Ah, golf. It’s the game of kings - or at least the game of CEOs. You can play it competitively, or just for fun, with friends and family.
But no matter what kind of golfer you are, if you’ve picked up a golf ball in your lifetime, you’ve probably asked yourself the same burning question: How much does a golf ball weigh? Well, let's take a serious look at this important inquiry!
The golf game was first played with hard wooden balls in the 14th century. Harder woods like beech and box trees were typically used to make these balls.
Around the 1500s, lighter balls such as leather golf balls with cow hair or chicken and goose feather filling were used alongside these wooden golf balls.
The Netherlands produced and exported the leather balls made from cow's hair.
The feather-filled balls, sometimes known as "featheries," were probably developed later and became the industry standard golf ball.
Despite the fact that a heavier ball will travel farther, it may seem strange to construct a golf ball entirely of feathers, golf ball manufacturers found a solution.
To soften the feathers so they could be placed into the tiny leather bag, makers of featherie balls had to boil them in a quantity roughly equivalent to the volume of a top hat. The ball was then stitched shut. Some golfers find lighter golf balls improve their short game.
These balls were still the norm throughout the 19th century, despite the laborious process and the fact that they cost $10–20 USD at today's exchange rates due to the required work.
The development of the modern golf ball saw a number of additional advancements and achievements during the 1800s and 1900s.
A ball made from the sap of the Malaysian sapodilla tree, a rubber ball with a liquid or solid core and an outer layer of balata tree sap, adding dimples to the ball for improved aerodynamics, new outer synthetic resins to replace balata sap, and solid cores in place of caustic liquid cores are just a few examples of the various inventions.
The short answer for a golf ball's weight is not as much as you might think. According to the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) Rules of Golf, a golf ball must weigh between 1.620 ounces and 1.680 ounces (45.93 grams and 47.62 grams).
That’s about half an ounce - the average golf ball weight is about the same weight as three quarters! So why does it feel like more? Well, that’s because it doesn't just depend on its weight; its shape also plays an important role in how heavy it feels when you pick it up off the ground or out of your pocket.
Plus, if you've been playing for hours without stopping for lunch or hydration breaks (a mistake we don't recommend!), your arms are bound to be feeling heavier than usual too!
It turns out that there's actually quite a bit of science behind this tiny piece of equipment!
In fact, there are different types of balls available on the market today with different golf ball brands that have been designed with various materials and specific shapes to maximize distance and spin rate while still adhering to USGA guidelines regarding weight and size - each one tailored to suit specific playing styles and levels of skill.
We're not saying that you need to become an expert on aerodynamics to improve your game (although some pros do!), but does golf ball weight matter?, yes, so having some understanding of these basics can help you make better decisions when choosing which type of ball is right for you.
Golf Ball Weight Restrictions
Competition golf balls maximum weight cannot be heavier than 45.93 grams, or 1.62 ounces. The United States Golf Association, which governs the US and Mexico, and the R&A, which governs the rest of the world, set the size and weight limits for golf balls.
In 1952, both of these organizations collaborated to develop and ultimately control the Rules of Golf, which established size and weight restrictions as prerequisites for all events.
The USGA and R&A initially had different standards about the size and weight of the golf ball.
The two didn't come to an agreement on the regulated size and weight for golf balls until 1990. Because of this, from 1952 to 1990, the golf ball rules were different depending on which association was in charge of the competition.
So now that we know more about how much a golf ball weighs (not too much!), don't be surprised when you come across a smaller golf ball or one that looks a bit larger, just know they adhere to USGA and R&A rules.
Whether you're competing on the pro circuit or simply looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon outdoors with friends or family members, having the right gear is essential - so don't forget those trusty little golf balls!
And remember: when in doubt about their weight, just think three quarters - they're almost exactly half an ounce each! Now, let's get back out there and hit some balls! Happy striking!
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