It is estimated that a lot more than 500 million to 750 million new golf balls can be purchased each year on a worldwide basis. It can be estimated that somewhere between 125 million and 500+ million recycled or second-hand balls are recovered and sold to golfers worldwide – golf balls primarily culled from ponds and lakes on golf courses (a.k.a. “Lake Balls”). It is not known exactly how many additional Lake Balls are retrieved and played by ordinary golfers through the course of the rounds. And while the precise number of used balls sold in the market remains elusive, what’s clear is that billions of new balls have entered play within the last several years around the world; and a lot of find yourself lost and found as Lake Balls which can be teed up again and again.
Besides the freebie a person will dsicover in the rough, woods or edge of a pool, mercado da bola there is an active market for buying and selling recycled golf balls – often at a discount as high as 50% from retail.
So, with the ability to cover such a discount, are these balls the ideal choice?
A recently available independent study by GolfBallTest.org summarizes the results of expert data gathering and analysis on this topic including bench and ballistics testing of recycled golf balls (in particular “lake balls”) golf balls, marketed as “highest quality” or “near” new. To sum up, this study found No Appreciable Differences in performance and playability factors (for most players) for this sample of “highest quality” or “near new” recycled balls versus the performance for anyone balls purchased new.
This recent independent by GolfBallTest.org evaluated three popular Tour-level balls from 2007 and 2008 model years, such as the Titleist Pro V1x (2007), the Bridgestone Tour B330 (2007) and the Nike ONE Platinum (2008). Brand new golf balls straight from the package were compared to a random sample of recycled balls acquired from a number one retailer who sources most of the balls from ponds and lakes.
Testing included compression and cover hardness testing as well as weight testing and roundness testing. Ballistics testing was conducted with the Driver, 6-Iron and Sand Wedge using a swing robot in controlled conditions and a launch monitor to gather spin, launch angle and ball speed variable found in establishing flight characteristics and distance.
Additional study elements centered on golfer perceptions on performance value.
To sum up, the results from the sample testing on bench testing and ballistics/flight factors found no appreciable difference between these “highest quality” recycled balls, using this drawn sample of recycled golf balls, versus those sourced new. Additional information can be found in the white paper.