How Many Golf Balls Can A Pro Carry? [A Lot!]

Have you ever watched the PGA Tour and wondered to yourself “How many balls can the professional players have in their bag?”.

In this article, we’ll have a look at the number they’re allowed when playing golf, as well as what happens if they run out.

How Many Golf Balls Can A Pro Carry?

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.

How Many Balls Can A Pro Carry?

How Many Golf Balls Can A Pro Carry?

There’s no limit on the number of golf balls a pro golfer can carry in their golf bag during tournament play.

Most players will have at least nine golf balls in their bag for any given round as they’ll often change balls every couple of holes. Some players have even been known to carry more than a dozen.

Unlike amateurs, professional golfers don’t choose to carry lots of balls because they’re worried about losing them. They carry plenty of balls so that they can have a new ball in play regularly.

You’ll very rarely see a pro golfer using the same ball from the first tee shot to the last putt.

This is usually because golf balls can become scuffed up after a few shots and if you’ve got access to as many golf balls as you wish, it doesn’t make sense to use the same golf ball for 18 holes.

This is why you’ll often see the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy giving their golf balls to fans after finishing a hole.

I always remember going to watch my first pro event at Wentworth Golf Course as a junior and coming home with almost a dozen balls from professional golfers.

The PGA Tour, along with many of the other top golf tours uses the One Ball Rule. This rule means that players have to use the same make and model golf ball during a round.

It doesn’t mean they have to use the same golf ball for 18 holes, but if they change balls between holes, it has to be the same brand and same model.

What Happens If You Run Out Of Balls On The PGA Tour?

If a professional golfer runs out of golf balls during a round of golf they can ask to borrow golf balls from playing partners or try and get some from their ball sponsors.

So long as the balls match what the player has been using during the round and it doesn’t take them too long to procure some golf balls, borrowing golf balls is perfectly allowed.

It’s not very often that PGA Tour players run out because they usually carry more than enough golf balls for a round.

The top players are also very unlikely to lose their balls unless they hit it into the water, so they almost always finish with a few balls in their bag.

Can PGA Players Change Balls During A Round?

Yes, PGA Tour players can change golf balls during a round, however changing balls mid hole is not allowed unless the ball is deemed unfit for play.

As long as the ball is the same make and model as they’ve been using throughout the round, there’s no reason why they can’t change balls after each hole.

Ed’s Top Tip

Although there’s no rule that says us amateurs need to play the same ball during a round, it’s always a good idea to find a make and model of ball you like and stick with it.

Most golfers playing on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour will have access to a huge supply of balls, so it’s rare to see a player use a single golf ball for a tournament round.

For amateurs like myself, we’re buying our own balls. So unless the shell of the ball is almost falling off, I’ll be doing everything I can to keep the same ball for 18 holes.

Final Thoughts

Professional golfers don’t usually have a shortage of golf balls when playing in a professional tournament.

They have access to a large supply of new balls and can carry just about as many as their caddy wishes to carry.


Can PGA players change balls between holes?

Yes, as long as the ball is the same make and model as they’ve been using, they can change balls every single hole if they wish.

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