensive ball will find that used balls are a great deal.

Chances are you can find a few ProV1 or Callaway Chome Soft that has been hit once or twice in a bag of used balls. This will make the purchase very much worth the lower price you pay.


What Are Recycled Balls Like – What’s The Process?

A recycled golf ball is one that was found on the course and is sold after being washed. There is no additional repainting or refurbishing done to the recycled golf balls.

One thing that golfers like about recycled golf balls is that what you see is what you get; there are no cracks or imperfections that are covered or hidden.


  • Can see exactly what the original ball looked like
  • No modifications made to the ball
  • Usually lower in price than refurbished golf balls


  • Maybe a bit more rough looking than other options


What Are Refurbished Balls Like – How Are The Refurbished

Refurbished golf balls are those that have been found, cleaned up, and even repainted at times to look like new again. When you get a refurbished golf ball, you would probably not know that it has ever been played before.

These are an excellent solution for many higher handicappers that need something cheap but still looks new even though a new paint job can hide the balls true history or even disguise it as a different brand.


  • Looks brand new
  • Offered for less money than new
  • Will be in good shape


  • Sometimes you can’t see if something was covered up when the ball was refurbished
  • You need to be a little bit more wary when buying refurbished golf balls.


What Are Lake Balls Like – How Do They Get Them Out?

Golf Lake Balls

Lakes balls are those that have been hit into a water hazard. The lake balls are then retrieved by a diver, who will then sell them directly or sell them to a larger manufacturer that will then sell to the end-user.

A lake ball can sometimes show a slight decrease in performance, but it is not usually enough to be considered detrimental to the performance of a player.


  • Usually offered at a low price
  • Still can have a lot of performance left
  • Variety of brands to choose from


  • A cut ball left in a lake will end up losing some distance


The Effect Of A Golf Ball That Has Been In The Water

Many golfers are curious about the effects of water on a used golf ball. It is generally understood that a longer a golf ball stays in water, the worse it is going to be for you as far as performance is concerned.

However, the Golf Ball Divers did some test to see what happens, and the results are quite telling.


DRIVER TEST: New vs. 1 Month in Pond New Balls 1 Month in Pond
Average Total Distance 251 248



DRIVER TEST: New vs. 3 Months in Pond New Balls 3 Months in Pond
Average Total Distance 242 242


DRIVER TEST: New vs. 5 Month in Pond New Balls 5 Months in Pond
Average Total Distance 237 236


As you can see, the performance of the golf ball did not change even after five months in the pond. This is quite a bit of time spent in the water, and it is good that there was no real impact on how the ball reacted to the water.

The only thing that golfers should be aware of is that if the golf ball has a cut in or a small imperfection, it will no longer keep the water on the outside of the ball. The water will fill into the golf ball and cause issues that will probably result in a shorter ball flight.

It is essential to inspect lake balls for a hole or scratch as it could have had a significant impact on how they perform.


Best Place To Buy Used Balls?

The best place to buy used golf balls is to get a contact for a local golf ball diver. These divers will often sell balls that they find directly to the consumer. Since this transaction will likely require no shipping, you will benefit and likely pay lower rates.

Outside of that, there are some great online resources for used golf balls, but you will always have to make sure that you are not paying for extra shipping costs.


Best Used Ball Offers On Amazon – 3 Mini Reviews


Reload Recycled Golf Balls (24-Pack) of Callaway Golf Balls, One Size


The Reload company makes some great choices for used golf balls. They tend to sort their used balls by the manufacturer, which is a nice feature. It’s hard to go wrong with a box of Callaway used balls like this one.

Of course, you will find several different models in here, so you can’t expect to get a bunch of Chrome Soft, but you will still get a good mix.

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Titleist Mix Golf Balls

One of the things you will notice about used golf balls is that when you can buy in bulk, you will save quite a bit of money. Titleist golf balls are always of high quality, and when you get this box of 100 Titleist golf balls, you will pay about the same as two dozen new balls. All of the balls are in good condition and ready to be hit; you should not notice any imperfections.

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Callaway Assorted Models Recycled B/C Grade Golf Balls in Onion Mesh Bag (72-Piece)

Another way to save money on used golf balls is to pay attention to the grade. If you purchase the premium refurbished A grade golf balls, there is no doubt that you will spend quite a bit more money.

If you need practice balls for your yard, these are a great choice, and they will save you quite a bit of money. Chances are, there will be a few balls in here that are plenty good enough for the course.

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Do pro golfers use a new ball on each hole?

Although it may seem like a professional golfer changes out their golf ball after every hole, the professionals usually keep their ball in play for three or four holes before changing it out.

Of course, there are some pros that will go an entire nine or eighteen without changing their ball, but most like to change it up a bit more often.

How Many Balls Can They Carry On The PGA Tour

There is no limit to the number of golf balls that a professional can keep in their bag; however, they must have only one type of ball in the bag at any time. You cannot switch from a Callaway to a Titleist at any point in the round.

If you want to store these balls in your bag, you could, but you can not put them both into play during a round. Most average golfers will keep about nine golf balls in their bag.

What Happens If A Golfer Runs Out Of Balls?

If a golfer runs out of balls in their bag, they are disqualified. Without the proper equipment to play the game, the round cannot continue, and they must leave the golf course.

It is not acceptable to borrow a golf ball from another player. This is, of course, if the round is a tournament round. When playing a friendly game, hopefully, your competitors will let you borrow a ball.


Overall Conclusion – Do We Recommend New Or Used

Golf Ball Impact

Given the technological advances in golf ball technology, it really can make sense to purchase the new golf balls. Many of these balls are priced just a little higher than a refurbished golf ball, yet you know a bit more about the performance that you will get.

Although you can luck out with a used ball, you can also find that you get something that is a bit of a dud. Not knowing the history of the used golf balls you purchase is a major part of the problem.