We’ve all seen those infographics showing how much things weigh. They’re fun to look at, but they don’t tell us anything new. How much does a golf ball weigh? We weighed 100 balls and found out.
The average golf ball weighs less than a quarter of an ounce (.25 oz) or roughly half a gram (0.5 g).
If you want to hit a longer shot, you’ll need to add some extra mass to your clubhead. For example, adding a pound (0.45 kg) of weight to your driver will increase its distance by approximately 2 yards (1.8 m), while adding a pound (0.45 kg) of weight to the 3 wood will give it a yard more range.
Through our research, we’ve found out all the factors that can determine how much a golf ball weighs.
In this article, we’ll be breaking down what we found out and how you can apply it to your game.
The Rules Of Golf Balls
As you might expect, high-level golf competitions have strict rules in place about regulation golf balls. These rules cover everything including the shape, size, and weight of the golf ball. In fact, in some competitions, you’ll only be allowed to use a white ball.
For our purposes, we’re taking a look at the United States Golf Association (USGA) rules for competition golf balls.
They state that golf balls can not be greater in weight than 1.620 ounces or 45.93g. Similarly, in terms of size, regulation golf balls must not exceed a diameter of 1.680 inches or 42.67 mm.
By having these regulations in place, the USG keeps all competitions fair and ensures every golfer will have the same equipment to play with.
Naturally, when it comes to the overall shape of the golf ball, the rules are pretty simple. They state that balls must not be designed or intentionally modified to have a shape different from a spherically symmetrical ball.
This is a pretty straightforward regulation, and you’d be pretty unlucky to accidentally pick up a ball that didn’t follow this rule.
Interestingly, things like the velocity and distance of golf balls are also measured by the USGA to ensure that all standards are met and kept fair.
We’re not going to get too technical about how these are measured in this article, but you can check out their full breakdown of regulations and measurement methods online.
Basically, the USGA will measure the initial velocity of any new manufacturer’s balls that are used in competitions. This initial velocity must not exceed the limit that is specified by the USGA.
Measuring 100 Golf Balls
When we measured the weights of 100 golf balls, we didn’t bother finding 100 perfect, USGA-regulated balls. Instead, we got a bunch that we were given to examine by a local golf course.
Naturally, we excluded any balls that were damaged beyond the point that they could be used, and we didn’t use any ones that had the name of the manufacturer scratched or marked off.
Weight By Condition
One of the most interesting findings from this study was that the condition of each golf ball actually played a huge part in determining its weight.
To determine the condition of each ball, we had to use pretty subjective measures. We sorted them into categories of low quality, average quality, good quality, and brand-new quality, simply based on how physically worn they looked.
The key result was that, in general, balls in a better condition tended to be heavier, seemingly indicating that balls get lighter over time.
There wasn’t actually a huge margin of difference between these weights. In fact, the low-quality balls weighed around 45.73g on average, while the brand-new-quality balls weighed roughly 45.93g.
This might not seem like a huge difference when you see it written down like this, but it’s important to remember that these margins make a larger difference when you’re dealing with such small units as grams and milligrams.
Therefore, if you’re looking for the heaviest or lightest ball available from a selection, you should be looking out for their condition while making your decision.
Weight By Brand
The other variable that we examined was the brand of each golf ball. Naturally, our selection of 100 had a variety of different brands in it, including Titleist, Dunlop, Wilson, Nike, Slazenger, and a few others.
Of course, there’s no way of measuring these brands against each other in terms of their overall quality, so this information might not be as useful to you as how the ball’s condition affects its weight.
A similar difference was found between the heaviest and lightest brands here.
The heaviest, on average, was Pinnacle, with a weight of just over 46g. On the other hand, Dunlop had the lightest balls, with an average weight of around 45.4g.
Interestingly, we could be observing a relationship between our two sets of findings when we look at these results.
For example, Dunlop is a much older company than Pinnacle, meaning the Dunlop golf balls that are in circulation are more likely to be older.
As we know, older, more worn-out golf balls tend to be lighter, so it’s likely that these two variables are connected.
Therefore, when trying to select the heaviest or lightest golf ball available from a selection, you might also want to think about how old the ball’s brand is.
How Does Golf Ball Weight Affect How It Plays?
It’s hard to say exactly what would happen if you switched from one golf ball to another because we don’t have enough data to back up those claims.
However, there are some things that we can speculate about. For example, we know that the weight of a golf ball has a big impact on how far it travels.
We’ve already seen that the heavier a ball is, the farther it will travel. This seems a little counterintuitive because lighter objects tend to travel further through the air.
However, this is largely due to the ball’s relationship with air resistance. A heavier ball is better at overcoming air resistance, meaning it maintains a great speed through the air and will ultimately travel further.
This also makes shots taken with a heavier ball more accurate on average. Lighter balls are more easily affected by the air and wind around them, therefore making the shots less predictable about where they’ll land.
Therefore, if you were to switch from a heavy ball to a lightweight one, you’d probably notice a change in the distance that it travels and how accurate your shots are.
In conclusion, we’ve looked into the topic of golf ball weight and found that it does indeed affect how well a ball performs.
Specifically, we found that the heavier a ball, the longer it will fly and the more accurate it will be.
On the other hand, the lighter a ball, the shorter it will fly and the less accurate it will be. However, this doesn’t mean that every ball needs to weigh exactly the same.
We’ve also found that the condition and age of a golf ball will have a large impact on how heavy it is, with the newer balls being heavier on average.
Therefore, you should always look to be using the newest balls possible to get the best results on the course!