Just found a pack on unused golf balls from your dad’s youth or you feel that spark again to play the golf again? You must be wondering do golf balls have a shelf life to play again. Whether used or unused it is worth looking into how playable the old balls can be. There are two sides to this question, we will look into both but first, let’s build a foundation to look into this problem.
How golf balls were made in past
It is better to dig a little bit and know how a golf ball was made in the past. The golf balls which made you think about this problem can be from a few years to a few decades old. In the past, the golf ball was made of rubber. Different layers of rubber were wound together with threads. With strong hits, the thread inside the ball would take the beating. So if you have a golf ball which was used at some time from the past then the ball would not be in good condition to have accurate flight trajectory.
If you have found an unused golf ball set from your grandfather collection are they good enough to use? These balls are also very likely to be made up of threaded rubber. The tension in the strings holding the rubber together has a high chance to have been loosened over time. This ball will also be not worthy enough to play for a serious round with your friends.
How golf balls were made in recent past and today
The way golf ball is made has taken quite a lot of changes over the last few decades. Threaded rubber structure is no more in use instead solid two, three or four piece balls are now bound together. The deterioration rate of these balls is quite low and have a very long shelf life. You can safely play with these balls for decades from now on.
So if you bought a golf ball set last year and played with them just once they are still good enough to launch from the tee. Unless you have taken the unconventional route of freezing your golf ball. If balls have gone through some extreme temperature or environmental change then these balls may not be fit enough to play later.
But generally speaking, the material used today such as for superhot bold is quite strong and ensure that the ball will remain functional even after usage. The outer shell can resist scuffing and still offer optimal aerodynamic flight.
Standards Don’t Remain Same
Golf balls are continuously changing with every year. Companies like Titleist and Callaway are continuously introducing new ball sets. A golf ball made a decade ago can travel a lesser distance than the ones made today. A lot of effort is put into research in making balls that can offer more forgiveness and more distance.
Is It Worth To Play With Old Ball
Definitely not, golf balls today are way better than they were in the past. The golf ball made today if kept under normal condition will remain in perfect condition even if used after a decade later but in 2030 golf balls would have evolved to perform much better than they are today.
So you will not like playing with them as a serious golfer. For the sake of fun, it may be interesting to play with generations-old golf balls but to take them up as a measure of improving your game it is not going to help.
Wrap Up: Do Golf Balls Have A Shelf Life
It is a general rule, in almost all the sports, athletes and equipment have improved over time slowly. It is even possible that the players in the past cannot compete with the present pro golfers. The research into right swing speed, posture, technological advances in equipment has produced results in players performance which was not possible in the past.
So the questions do golf balls have a shelf life is not really relevant. My recommendation is to buy a new set instead of wasting your time for an outdated product.