Do Golf Balls Go Bad? (What You Need to Know)

Golf is a great way to pass the time, but if you’re new to the game, you might be wondering if golf balls go bad. 

No, your golf balls will not go bad. If they are stored at room temperature, they will stay in playing condition. Golf balls are very durable, and under the proper conditions, you could store them away for decades and not see a decline in their performance. 

Even though golf balls can live extremely long lives under the right conditions, it might be good to know what could happen under the wrong conditions and how to make them last just a bit longer. Let’s continue on and discover all we need to know about golf balls. 

Some golf balls are resold on the secondary market! I have used these golf balls with great success!

Will Your Golf Balls Go Bad

Under the proper conditions, golf balls can live forever. Well, maybe not forever, but for an extremely long period; a decade or so. This will be the case as long as they are stored properly and not in use. However, they aren’t indestructible by any means, and the ones you are actively using are on borrowed time. The amount of time varies based on how the ball you are using is constructed. 

If you are using a two-piece golf ball, you can expect to get five to seven years out of it. These balls are constructed for an amateur player and will give you a bit more distance even if you have a slower swing.

Three-piece balls are more along the lines of what the pros use and are built a little more sturdily to withstand higher impact swings. These golf balls tend to have a longer shelf-life of around seven to nine years. 

Either of these two constructions will last lifetimes if put into storage, and either way you go, you’ll probably lose your ball before you wear it out. 

Resource: What are the softest golf balls?

The Best Temperature to Store Golf Balls

Though golf balls are extremely durable, they have to be stored at the proper temperatures, or you can ruin them. So it’s important that you make sure you are storing them properly. Don’t worry; proper storage is simple: 

  • Just keep your golf balls at room temperature, and they’ll be fine
  • Somewhere around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is best. 
  • Make sure to keep them out of extreme cold or heat. 

So, if your garage or storage unit isn’t climate controlled, that won’t be the best place to store your golf balls.

Resource: How many golf balls in a sleeve?

Be aware of where you store your golf bag when not in use!

Extreme Temperatures Will Ruin Your Golf Balls

While golf balls are seemingly invincible, they do have a weakness, and it’s extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures will ruin your golf balls. So, if you live in an area where the summers will regularly reach the 90s’ or where winters will reach freezing temperature, again, don’t leave your golf balls in outside storage or your garage.

Don’t freeze your golf balls; it is an absolute myth that putting your golf balls in the freezer will preserve them. In fact, it will warp them and can take a considerable amount of distance off of your drive. 

Leaving your golf balls out at a temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit will cause your golf balls to expand and contract, causing a change in pressure within the ball and making it noticeably softer.

Resource: Best golf balls for mid handicappers! (3 options)

Golf Ball Construction and Maintenance 

Proper storage will keep your golf balls nice and fresh for an extended period. There have never been any studies on the subject, but it’s safe to say that your golf balls will long outlive you so long as they’re stored away correctly. 

To better maintain them, it’s a good idea to know just how your golf balls are made. Knowing what type of golf balls will last the longest will be helpful, too.

When not taken care of, golf balls could end up looking like the above!

Construction of Golf Balls

The golf ball’s construction consists of two different methods, both of which involve a layering process. The combination of layering and the quality of the materials give golf balls their seemingly indestructible feel. 

There is a difference in performance and life span between the two construction methods: 

  • A two-piece construction is simply a rubber core with plastic or ionomer covering. This construction best suits players with a slower swing speed and has a lifespan of five to seven years.
  • In a three-piece design, the center can either be solid rubber or liquid and surrounded by elastic then covered with soft plastic or ionomer. This construction is more suited for seasoned and serious players and has a longer life span of around seven to nine years.

The layering, as well as the materials used, makes for a tough, long-lasting ball. 

Resource: review

Golf Ball Maintenance

Maintaining your golf balls isn’t very hard. There are just a few things to keep in mind for your golf balls to go the distance:

  • Store your golf balls at room temperatures in a dry area
  • Don’t expose your golf balls to extreme temperatures
  • Golf balls can get waterlogged, so if they are submerged, make sure to dry them off well.
  • Clean your golf balls after use

By keeping these things in mind, you can keep your golf balls in good condition for your next game.

How to Tell If Your Golf Ball Is Bad

There are a few ways to tell if your golf ball is no longer usable. If your golf ball has any one of these signs, it’s going to affect how it performs: 

  • Bounce the old ball next to a new ball; if the old ball can’t bounce back as high as the new one, then it’s time to use the new ball. 
  • Your golf balls should float in saltwater. If you live next to the beach, then you can just get yourself a cup of seawater; if not, you can create your own saltwater by dissolving ¼ cup of salt in one cup of water and check your balls’ buoyancy. 
  • If there are obvious signs of cracking and chipping, your golf ball won’t perform at optimum capacity. This is the easiest, most obvious test.
  • You can always go to the course or a driving range and hit them if they are consistently not going the distance you usually drive at that s a good indicator that they’re no good.

It’s not very hard to tell if your golf balls have gone bad, but you may need to conduct one of these tests because, many times, there are no visible signs that your golf ball has reached the end of its run. 

You want your golf to perform at a high level! Make sure you find the best ball for your swing!

What to Do With Your Golf Balls Once They Have Gone Bad

So you’ve done the test, and the results are that your golf balls have gone bad. It’s time to toss them. But wait, don’t just throw them away. Did you know golf balls are recyclable? There are plenty of shops that will take your old used golf balls, refurbish them and reuse them. It’s a great way to make your golf hobby eco-friendly. 


While your golf balls will wear out over time as you use them, they will last you quite some time – anywhere from five to nine years. Your golf balls’ life span depends on several factors, such as how they were designed, how they’ve been stored, and how they’ve been used.

You will also want to keep in mind your golf balls can get waterlogged and don’t do well in extreme temperatures. If you do find that your golf balls have gone bad, don’t just toss them. Take them to the recycling center or your nearest golf shop. 


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