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James Asks: "What is a refurbished golf ball?"

Recycled golf balls

What is the difference between used golf balls and refurbished golf balls? Should you avoid playing with one or the other?

Used golf balls are golf balls that have been played, and in most cases, lost in the depths of water hazards (ponds and lakes) on various golf courses. Paid divers go into the water and retrieve the balls. Sometimes they can use extending rakes and retrievers specifically designed to scoop balls out of the water.

Most places will clean the balls then give each one a Golf Ball Rating. Without these ratings, you will not know how much play the used golf ball received. This is why you have to be careful when you see normally expensive golf balls selling used for a ridiculously low price. If a rating is not stated, you should assume they are practice balls and they are not to be used in a round. If you are planning to buy used golf balls for serious rounds of golf, you are better off spending a few dollars more and get a ball rated for regular play.

Feel free to use used golf balls for normal rounds. They are great to use and will save you money.

Refurbished, or sometimes called reconditioned, golf balls are very different from used. With a refurbished ball, they take a used ball, repaint it, and place a new logo on it so it looks brand new. This may not be the best to play with because you have to ?hit and hope.? You have to hit the ball and hope that the refurbished ball you are using has a good dense core and hasn?t been overplayed. Refurbished balls may not have ratings because it would be very hard for someone to estimate the condition of the core of the ball. The ball looks brand new, yet it can have over 20 rounds on it.

Refurbished would be good for practice, but they are not recommended for serious rounds.