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Golf balls found in water


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From my experience, once a ball has been acclimated to water, it becomes its preferred environment, and it will always seek a return to it.  

You should see a variety of conclusions since there’s a significant variety of test conditions. If you place a ball in tap/filtered/deionized water, the effects will be minimal at best. Generally, the

The flip side to that is most information stating water negatively affect golf balls comes from people who only sell new golf balls. 

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They make good practice balls.  You know like the ones you put in your shag bag when you take them to go pitch and chip on a practice green.  Buying water balls off places like the bay and such are a huge crap shoot and aren't worth the risk IMO.   

Edited by phizzy30
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I would not use a ball that's been fished out of a pond for any round where I'm keeping score or seriously practicing. There's a chance it would perform just like a new ball but it's also very possible for it to have been affected by being underwater especially for any extended period of time. Not worth it. Too many affordable options out there to be fishing around. 

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Although I like playing with used balls and refurbished balls, I'd stay the hell away from water balls.  Water seeps into the cover of the ball when you give it enough time which will severely impact its performance.  So when you see one in the water, you have no idea if its been submerged for 2 weeks or 2 years.

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13 hours ago, cgasucks said:

Although I like playing with used balls and refurbished balls, I'd stay the hell away from water balls.  Water seeps into the cover of the ball when you give it enough time which will severely impact its performance.  So when you see one in the water, you have no idea if its been submerged for 2 weeks or 2 years.

I would use an old featherie before using a refurbished ball.

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On 5/5/2021 at 2:05 PM, ltom said:

I hear mixed things about using golf balls found in water.  I'd like to get your opinions, thoughts, etc.

 

After being in the water for one full day it has worked its way into the core. This will affect performance.  Pulling your just-hit ball from the edge of a pond will be OK but purchasing used water balls is really risky. Scientific testing shows performance loss (typical 6 yards loss after being submerged one week).  Golf and Golf Digest magazines have both printed articles on this topic over the last several years.  

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They aren't consistent or predictable . Full stop. 

 

If you care about that then they are not the balls for you. 

 

For me the #1 thing I care about in a ball is it being predictable and consistent. You are better off playing bargain bin balls than high end water balls. 

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The only time I’ll use a ball that was in the water is if I just hit it on the edge and can pull it out immediately. I don’t waste my time fishing other balls out of water. 

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On 5/8/2021 at 7:43 PM, ltom said:

It seems like the general consensus is don't use water balls. Are there any ways to know if a ball has been in water?


Generally, the cover will be dull, discolored, or slightly rough. Virtually all balls that are sold as “found” or “recycled” have been retrieved from water features, with the time of immersion being a main contributor to their relative grading. These balls are generally useful for practice, but not so much for serious play.

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On 5/8/2021 at 10:43 PM, ltom said:

It seems like the general consensus is don't use water balls. Are there any ways to know if a ball has been in water?

Close to all used golf balls sold on eBay and similar are retrieved from water hazards.  Divers/ball distributors make arrangements with course managers.

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Does anybody have a link to some of this test data?  I use pretty much only used, probably water ball, ProV1x's.  I've never noticed a performance change from a new one. 

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I buy a lot of recycled golf balls and haven't had many problems. I stay away from water balls, but if I'm being honest I don't think 24 hours in a pond is gonna be too bad. I wouldn't want something that was submerged for long periods of time though.

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I don’t have scientific data, but I was told years ago by an engineer at Titleist that a golf ball will begin absorbing water within 24 hours.

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18 hours ago, hammergolf said:

I don’t have scientific data, but I was told years ago by an engineer at Titleist that a golf ball will begin absorbing water within 24 hours.

 

If that’s that’s true….and the ball doesn’t degrade / disintegrate in any way; then weighing a ball before immersion in water - and then weighing 48 hours or more later; should tell us all we need to know about absorption.

 

Who’s game for a test (With a brand new ball - to keep things scientific’ish) ?

Edited by sevenfourate
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2 hours ago, cristphoto said:

 

Interesting this article is put out by the people that retrieve water balls.  

 

The flip side to that is most information stating water negatively affect golf balls comes from people who only sell new golf balls. 

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Unless you are playing for $1,000,000 checks on Sundays or are a complete head case, being that ball isn't as brown as your toilet water, you won't even notice. If you can tell the difference in 5 yards when you average 235-272 off the tee, then you have pretty good control of your long game and should step up to Top Flites.

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The only golf balls I’ve seen be affected by being in water are Pro V1/V1x. The cover will develop bubbles and you can cut it and see water come out of the bubbles. But those balls need to be in water for a while for that to happen. 

 

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On 5/23/2021 at 7:20 AM, sevenfourate said:

 

If that’s that’s true….and the ball doesn’t degrade / disintegrate in any way; then weighing a ball before immersion in water - and then weighing 48 hours or more later; should tell us all we need to know about absorption.

 

Who’s game for a test (With a brand new ball - to keep things scientific’ish) ?

 

Using a brand new ball would not be an accurate test.  From the test reports I've seen all balls tend to get microcracks in the cover after being hit (the more hits, the more cracks) which lets in water.  The clear coat on a new ball tends to seal it.    

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4 hours ago, cristphoto said:

 

Using a brand new ball would not be an accurate test.  From the test reports I've seen all balls tend to get microcracks in the cover after being hit (the more hits, the more cracks) which lets in water.  The clear coat on a new ball tends to seal it.    


Makes sense. The G forces ref: acceleration and deceleration - a ball goes through is horrific. Wouldn’t take long to compromise the lacquer like you say….

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On 5/24/2021 at 2:05 PM, cardia10 said:

Unless you are playing for $1,000,000 checks on Sundays or are a complete head case, being that ball isn't as brown as your toilet water, you won't even notice. If you can tell the difference in 5 yards when you average 235-272 off the tee, then you have pretty good control of your long game and should step up to Top Flites.

Complete head case here. Not mentally strong enough to overcome a water ball when playing serious. 

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