Testing and Standards of Golf Balls

Golf BallsYou might not be aware of it but there is actually a wide variety of golf balls available in the market. Not all of these balls are made the same way. They can be covered in plastic, come with a core composed of three distinct materials, or have 400 dimples on its outer layer. Some may even fly higher or travel farther. They can come in hues of white, yellow, red, and blue.

But in spite of the differences, all of them go through the same tests and processes. There are actually standards in the production of these balls. A company cannot just go ahead and skip the national golfing association on this one. This is because alterations to the norm or standard can turn out to be a case of cheating.

Before a golf ball is manufactured and sold in the market, here are the specifications that the design has to meet.


The rules state that a golf ball must not weigh above 1.62 ounces. No matter the type of material used for its core, it must not exceed this weight. There is, however, no rule as to what the minimum weight requirement is. Manufacturers can make balls as light as they want, as long as they conform to the other standards.


The minimum diameter that any golf balls must conform to is 1.68 inches. The size is measured by a metal ring gauge. The rules, however, do not indicate a maximum size. It states that, as long as the ball follows the other requirements, the manufacturer can develop it as large as they want.

Spherical Symmetry

Symmetrical behaviour is the only purpose of this rule.

Initial Velocity

This is tested via the golfing association’s equipment. It is designed to limit the speed that the ball travels once it is hit by the clubface.

Overall Distance Standard

This rule was put into place to limit the carry and roll distance. The current requirement involves an overall distance of 320 yards, plus a three yard rolling tolerance).

Aside from these, there are also other rules concerning these balls on the golfing association’s set of books.

One such rule states that manufacturers must submit golf balls for testing and sampling before proceeding with production. The five points above are tested to satisfy this rule. The manufacturer must submit twenty four samples of each model to obtain a conformance ruling. Balls which conform to the standards are added on a list updated by the golfing association every month. They remain on the list for a year, unless violations were found.

The golfing association may also conduct random tests to ensure that all golf balls conform to the rules and regulations. If found wanting, the ball type will be removed from the list.

golf-ballsThe List of Conforming Golf Balls may also be used in competitions involving professional players. Golfers who do not use the balls from this list may be penalized and disqualified from the competition. But if the competition’s rule book does not include this clause, it is assumed that the player has used a ball approved by the golfing association, unless there is strong evidence to combat this conclusion.

Lastly, identification marks and any foreign material applications made on the ball are also included in the golfing association’s rule book. Anything applied on the ball that will cause its movement to be affected is automatically prohibited. Identification marks applied with a felt-tip pen are generally accepted and a player can put as many marks as he or she desires, as long as the original markings of the ball can still be defined.

Similar to golf clubs, which are measured for weight and material, these balls also go through rigorous testing. They are not just manufactured. They are also tested thoroughly.


Rockbottomgolf offers golf balls at discount prices, including new golf balls, used, refinished and recycled golf balls from all the major brands.