Do Golf Balls Go Off With Age?

This week’s Q&A is an excerpt from Dear Frank…Answers to 100 of Your Golf Equipment Questions

I have many unopened boxes of golf balls given to me 5-6 years ago. A golfing buddy has told me not to use these balls, saying they ‘go off with age’.

I have a very high handicap and don’t think it matters. My question to you is – What happens to the flight characteristics of golf balls as they age? – Joan

Because of the construction of golf balls today and over the last five years you really should not have any problem with deterioration from a performance point of view if they have been stored in relatively dry and non extreme temperature conditions. Using these golf balls will certainly not affect your performance measurably.

However, when your handicap is in the single digits you may be able to notice a small difference.

I would suggest, however, that you take advantage of some of the latest ball designs which have been specifically customized for lower swing speeds and better suit a budget where losing golf balls is of some concern.

I personally tested (on the USGA testing devices) balls which I had in my garage, in New Jersey, for more than 10 yearsand found that even these wound balls (not as stable as the new multi-layered balls) only lost 1% of their resilience which (as a 5 handicap) I was unable to detect on the course.

Hope this helps.


One thought on “Do Golf Balls Go Off With Age?

  1. Hi Frank. When in 1970 I played golf in Iraq as a British diplomat, I left some wound Penfold Ace balls in my locker for 6 months ( 120 degrees C in the shade!) and when I took them out of their paper they had become egg shaped ! I guess
    more modern balls do not suffer this problem! Your excellent advice on everything golfing is very interesting. Nic Bown UK

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