Do Golf Balls Get Waterlogged?

Do you ever wonder if your golf ball will get waterlogged after hitting into a water hazard? Well, as an avid golfer, you’re probably already aware that playing a round of golf on a rainy day can present certain challenges. 

For one, you may be wondering whether or not your golf balls are well equipped to retain their performance-driven features when they come in contact with water or are completely submerged beneath its surface.

While it’s true that some of the best golf balls are designed to be resistant to moisture, any golfer who has played in wet conditions knows they can still be affected by too much water. 

Read on to know all about how unfavorable yet naturally occurring conditions can affect normal golf balls and what happens in the case of water interfering with your round of golf.

Can Golf Balls Get Waterlogged?

The answer is both yes and no depending on how the golf balls have been used.

Golf balls are designed with a protective coating that is not permeable to water, so their exterior is quite resistant to moisture. Over time, however, micro-cracks in the outer cover can occur to make the ball much more susceptible to water damage.

But if your golf balls are exposed to humidity or rainy conditions, you should still be able to use them afterwards as long as you dry them properly.

Nevertheless, when it comes to golf balls lying at the bottom of a lake for long periods of time, this is totally different – these will become saturated by water due to any lack of protection in the form of a waterproof exterior, thus rendering them unusable even after drying.

What Happens When Golf Balls Get Waterlogged?

When a golf ball gets wet, its aerodynamic construction and features can be severely affected. The waterlogged core and cover of the ball will become heavier than when dry, resulting in reduced distances off your tee shots and decreased control while on the green.

The dimples of a golf ball are also designed to create an air pocket around the ball at impact to add lift and spin, but when water enters the dimples, this air pocket is disrupted and you could end up with hooks or slices instead of desired shots.

Are Golf Balls Affected When They Go Under Water or Sink?

This is a question that many golfers have had, and it all depends on whether you’re using a new or a used golf ball. Brand new, top-range golf balls give rise to compression as a result of a properly executed golf swing before going into the pond, so they have the capacity to stand up very well against direct contact with water.

It takes a while for a golf ball to be officially soaked in water – many weeks or months of constant contact with water is required before any water seeps into the core of the ball and has an effect on its trajectory.

Used golf balls on the other hand, are somewhat more prone to water seepage due to having minuscule imperfections in the cover, which create pathways for moisture.

In these cases, it can take only a few hours for a good amount of water to reach the core and eventually change its flight characteristics.

A few years back, a group of golf ball divers set up an independent study to answer this very question – do golf balls get waterlogged? After submerging test balls for 1 month, 3 months, and 5 months, they compared all the golf balls’ performances using state-of-the-art Trackman Technology to measure carry distance, roll distance, and ball flight.

Their results were admittedly surprising – there was almost no difference in the performance of brand new and pond-submerged golf balls. This, however, does not mean that old, worn out, or waterlogged golf balls are just as high-performing as their brand new counterparts, although it’s still pretty remarkable.

Either way, more research into this domain is certainly needed before drawing any solid conclusions.

Can You Play with Waterlogged Golf Balls?

Honestly, it really depends on several factors. If you’re playing a competitive game, then you should be avoiding waterlogged golf balls at all costs, as they will not fly or cut through the air in the same way that regular golf balls do.

However, if it’s just for practice or if you’re playing golf recreationally, it won’t make that much of a difference. The length of time your golf ball has been wet should be taken into consideration as well – 15 minutes out in a thunderstorm shouldn’t be an issue, but leaving it submerged in water for weeks will mean it’s time to buy a new one.

Bottom line: use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to play with wet golf balls!

How Do You Dry a Golf Ball?

Take a simple yet effective route and use a towel to wipe them down quickly and completely. For those who don’t mind waiting around a bit, let the balls air dry outside for a few minutes – just remember to not leave them out for too long.

By taking proper steps to dry and clean your golf balls after every round, you’ll ensure that their surface remains pristine for your next big shot.


Does Water Ruin Golf Balls?

It actually depends on several factors, such as the type of golf ball you’re using and for how long it has been submerged in water. Generally speaking, brand new golf balls, for example the best golf balls for seniors, are unlikely to be affected or ruined by water, but older ones will likely experience some changes in performance.

Are Waterlogged Golf Balls Still Usable?

Yes, you can use them for practice games or to just hit around for fun. But you should avoid using them for competitive games as their performance may be affected by the waterlogging. It’s best to err on the side of caution and use a fresh, new golf ball when competing.

Related: Best Value-Driven TaylorMade Golf Balls

Should You use Lake Golf Balls?

It’s not recommended, as these golf balls have often been soaked in water for long periods of time, hence they could be damaged. However, if you still choose to use them, make sure to inspect them thoroughly first and take required steps like drying them out before playing.

Final Thoughts

Golf balls are one of the most important pieces of equipment in golf and, as such, should be taken care of properly. While golf balls can withstand some water contact, it’s best to try and avoid submerging them for an extended length of time and always make sure you dry them off after a rainy day on the course.

Keeping your golf balls in good condition will ensure that you get the most out of your rounds and play your best game possible. Now get out there and hit some birdies!

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The Editors

JimFuryk team of experienced golf professionals is here to provide you with the knowledge and advice needed to make informed decisions on the best products for your game. Let us arm you with all the info, so that finding just what suits your needs comes easily!

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