Golf is a game of fine margins where we, as players, analyse everything from swing speed to the length of the rough. We do this to improve performance and lower scores. Despite this, many players fail to maintain and care for the most important piece of equipment they use out on the course – the golf ball. A speck of mud can affect the spin, flight and trajectory of a golf ball, not to mention how this will impact your chances of sinking that all-important put. That is why I have put together a list of some golf ball cleaner products.
Some of you reading this will scoff at the idea of another piece of kit. But, Hear me out. The golf ball is made up of tiny dimples which affect its performance. Sure a towel can help clean a golf ball but will it be able to get rid of mud and dirt from those hard to reach places such as the low point of those dimples.
The difference between a clean ball and a dirty ball could be the difference in a tight match or when you are trying to sink that putt on the last.
So let’s jump into our favourite golf ball cleaner products.
Our favourite golf ball cleaner
Prior to the start of 2020, I had never heard of BallBrite but since playing a round of golf with this item I now cannot go without. It is like having your own ball caddy on the course. All you do is slip the ball into the pocket and it will come out clean. There is no fuss, no drama and no maintenance.
The BallBrite is made from a similar material to wetsuits and the only thing you need to do to use it is put a drop (literally a drop) of water into the fabric which acts like a lubricant cleaning your ball. The fabric is cleverly designed so that the moisture remains inside the pocket whilst staying dry on the outside. It is incredibly light and can be attached to your golf bag if you prefer. It is small enough and compact enough to fit into your back pocket which is ideal for quick use.
Other people have stated that they use it for cleaning their clubs which I am not recommending (see our great club cleaning guide for how to do this properly) but when it comes to a portable golf ball cleaner this really is the best product out there.
Other great golf ball cleaners
This is a two-in-one towel which is great if you want something to attach to your golf bag. One layer is a wet layer which you can apply water to in order to clean the dirt off your ball whilst the other (dry) layer is used to dry your golf ball on the outside.
This product will attach to your bag or your belt and comes with a handy clip to do this. It is low maintenance and, if looked after, will last year for years (my dad still has his towel a decade on so this, more sophisticated, towel could last longer).
The Frogger Towel won the ‘best new product’ at the PGA Merchandise Show award and is used by tour professionals and caddies for their ball cleaning needs. This product is also ideal for cleaning clubs and grips out on the course.
At amazing value, this towel should definitely be on your radar when you are looking for your next golf ball cleaner.
If you are looking for a product which will remove even the toughest of stains then the golf ball cleaner from Swiss Ascent may be the right one for you. You place your ball into the ‘jar’ and three heavy-duty brushes will do the rest of the work. This item is like a small, portable version of the golf ball cleaners you see out on the course.
This product won’t fit in your pocket, and I wouldn’t hang it on my own bag but if you are looking for something which offers even more cleaning power this is a good option for you.
If you are wanting a more traditional golf ball cleaner, such as the ones you see out on the course then the club cleans kraft cleaner is the item for you. It is not small so is not suitable for those who are carrying their bag but if you use a buggy then this is the best option for you as it can be easily attached to the side of your cart.
The club cleans kraft is the best multi-purpose cleaner in our list and is ideal for cleaning irons whilst you are out on the course. The brushes inside the cleaner will remove the toughest grit and dirt from your golf ball and golf clubs.
This is another option for golfers who regularly use a buggy on the course. This cleaner has a clever design with one half being used to clean clubs and the other a dedicated portable golf ball cleaner. The KelMar Dual Cleaner is easily attached to your buggy (without tools) and has a special place for you to attach your towel so that you can dry off your ball/clubs.
Where will a golf ball cleaner help me the most?
A golf ball cleaner is going to have the biggest impact on your short game and putting. Any dirt or mud on the ball will affect the amount of spin you get when landing on the green. If you are unlucky enough to land on the affected area you could see the ball shot off the surface rather than gripping and remaining under control.
When you are putting dirt on the golf ball is going to affect the natural roll and course of the ball. You wouldn’t put with a slab of dirt between your ball and the cup for the same reason. Golfers across the world, whether they be pro’s or amateur’s, will be able to remember a time where the ball suddenly and violently darted off-line and away from the hole – this is usually down to having a speck of dirt on the ball.
Can a golf ball cleaner help me with my drives?
Yes, absolutely! Golf ball makers put in a lot of effort to find the perfect construction to deliver distance and accuracy off the tee-box. This effort is in vain if you tee up with a ball which is covered in dirt or mud. This is because the dirty area of the golf ball will have a different aero-dynamic momentum compared to the other, non-affected, areas. This will cause you the ball to move in an unexpected way in the air and will often leave you out of position.
For a consistent flight and trajectory off the tee-box, you need to ensure your ball is free from any dirt or mud.
Conclusion: golf ball cleaner
A golf ball cleaner is an essential piece of kit when you are out on the course. A speck of dirt could affect the flight and direction of a drive, or, prevent your ball from gripping to the green.
Perhaps the biggest issue with having an unclean ball occurs on the putting green. Dirt will prevent the ball from rolling true towards the hole. This makes it virtually impossible to putt with any confidence that you will make that all-important putt.
My favourite golf ball cleaner is the BallBrite Portable Cleaner. I love the clever design and the ease of use. Having had one of these since the beginning of 2020 I can tell you that these are a really neat product which helps you clean your ball with no fuss and no thrills. It is just the perfect size to fit in your back pocket and is ideal for doing the job you want it to do. The other products we have reviewed each have great features but if you are looking for a quick and easy product for all conditions; definitely go for the BallBrite Portable Cleaner.