Are Lake Balls Any Good? [Should You Avoid?]

Golf is a very expensive game to play, with golf equipment costing a fortune. So when there’s an opportunity to save a little money, it’s always worth exploring.

Buying lake balls is a good example of a golf cost saver.

But are lake balls actually any good to use while you’re out on the golf course?

Are Lake Balls Any Good?

Are Lake Balls Any Good?

Does Water Affect Lake Ball Performance?

There’s no question that a lake golf ball won’t be as good as a brand-new golf ball.

One that’s just come out of a fresh sleeve, that you just bought from the nice warm pro shop is going to perform better than the lake ball you found, which had been sitting in the river for the last two months.

The science behind a golf ball means it can absorb water. If the water is warm, the ball can absorb even more water.

The performance of the golf ball is affected once the water reaches the inner core, where it decreases the rebound ability of the core, thus reducing the length the ball will fly off the face.

Fortunately, it takes around 12 hours for the water to actually make its way all the way to the core of the ball.

Therefore if you’ve hit your ball in the water hazard and you find it, it will still be very usable. However, a lot of golfers will be surprised to know that just one week of sitting in water can lead to an underperforming golf ball.

Should I Use Lake Balls?

For the average golfer, using lake golf balls can be great for their golf game and they won’t really be able to see a difference between a brand-new ball and one that’s been underwater.

The great selling point with lake golf balls is the price. You’re good quality balls,

For a box of premium-level golf balls, like the Titleist Pro V1, you’ll be paying around the £50 mark.

12 golf balls for £50 is a lot of money in anyone’s book, especially if you’re losing a few golf balls a round.

But then you’ve got the option of lake balls. Slightly used, with a few signs of wear, but still performing basically to the same level as a new ball and at half the price. These Titleist Pro V1 balls are over half the price of a new dozen.

They’re just so much cheaper than new golf balls and the performance won’t really be noticeable to 80% of golfers out there.

You see the thing is, for most golfers, the loss in distance and performance that a lake ball experiences from a few weeks or months underwater, just isn’t noticeable for most amateur golfers.

For starters, they don’t hit the ball well enough and in a consistent manner for it to be detrimental to their game.

When you’re not striking it out the middle of the golf club more times than not, the small loss of distance that comes with a lake ball isn’t really something that you should be too worried about.

Now there are exceptions to this of course. If you’re a pretty decent standard golfer, it makes sense to invest in your equipment.

As mentioned, water golf balls definitely do have performance issues compared to new golf balls. They don’t fly as far, plus they may have scratches or marks which affect ball flight.

If you’re serious about your game and you’re hitting the ball consistently well, lake balls or old gold balls would be a bad choice.

The performance issues would totally outweigh the 2-times price tag, so you just have to pay the premium price tag and hope they too don’t end up as lake balls…

Final Thoughts

Lake balls are a very affordable price for a lot of golfers out there.

Although they do come with a few performance struggles, they will cost you about half the price of brand-new balls and for most golfers, they won’t actually notice the difference.

If you’re paying more regularly and to a higher standard, then it definitely pays to invest in some new balls.

Lake Balls FAQs

Why are lake balls cheap?

Lake golf balls are cheaper than new balls because they’re no longer new and they may have a few marks or damage to them.

Although they are much cheaper than new balls, lake balls are usually a good purchase for many golfers as they still perform just as well.

Are Grade A lake balls good?

Grade A lake golf balls are the best quality lake balls available to purchase. These balls are still in very good condition and may have only ever been hit once or twice before.

Are golf balls still good after being in water?

A lot of lake balls are still in very condition when you buy them and will still perform to a high standard.

If the balls have sat in water for a very long time, this may have affected their core and led to performance issues. However, most lake balls will still be in a good enough condition for a lot of golfers out there.

Can you use Lake golf balls?

You can use lake balls when playing golf, just the same as you can use other used golf balls. Lake balls are a very affordable method of getting premium golf balls at a fraction of the retail price you would pay for a new ball.

What is the difference between Grade A and Grade B Lake Balls?

A Grade A lake ball is a ball that’s like new, except it has been used and may have a tiny scratch or pen marking.

These balls have most likely only been hit a couple of times from when they were new. Grade B lake balls are even better value for money and will show many signs of wear and use.

Do lake balls absorb water?

Lake balls may have absorbed some water depending on how long they were left to sit in the water.

This water can decrease the elasticity of the ball’s core, lose distance and reduce the length the ball will fly.

Are lake balls refurbished balls?

Lake golf balls are balls that have been found and cleaned up so that they’re available to be sold.

This is different from refurbished golf balls or refinished balls, which are usually stripped of their outer layer and replaced with a new layer.

A refurbished golf ball may not be the same brand as the original and a refurbished ball may perform very differently from the same ball that’s new.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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