A golf ball can take at least a hundred strikes or a good 18-hole round before it wears out and shows a significant drop in performance.
Most of the time, a player loses or changes the ball before it even gets damaged, so some of the balls left on a golf course may not be too worn out.
If abandoned balls are gathered, cleaned, and refinished, do they fall far behind new golf balls when it comes to performance, or are refurbished golf balls good?
The answer to those questions may vary depending on what matters to you as a golfer. If you play golf for leisure or if you’re in the practice phase, then yes, refurbished golf balls will offer you a lot of value. If you’re a competitive player, on the other hand, it’s better for you to opt for brand new balls.
Keep reading to know how much different refurbished golf balls are compared to new ones and if they’re actually worth the try.
Refurbished Golf Balls: Yay or Nay?
Whether or not to give refurbished golf balls a chance will vary from one golfer to another, but there are some things you should consider first.
To make things easier for you, we wrote down some guide questions that’ll help you figure out if refurbished golf balls are good enough for you or not.
What Type of Golfer Are You?
Are you a competitive or a recreational golfer? Refurbished balls may or may not be suitable for you depending on the level of your game.
If you’re just playing for leisure or you’re still in the practice phase, refurbished golf balls are good enough for you. According to a comparison video between refurbished and new PRO V1 balls, the refurbished ones surprisingly performed better than what was expected of them.
The most noticeable difference is the noisier clicks that were produced by the refurbished balls whenever they got hit. They also felt harder than the new ones, but this didn’t significantly affect the ball’s performance.
It’s a different case for professional golfers, though. When it comes to playing in tournaments, even the slightest bit of disadvantage matters.
Are You Looking For a Cheaper Alternative?
Golf balls, especially from known brands, are not cheap. This isn’t very surprising since we all know golf is an expensive sport. This is when refurbished golf balls become considerable since they’re cheaper than brand new ones, needless to say.
Depending on the brands, refurbished golf balls may cost around half of the brand new’s price or less. So if you’re just practicing or playing for fun, imagine how much you can save when you choose to play with refurbished golf balls.
Can You Tolerate Some Flaws on the Golf Ball?
Refurbishing aims to make a golf ball look as good as new, not be as good as new. The process strips off the original cover of the ball and ends up changing the cover’s quality.
In the previous video comparison, it was mentioned that refurbished balls make noisier clicks and feel harder when hit compared to new golf balls. These flaws are due to the new paint or cover applied to them in the process of refurbishing.
The comparison between refurbished and new PRO V1 balls also concluded that refurbished balls performed almost at par with the new ones. In reality, this isn’t always the case. Golf balls are found in different conditions before getting refurbished, some more damaged than others.
If refurbishing a golf ball alters its design and changes its dimples, the performance may be affected. Again, the difference lies in how badly damaged the golf balls were before getting refurbished.
What About the Risk of Getting Fake Ones?
What’s uncertain and questionable about a refurbished golf ball is its authenticity. How sure are we that a labeled PRO V1 ball is really a PRO V1 beneath that added layer of paint? The only way to be 100% certain is to cut the balls open, but then, how will you use them?
On a serious note, the solution to calm your suspicions about refurbished golf balls is to find a reliable store that sells them.
Unfortunately, the risk of getting fake refurbished balls or poor-performing ones comes along with their remarkably low prices.
Would You Consider Playing With Recycled Golf Balls Instead?
What’s the difference between a refurbished and a recycled golf ball anyway?
These two are both second-hand or used golf balls. The only difference is that recycled golf balls are just cleaned with soap and water while refurbished balls undergo a whole process of restoration.
Since recycled golf balls are only picked up from the ground or underwater and then washed, they still have their original compositions, but the scratches and damages remain visible on their surfaces and can affect their performance.
How Are Golf Balls Refurbished?
Used golf balls left in golf courses are gathered by pond divers and greens keepers. These are the golf balls that undergo refurbishing.
First, the golf balls are thoroughly cleaned and get sterilized in a pool of water to remove contaminants. They’ll then be dried and sorted by their brands. Next, the balls will be inspected and rated based on their condition. The process will be longer for badly damaged balls.
To restore the original look, any scratch found will be removed by stripping away damaged parts of the ball’s cover. After the exterior damages are taken care of, the balls will move on to refinishing.
The refinishing starts with spraying the balls with pre-paint followed by repainting them white. Afterward, they get branded with their original logo, and lastly, they receive a layer of clear coat to complete the restoration.
The obvious reason why refurbished balls steal golfers’ attention is because of how low their prices are compared to new balls. But anything second-hand is supposed to have lower prices and some underlying issues hiding somewhere. Refurbished golf balls are no exception.
If you want a cheaper, substandard ball you can use to practice, refurbished balls are for you, especially if you don’t want to waste huge amounts on balls that you might end up losing left and right.
You can take advantage of going for a cheaper option and testing them out yourself. At the end of the day, it’ll come down to your priority: is it practicality or quality?