Golf Balls 101 - Guide to Golf Balls
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Golf Ball Testing

In order for a golf ball manufacturing company to sell their golf balls to the public, each ball must pass the golf ball testing requirements provided by the United States Golf Association (USGA). Each ball is measured, weighed and examined in a number of different areas in order to make sure it is up to standard with the USGA golf ball standards. Here is a list of the specifications which must be met before any golf ball becomes available for actual use:

Weight- Appendix III of the USGA golf ball testing requirements states that a ball must not weigh more than 1.620 ounces. There is no minimum weight requirement for a golf ball, therefore a ball can be as light as the manufacturers would like.

Size- The required size for a golf ball to pass this part of testing states the ball must have a diameter of at least 1.680 inches. There is no maximum size for a golf ball and as long as it does not exceed the weight requirements stated above, the golf ball will be conformed (legal to use).

Spherical Symmetry- This category is included to simply state that the ball should be designed and manufactured as though it is symmetrical in shape.

Initial Velocity- This is a component of the test, which is carried out on equipment approved by the USGA, to ensure that each golf ball meets the initial velocity specifications of the test. The intention of this category is to limit the speed of the golf ball off the initial hit.

Overall Distance Standards- This area of the test was designed to state the limitations of the overall distance (including the roll) that a ball can travel in specific circumstances. The overall distance was recently changed from 296.8 yards (including a 5.6 yard tolerance) to 320 yards (including a 3 yard rolling tolerance).

Once all the conditions and specifications are met, the golf balls will be manufactured and free for the public to purchase and use. If a golf ball fails to meet any aspect of this test, it will be considered inadequate and will not proceed in the manufacturing process.


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