Do Golf Balls Get Waterlogged? What You Should Know

Lake balls aren’t just good for your budget; they’re good for divers too. If professional divers weren’t making a living out of collecting those balls, lake beds would’ve accumulated layers of polymers over the past decades.

Still, lake balls are mainly in demand because they’re much more affordable than their new counterparts. Even so, golf professionals aren’t settled on whether lake balls affect performance since they might have absorbed water.

So, do golf balls get waterlogged? In this article, we’ll discuss the different opinions on the performance of lake balls. We’ll also detail what affects their quality and when to use them.

Do Golf Balls Get Waterlogged?

According to Vice Golf, modern multi-layer golf balls are made from hydrophilic materials that attract moisture. As a result, modern golf balls are more resistant to adverse weather conditions, but it’s also why they get waterlogged more easily.

It’s worth noting, though, that if the golf ball has intact outer layers, it’ll be more resistant to water than balls with scratched and bumped shells.

How Long Does It Take for Golf Balls to Get Waterlogged?

It takes 12 hours for a submerged golf ball to start absorbing water. This particularly applies to modern golf balls because of their moisture-absorbing materials. Besides, golf balls can get waterlogged even faster if their outer shell shows signs of wear and tear.

How Do You Tell if a Golf Ball Is Waterlogged?

If on a lucky occasion, you retrieved a golf ball from a lake, you might not be able to tell if it’s waterlogged. Here’s how to tell if a golf ball has water inside:

Weigh The Ball

If a lake ball has absorbed some water, it’ll gain weight. So, you can guess the amount of water absorbed by comparing the weight of your lake ball to an original ball from the same manufacturer.

Check its Color

Lake balls gain a yellowish-brown color because of the debris underwater. If the balls are more tinted, they likely spent more time at the lake bed.

Listen to The Ball

Don’t get us wrong; the ball won’t talk to you. You’ll have to hit the golf ball to hear its sound. A waterlogged ball won’t give the satisfying “ping” sound when hit by a golf driver.

Make a Float Test

Make a diluted solution of salt and water and drop the golf ball inside. If the ball sinks, then it has probably worn out or absorbed a significant amount of water.

Are Lake Balls Good?

Not all lake balls perform similarly when submerged in water. The longer a ball sits in the water, the more you should be worried about its performance. Eventually, the water might seep into the ball’s core, which can cause permanent damage.

When it comes to performance, Vice Golf claims that the balls lose driving distance as they spend more time underwater. After a single week, the ball can drop up to 10 yards in driving distance.

On the other hand, a university-run study has found that Pro V1 golf balls that have been submerged for three months performed almost exactly like the new golf balls from the same brand.

Performance was assessed by measuring flight consistency, dispersion, and ball speed. The study concluded that golf balls could stay submerged in water for up to 5 months without losing significant quality.

Additionally, even though scratches on lake balls can deform the surface dimples, the aerodynamic performance of the balls isn’t noticeably affected. So, overall, some lake balls are definitely worth it.

How Are Lake Balls Graded?

First, lake ball distributors thoroughly clean the collected balls, and then the balls are completely dried. After that, lake balls are sorted based on their state and characteristics.

For this purpose, lake ball sorting companies have developed a grading system to distinguish them in terms of quality.

Top-grade balls, like Pearl grade, are the most expensive, but they’re worth the money as you won’t be able to tell the difference from new golf balls. Their top-notch performance is up to the level of professional competitions.

Even lake balls on the lower end of the grading spectrum make the best partners for practicing. Besides, you won’t feel guilty if you drop one of them in a lake.

When to Buy Lake Balls?

New golf balls are more reliable if you’re competing in a tournament. Yet, regardless of the lake ball quality, there are times when we recommend you use them instead of new golf balls.

If You’re on a Budget

If this year isn’t your year of fortune, you don’t need to give up your golf retreat. Golf ball expenses might be the first thing to look at when trying to cut some costs.

Indeed, if you do the math, one new Pro V1 can cost as much as six lake balls of the same model. Over the months, lake balls can save you a few hundred dollars if you’re a Titleist fan.

If You’re a Beginner

Golf is the sport of the elite. In truth, its expenses remain an entry barrier for many potentially talented players. So, if you’re just starting with golf training, lake balls should mostly be your go-to option.

This way, you won’t be put off by the costs as you lose balls in the first failed shots. All professionals have started in your place, but all it takes is consistent practice.

For Practice

Assuming you’re past the beginner struggles, there’s still room for lake balls in your golf kit. Unless it’s tournament day, you can save money by practicing with lake balls. Even if you’re meticulous about practice, you can opt for A-grade balls to get the best price and performance.

Wrap Up

Finally, do golf balls get waterlogged?

Yes, golf balls get waterlogged, but it depends on the state of their outer layers. If the ball has more damage on the outer shell, it’ll likely absorb water faster.

Nevertheless, many lake ball processing plants have honed the game that it’s become difficult to tell the difference between lake balls and the original ones.

So, if you’re preparing for a major tournament, feel free to invest in a dozen brand-new golf balls. Other than that, you’ll probably bond well with lake balls as their savings don’t compromise performance recognizably.


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