Since the beginning of the Used golf ball industry there has been some controversy raised as to whether used golf balls retrieved from the water perform any different than new golf balls.
The questioning of the performance of recycled balls may have been relevant years ago when balls were made differently, but golf balls today are constructed completely different and are very resilient.
So here is the test:
We bought 10 dozen new golf balls from a major retailer and took 10 dozen of each grade of golf balls that we recover and recycle right off of our shelves to an independent golf ball testing facility (Advanced Golf Solutions) that tests new balls for many of the top manufacturers.
All the grades of balls we sell were tested except for those that are structurally damaged or too old. These we do not sell. We do not have the capability to repair a damaged ball either through recycling or refinishing and these are discarded.
We hoped to once and for all put an end to this hearsay controversy of "water balls" or "used golf balls" and do some independent scientifically controlled testing, not subjective anecdotal testing that has been the mainstay of the common thought on this topic.
And here’s what we found out:
Outside of cosmetics (which really is what the grading is all about), the balls in all the various grades tested against new golf balls right out the package show only a very minimal loss, in fact a statistically insignificant loss of carry distance.
With a driver the maximum loss of carry over a drive of about 260 yards is about 5 yards with a grade B ball while the mint recycled and mint refinished balls show only a loss of 1 yard or less. Similar proportional results with both a wedge and 6 iron as indicated in the graphs below.
Is this difference significant?
Since 99% of all golfers cannot swing with any consistency to attain these averages over many shots, this loss of carry distance form 1 -5 yards is absolutely minimal when you take into account all the other factors that come into play when you swing a club… plane of club, follow through, back swing, in/out or out/in, weight shift, lie etc.
The question then becomes is it worth it to pay 40% - 80% more for golf balls that you are going to lose anyway just to gain a yard or so under ideal swing conditions?
Please note that even though we achieved the following results in our testing, the legal team has advised us that we must add this disclaimer:
The products we market do not meet the exact specifications of new golf balls and may be subject to performance variations from new golf balls. These balls do not fall under the original manufacturers warranty or guarantees. However, we believe strongly in our products and stand behind them 100%.
Did you know refinished golf balls have been formally accepted by the USGA. Rule 5-1/4 of the USGA rule book states that “it is permissible for such a ball to be used”. So there you have it, Refinished golf balls are permissible in tournament play!
You be the judge… and if you decide to continue purchasing new balls after seeing this, we and all of our 300,000 customers thank you as you are now one of our suppliers.