When golfing, many factors can affect your accuracy, power, distance, and overall performance. Among the most obvious are the clubs, but what about the ball itself?
Interestingly, not many people are aware of the significant role that a golf ball plays during a game. Even if you’re using the most elite set of golf clubs, your choice of the ball can make or break a round.
Within the golf ball, you should consider multiple aspects to make sure you end up with the right one for your needs. These include materials, diameter, dimples, compression, and most importantly weight.
This brings us to today’s question: how much does a golf ball weigh?
A golf ball has to weigh -on average- no more than 1.62 ounces to be considered legal according to the United States Golf Association and the R&A rules for equipment. This is equivalent to 0.1012 pounds or 45.93 grams. If a golf ball exceeds this weight, it’s not allowed to be featured in official tournaments but can be used when playing casually.
Keep reading to find out more about the rules revolving around the weight of a golf ball, why weight matters, and how the ball’s weight can affect a golfer’s performance.
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How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
According to the United States Golf Association and the R&A rules for equipment, the average weight of a golf ball must be no more than 1.62 ounces, 0.1012 pounds, or 45.93 grams to be considered legal.
In this context, a ball being legal means that its use is permitted in official tournaments and championships. If a golf ball exceeds this weight limit, it’s not allowed to be featured in such games.
That said, you can buy heavier balls if you want to — nothing illegal about that. You can also use these balls in golf games as long as they’re casual and not official.
This weight regulation is set in place to make sure that all golfers on the course are getting the same chances and no one is given an edge due to a heavier ball. It’s generally meant to provide a fair game for every player.
How Does the Ball’s Weight Affect a Golfer’s Performance?
As mentioned above, the maximum average weight of a golf ball mustn’t be greater than 1.62 ounces to make sure that no player gets a ball-related advantage over the other.
But this sparks the question: how would a heavier ball serve as an unfair edge? How does a golf ball’s weight affect the golfer’s performance?
The benefit of using a ball with extra weight when golfing is the fact that heavier balls travel longer distances compared to lighter ones of the same diameter.
This comes down to the ability of the golf ball to push through the air and resist its drag without slowing down. If you hit a lightweight ball, you can easily notice how it’s more affected by the drag force of the air, causing it to lose speed and stop gliding through the air relatively quickly.
On the other hand, if you hit a heavier golf ball, the added weight allows it to resist the drag force and maintain speed for a longer time, effectively covering more distance.
As such, it’s clear that heavier golf balls are superior to lighter ones of the same diameter when it comes to distance as they can push farther through the air.
A lot of people have the misconception that lighter golf balls travel a greater distance than heavier ones, but that’s not true. Lightweight balls are more hindered by air drag and experience more negative acceleration, so they cover less distance.
What Is the Least a Golf Ball Can Weigh in Tournaments?
As you’ve just learned, lighter golf balls don’t travel as far as heavier balls of the same diameter due to being more affected by the air’s drag force.
This means that lighter golf balls don’t offer players any advantage — they can actually make your performance worse.
This is why there isn’t a minimum weight limit for golf balls. Manufacturers can construct golf balls as light as they want.
That said, lightweight doesn’t mean small. While there’s no minimum weight set for a golf ball, there’s a minimum ball diameter to abide by.
According to the United States Golf Association and the R&A rules for equipment, the average diameter of a golf ball must be no less than 1.68 inches or 42.67 millimeters to be considered legal.
You’re probably wondering why? Surely there has to be a certain advantage to smaller balls.
That’s exactly right!
A golf ball with a smaller diameter can flip the game to your favor due to the following:
- A smaller diameter means a narrower surface area. A golf ball with a smaller surface is less affected by air drag, which leads to extended maintenance of speed and covering a longer distance.
- A golf ball with a smaller diameter is easier to get into the hole on the green. Although this may not seem so significant, it can lead you to hole putts that’d be just missed otherwise.
Do All Golf Balls Have the Same Weight?
For their golf balls to be used in official tournaments, manufacturers must produce them no heavier than 1.62 ounces.
While they’re free to make them lighter, the vast majority of brands aim to have their golf balls weigh as close to 1.62 ounces as possible to reap maximum benefits from the added weight.
So, how much does a golf ball weigh? The average golf ball must weigh no more than 1.62 ounces, 0.1012 pounds, or 45.93 grams to be considered legal according to the United States Golf Association and the R&A rules for equipment.
If a golf ball exceeds this weight, it’s not allowed to be featured in official tournaments but can be used when playing casually.