One of the most underestimated golf equipment items is the golf ball. Unlike golf clubs, golf balls look the same, but they are not all alike.
Although they don’t come in many shapes and sizes, it does not imply that all balls are the same. They come in different sizes, weights, and covers.
While they may seem small on paper, differences on the golf course often matter a lot.
Let’s look at some fun and useful information about golf ball sizes.
What is the average size of a golf ball?
In golf, there is a specific regulation that indicates how big a golf ball should be. Official golf balls cannot be shorter than 1.68 inches in diameter. Before 1980, this figure used to be 1.62 inches.
These two balls will perform differently, even though the difference is so nominal that you can’t tell them apart simply by holding them. The manufacture or sale of any golf balls with a diameter of fewer than 1.68 inches is illegal.
42.68mm translates to 4.268cm. A ball with a diameter this large will have a circumference over 5.28 inches, which is equal to 134.06mm or 13.41cm.
An average golf ball has an average height and width of 43mm, with the same diameter.
Golfers have agreed on a single standard ball size for all tournaments. All balls have to be the specified size to make them part of professional competitions.
Casually, though, golf balls can come in any size you like. Still, they cannot be smaller than 1.68 inches under any circumstances. Further, bigger golf balls have been around for a longer time.
Nowadays, most manufacturers stick to a standard size of 1.68 inches.
When did the golf ball size change?
The United States golf governing body, known as the USGA, which oversees golf tournaments, never changed the professional golf balls used in competitions. They have always used a 1.68-inch diameter golf ball.
Things were somewhat different on the other side of the pond as in Europe; the British Open Championship allowed golfers to use smaller golf balls.
As one of the oldest and most revered golf competitions globally, the British Open was uncontested when the R&A, the European governing body, allowed the use of 1.62-inch golf balls.
The USGA did not allow non-USGA balls, but players participating in the British Open from the US were allowed to play with smaller balls.
A single ball was first recognized for international tournaments in 1990 under the U.S. championship. The two balls remained a bone of contention between golfing communities in the two countries for years.
Globally, the golfing community finally agreed that a golf ball’s minimum size should be 1.68 inches for all competitions.
Golf ball’s width
In the average case, the golf ball measures 1.692 inches in diameter, 43mm or 4.3cm. The width of the ball with a 1.68-inch diameter is the acceptable minimum size for golf balls.
A golf ball with a diameter larger than 1.68 inches may also have a larger width. There are golf balls with a width of 43mm that are most widely used.
As the balls are used in professional tournaments, all the major manufacturers manufacture balls of this size. The size was agreed upon after much testing by leading manufacturers.
Balls of this width have a good trajectory, which is great for competitions, plus they have the best spin when you need it. Despite the exact width, all golf balls are perfectly circular.
Golf ball size in cm, mm, and inches
The diameter of the golf ball is the most important aspect of the measurement system. The circumference, width, and height also play a role in determining how large the ball is.
What is the size of golf ball dimples?
Dimples are more than just an aesthetic choice. They are also an integral part of the ball’s structural elements that determine its performance.
Golf balls with dimples reduce a golf ball’s life and drag once they have hit the golf ball and are in the air. However, there is no size and depth limit placed by any governing body for dimples on a golf ball.
This is why dimples have evolved over the years. Even today, the number, depth, and size of dimples will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even though there is no standard depth, most manufacturers stick with 0.01 inches.
No standard depth is required for this, and balls with different thicknesses can also be used. The level of dimple size can also be as little as 5 mm.
How much does golf ball weigh?
For official tournaments and competitions, the golf ball should have a diameter of 1.68 inches and a mass of 46 grams. For casual games, the golf ball can be of any size beyond 1.68 inches as long as it weighs no more than 46 grams.
This metric weight of 45.93 grams, or 1.62 ounces, to be precise, is considered optimal weight in golfing circles. Balls with heavier or lighter weights have reduced efficiency.
The balls will not weigh the same, which is not a problem, but none of them can exceed the maximum weight.
What is a golf ball weight in all measurements?
Many countries use different units of measurement for official and non-official purposes.
Due to this, we have included weights in various measurement units to benefit our international readers.
How to choose the best golf ball size
Now even young golfers will understand that golf balls come in many different sizes.
Even though the size of the ball used in tournaments is larger than the standard choice, there is no definite restriction as long as it is bigger than 1.68 inches and does not weigh more than 45.93 grams.
Various golf balls have different compression and firmness levels. Since so many different balls are offered, it may be not very clear to choose the right ball in your first round of golf.
In casual gaming, you don’t always need a ball that meets tournament guidelines. To choose the perfect ball for you, you must first assess your skill level.
Would you consider yourself a beginner just getting into the game, or would you prefer to be regarded as someone with golfing experience, even if you don’t consider yourself an excellent golfer?
When you are a beginner, do not feel embarrassed to select an easier ball. There are plenty of easier balls out there, some of which are specially designed for players to learn.
Balls of lower difficulty help newer players gain the basics of the sport without getting frustrated when they do not get it right the first time.
In most cases, a ball with low compression designed for beginners will be labeled as such. Such balls do not travel as far as regular balls. However, players may achieve a more precise shot with such a ball’s low compression.
Also, these balls are good for players with swing speeds less than or equal to 85mph. Another problem that many new players encounter is not being able to hit the ball. Even though this can be resolved using a larger golf club, you may also go for a bigger ball.
Rules of the golf ball
USGA guidelines set out several rules about the design and construction of golf balls. To be recognized by the USGA, a golf ball must meet the following standards:
Golf Ball Weight:
Among other things, the USGA Rule of Golf stipulates that the golf ball’s weight must not exceed 1.620 ounces avoirdupois.
The heavier the golf ball, the less it is slowed down by air resistance, and therefore, the farther it would tend to fly. Hence most manufacturers produce golf balls with the maximum allowed weight of 1.620 oz./ 45.93 g.
Golf Ball Size:
Under the USGA Rules of Golf, a golf ball’s diameter may not be less than 1.680 inches (42.67 mm).
A golf ball with a smaller diameter will normally fly further than one with a larger diameter. Air resistance is reduced when the diameter of the ball is smaller. Additionally, most manufacturers manufacture golf balls with a minimum diameter of 1.680 inches / 42.67 mm.
Spherical Symmetry of the Golf Ball:
Golf balls cannot be intentionally manufactured or designed to have properties that are not those of a spherically symmetrical ball.
Golf Ball Initial Velocity:
The ball’s initial velocity cannot exceed the USGA’s governing limit when measured by the USGA.
Golf Ball Overall Distance Standard:
USGA provides a Distance Standard for golf balls on file. For the most part, all golf balls sold in the United States meet the Distance Standard and are included in a document called the United States Golf Association (USGA) Conforming List, which contains many hundreds of models of golf balls.
Tips in buying golf balls
Many different golf balls are on the market, and many are made to accomplish certain tasks. Some golf balls are designed to provide greater distances off the tee. Here are the tips for buying golf balls.
Distance, control or spin
When struck with a golf club, golf balls that promise golfers greater distance can react rapidly. These balls tend to be hard and can certainly help some golfers extend their drives by up to 20 yards.
Conversely, a ball designed specifically for distance can be hard to control on the green or when the situation requires a firm, precise shot. Professionals can also utilize the ball’s spinning properties to cause the ball to stop in a tight space or steer its direction.
Consider the construction
Balls can be crafted from one piece, two pieces, three pieces or four pieces. One-piece balls are usually used by beginning golfers and sometimes on driving ranges since they seem soft and inexpensive when they are hit, but they lack the distance of most other golf balls.
Generally, two-piece balls are one of the most popular balls among most golfers. They provide a firmer feel, a greater shot distance, and improved durability but are not as easy to control as softer goof-off balls.
Three-piece balls offer more control than one- or two-piece balls, as well as more feel. Of all the golf balls commonly used, three-piece balls offer the most feel and control.
Four-piece golf balls have features similar to three-piece balls but provide greater feel and control. However, four-piece golf balls are relatively uncommon.
The ball’s outside
Although golf balls may look similar, the exterior covers of golf balls are different and play a role in performing. Consider that softer covers may provide more feel but are more susceptible to capturing debris in the course.
Dimples on golf balls increase the speed the ball travels. Though most golf balls have 300 to 500 dimples, balls with more dimples tend to travel lower to the ground than balls with fewer, larger dimples, which causes the ball to fly higher through the air.
Purchasing a pack of golf balls can be costly, especially for golfers who tend to lose many balls in the woods, water, and so on.