Have you ever wondered why different golf balls fly further, roll harder, or just feel different? Do some get picked up in the wind and send you into the rough, whilst others fight through and land you in perfect placement? The professionals look like they never struggle with this problem. But has it got anything to do with the weight of the golf ball? In this article, we are going to look to answer how much does a golf ball weigh?
The answer is simple, a golf ball’s weight should be no more than 1.62 ounces.
But, let’s see if that’s true…
Whilst it’s all well and good googling the answer to ‘how much does a golf ball weigh’ and trusting the first answer I find. I’d much rather run a little experiment and find out the answer for myself and you (our readers).
Things to note:
This is a small sample size, I’ve just grabbed a handful of balls out of my practice bag. However, given the degree of accuracy that golf ball manufactures use to create their balls to and how rigorous their measurement testing is on the production line – I’m happy with this.
I’m weighing balls from 4 different manufactures that you may commonly find on the golf course: Taylormade, Nike, Callaway, Pinnacle. I’ve chosen these 4 as it is a good blend of high price and budget golf balls.
All balls were wiped clean and dried before weighing.
Ball no/ Name
|Weight oz/ g|
|Ball 1/ Callaway Chrome Soft||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 2/ Callaway Chrome Soft||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 3/ Callaway Chrome Soft||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 4/ Taylormade RBZ||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 5/ Taylormade TP5||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 6/ Nike Range Ball||1.6oz/45g|
|Ball 7/ Pinnacle Hot Shot||1.6oz/45g|
My first initial thought was, ‘wow, they are all exactly the same’. But when you actually think about it logically, it’s not surprising at all. These are all big golf ball manufacturers, and if their balls don’t conform with the R&A and USGA guidelines then they 1) can’t be used by golfers in tournaments, and 2) run the risk of getting taken out of production.
All 7 balls returned an average weight of 1.6oz or 45g. Whilst there will likely be some variation in a larger sample, I am certain that the standard deviation will be low (not much variance either side of the mean/average).
So now I know how much a golf ball that resides in my practice bag weighs, but what do the official rules say?
In the rules? How much does a golf ball weigh?
The Rules of Golf, stipulated by the R&A and USGA, state in ‘The Equipment Rules’ that: “the weight of a conforming ball must not be greater than 1.620 ounces. (45.93 g).” It must also have a diameter of 1.68 inches, as smaller balls are easier to sink into the hole.
Why is the weight of a golf ball important?
The benefits of weight on a ball come from the ball’s ability to push through the air without being slowed. The lighter the ball the quicker it stops when flying through the air. This is because the resistance against the ball flying through the air is larger than the weight of the ball. Adding weight to a ball would cause it to travel farther, making extra weight an unfair advantage.
Momentum = mass x velocity.
As you can see from this equation if you have a larger mass the momentum of the ball with be significantly larger. If a ball has more momentum it is going to go further, both against the resistance of the air and once it lands on the green. It has more weight to be moved and therefore will require a greater force – which in turn sends a ball further.
Think about it in terms of science once more: force = mass x acceleration.
To get the largest force put onto a ball to send it further, you need a larger mass and acceleration speed. If players were to have a larger mass in regard to a golf ball, they will scientifically be able to hit the ball further.
It is important for the competitive nature of the game that all players are to play with the same type of ball in regard to weighting and sizing. This is to stop any competitive advantage, for example, being able to hit the ball further and against the wind, in difficult conditions. If everyone exerted the same amount of force against a ball, it should not be fair for one ball to go further than the other. The amount of force you use is a controllable factor that is up to the players, however, the ball should always remain constant to ensure fair play.
The USGA has favored a larger ball previously in 1930, adopting a 1.55-ounce ball for the year 1931, however, they returned soon the next year.
The ruling remains the same today as it did in 1920.
When going on the golf course, you will be sure to have the right size ball, with correct weight and dimensions, but what about those who have brightly colored golf balls, does that change how they play?
Well, in simple terms the answer is no. The use of colored balls is even permitted in the professional game and gives the added bonus of being able to see where your ball goes more easily. Even some of the PGA Tour and Tour Champion professionals are using yellow versions of the Titleist Pro V1 and V1x model balls; Bubba Watson, Kyle Jones, and Rory Sabbatini being a few to name.
Conclusion: How much does a golf ball weigh?
Golf balls are important pieces of golf equipment and choosing the right one to match your playing style and experience level is important. For example, if you are a beginner, there is a specific ball for you, and a good reason as to why you should play it.
I wouldn’t worry about weighing every golf ball in your bag before you play a tournament, I’m pretty sure (and my results show) that the ball manufacturers will be strict on what get’s let out of their factories inside of a box ready to be sold.