Test One: How do Used Golf Balls Perform vs. New Golf Balls?

Used Golf Ball Performance vs. New

This blog post covers the first round of research conducted independently by Golf Laboratories. Its goal was to compare the performance of mint-grade, used golf balls with brand new ones. In these first tests - whose results are described in detail below - the used golf balls tested were pulled from our inventory. The tests showed they performed almost exactly the same as new balls.

But still, this left us with an unanswered question. How long can a ball spend underwater before something happens to it? So the University of Oakland in Michigan conducted another round of tests comparing new golf balls with balls that had spent 1 month and 3 months at the bottom of a golf course pond. You can read about this second round of testing by going here. Read on for the results of these first tests.    

Our First Round of Testing

Here’s what we did. To start, we bought a bunch of brand new Titleist ProV1s (ouch) and then pulled mint-grade, recycled Titleist ProV1s out of our inventory and sent them all to Golf Laboratories – a well-known and respected independent testing facility in San Diego, California. They have a state-of-the art computer-controlled robot player (check it out) which can hit a ball exactly the same over and over again. We let the robot hit all the new and used ProV1s with 3 different clubs.  A TaylorMade R7 425 driver.  A Mizuno MX25 5 iron.  And Callaway X Hot pitching wedge. The robot was set to the parameters of an “Average Golfer” with a driver swing speed of 94 MPH, 5 iron swing speed of 86.5 MPH and the wedge at 84 MPH. Then we measured distance to landing point and then total distance with roll.

The Results

The results showed what we expected. The average total carry and total distance with roll was almost identical between the new and recycled balls. Check it out. 


Driver               Total Carry    Total Distance 

New ProV1s             217.1               240.9                    

Mint ProV1s             214.6               238.4                    

Difference                  -2.5                 -2.5

5 Iron               Total Carry    Total Distance        

New ProV1s            167.2               173.5                   

Mint ProV1s            167.8               174.3

Difference                +0.6                 +0.8

Wedge              Total Carry    Total Distance 

New ProV1s           109.0               106.9 (backspin)

Mint ProV1s           111.4               110.6 (backspin)

Difference                    +2.4                 +3.7

So What’s It Mean To You?

It’s simple. If an Average Golfer uses a mint-grade, recycled ball, they may lose about 1% of their distance on a drive, and probably nothing with a 5 iron or pitching wedge. That’s it.

Stay tuned for the next round of testing. It’s underway now and should be available this Fall. And remember, as far as we’re concerned the question isn't, “Are used golf balls as good as new?” The question is, “Are you willing to pay 100% more for 1% more distance?”