Do Golf Balls Go Bad?

Do Golf Balls Go Bad?
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If you have ended up at this article, then chances are you are interested in finding out if golf balls have a shelf life.

Many golfers, whether experienced or a beginner, may have come across the question of ‘do golf balls go bad’ at least once in their golfing careers, and might have wondered whether their golf balls can in fact lose their energy over time, or stay the same as new.

There are many myths out there which relate to the storage of golf balls, and we will explore them further to determine whether they are positive or negative when it comes to the performance of your golf balls.

In this article, we explore the question further looking at what qualities and situations might affect your golf ball’s overall life expectancy and aim to give you a better idea of how to make your golf balls last.

Shelf Life of a Golf Ball

So do golf balls have a shelf life? It really depends on their design. Some golf balls can be made using cheap materials. However the best golf balls are designed to be pretty durable, and therefore can last for an extended period of time.

The only thing that might affect their durability is temperature ranges and extreme temperatures on either side. For example, if you were to leave a box of golf balls in a trunk during the summer, their cores may expand if left in scorching conditions, and this would, therefore, affect the performance of the ball. At the opposite end of the temperature scale, leaving a box of golf balls in a freezer, for example, may also cause the materials in the layers of the ball to fluctuate, and this will again affect the ball’s performance.

If you keep your golf balls under normal conditions between 70-80 degrees, you should have no problems with them, and they will be likely to last for years. If you were to play with a golf ball that has been left for more than 10 years, you would perhaps see a slight difference between playing with a fresh, new ball. This, of course, will be down to the improved materials used in the newer golf balls, as with anything that is left over time, the newer models are always more innovative.

No scientific studies have been conducted to measure whether old golf balls perform the same as new ones, however, if you have purchased fairly good quality balls and keep them in good condition, there should be no reason why they wouldn’t perform well.

Golf Ball Construction

Two-piece Golf Balls

Looking at the various types of golf balls on the market, those of the two-piece variety are known as being the most durable of the lot. These are known to last longest due to their solid rubber core and soft plastic outer cover. Two-piece balls have been known not to show any signs of change after seven years of owning them.

Three-piece Golf Balls

Good players most often use golf balls of the three-piece design which features a solid rubber center, which can often be surrounded with strong elastic or a Balata or Surlyn cover. The design of these balls is also durable, which means like the two-piece, they should last a couple of years without any significant changes.


One of the greatest golf myths which exists is that storing golf balls in the freezer will help keep them preserved for longer, especially those with liquid centers. However, playing with balls that have been frozen will actually have an effect on the drive and remove some of the distance altogether, due to the layers being exposed to extreme cold, and therefore shrinking or losing elasticity.

Other myths include keeping golf balls in water to preserve them. Again, this is definitely not recommended as depending on the golf ball’s design, being exposed to water might start to degrade the material and leave the golf balls weaker than before. Some golf balls are known to absorb water; even though they seem very hard on the outside, they can absorb liquids, which will affect their performance on the green.

It is recommended therefore not to leave golf balls in a freezer or submerged them water, but instead leave them in an area which is cool and dry.

Similarly, keeping them stored away from potential heat will increase their longevity. All in all, golf experts recommend keeping your golf balls away from either heat or cold extremes, in order for them not to modify under the conditions.

An excellent place to store them would be at room temperature, and in a bedroom or a cupboard for example, out of direct sunlight.


If you have stored your favorite golf balls for years as you don’t want to use any other brand, then you are playing with golf balls that were made many years ago. The potential problem here is you may miss out on some significant improvements in the golf balls of today.

This is because golf ball manufacturers are continually improving their ball designs in order to provide the most cutting-edge performance possible. Refreshing your golf ball collection every so often may also help improve your game and performance overall.


When it comes to answering the question, ‘Do golf balls go bad?’ it is clear that storing your golf balls within any extreme temperature, either hot or cold, will have a slight effect on their performance on the course.

To conclude, it is recommended you keep your golf balls away from extreme temperatures, and always aim to buy the stronger branded golf balls, including those of the two-piece or three-piece range which are known to be durable and long lasting.

We hope this article has been informative to you and given you a better idea of how to store your golf balls.

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