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Should You Buy Refurbished Golf Balls?

The short answer is it depends on how serious a golfer you are and what your budget is. However, if you are looking for consistency in how your golf ball performs the answer is no. A consistent golf ball, whether a premium ball or not, can help you play better golf.

Refurbished, also called recycled golf balls, can be friendly on the budget but they are not always a great deal. The companies that sell them may say they are as good as new or directly mislead golfers when promoting them. Although some of the golf balls may be really good and near new condition, many of the others are not. Some of the balls may have sat in water for months before being refurbished while others may have had a new cover put on over an old ball. Each of these will affect how a golf ball performs.

Let's look at a few things that can happen with refurbished golf balls and how they can affect your game. They all lead to less consistency.

Many companies that refurbish golf balls will just re-cover the golf ball. They simply just put a newer cover over the older golf ball. This does two major things to them. It changes the diameter of the golf ball making it larger and it adds weight to the golf ball. This can make the golf ball fly differently, spin more, and roll differently on the putting surface. If you play one ball that was recovered with a different weight and size and then switch to a ball that was not recovered it will react differently even with the same shot. That leads to inconsistency on the golf course. Check out the Instagram post below that codykarosegolf did comparing a new Titleist ProV1x vs a refurbished one.

The other most common issue with refurbished golf balls is you never know where they got them from before they were refurbished. If a golf ball was sitting in a pond for a few months and gets "waterlogged" it will change the compression of the golf ball. This will affect not just the distance a golf ball will fly but also how it will bounce once it hits the ground. If you buy a dozen like this one golf ball may fly 5 yards more or less than another. That kind of inconsistency could be the difference of a birdie putt or leaving the ball short of the green.

Lastly, all the golf balls may be different. Many times the companies will only label the golf balls as "premium" but they may be from different brands. Unless you play competitive golf tournaments with the one-ball rule it won't matter to you if they are all the same brand. However, if you are looking for consistency you want them to be the same. Although premium golf balls are similar in performance they do not all react the same. Even if they are from the same manufacturer you may have some premium balls geared towards more spin while others are geared toward more distance.

If you want consistency from your golf ball it is best to buy new golf balls. They do not have to be premium as long as they are all the same. Consistency of a golf ball especially goes a long way in short game shots and putting. If every ball you play a round with is the same model then you know exactly how much it will spin or roll on chip shots and how it will feel and react on putts.

The more consistency you can have in your golf ball can lead to lower scores. It is recommended to try a ball fitting and find a ball that fits your game and your budget and stick with it. The more confidence you have in how your golf ball will react during your round the better you can play. There are three ways you can get fit for a golf ball. Try an online fitting with Bridgestone or TaylorMade, find a local club fitter like Golftec, or get yourself a launch monitor like the one we use from Full Swing Golf (see below).


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