Why golfers almost always lose their golf ball if they start with ‘a new one’

lostball

“Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters. Their dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage.”David Owen

By Ian Hardie

Recently I happened to hear a quick exchange between a couple of golfers in a golf shop

One of whom was obviously considering buying a new golf ball before their game

Something that many golfers, golf shop owners and golf ball manufacturers worldwide consider to be a very good thing to do but it seems not all golfers share their belief

As the advice the golfer got from the other golfer they were with – was very quick in arriving

“Don’t buy a new golf ball – you will only lose it if you start your game with it!”

Now, I’m not sure what you think about that statement but I must say I found it fascinating and after spending some time considering how that belief could come about

I’m pretty sure I’ve worked out why that could be not only a true statement for some golfers

It is something that can conceivably happen to around 50% of the golfer’s in the world

Before I explain why it is in fact a distinct possibility for a lot of golfers, I’m going to take a look at the extreme opposite end of the golfing spectrum to see what happens there

As I know for a fact that belief doesn’t exist for the other 50% of golfers in the world

That doesn’t mean that the possibility of them losing a new golf ball in their first few holes doesn’t exist by the way

It just means they don’t consider it to be a big part of the game

For some time now, the place where you will generally find the best golfers in the world has been the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and the handful of other main Professional Golf Tours around the world

The events that are contested on these tours provide significant amounts of money to the top competitors each week – while providing nothing for those who fail to produce their best performances

With so much on the line at each event – in terms of money, potential endorsements and even access to the most elite events in the world – you can be assured that every golfer who is competing at that level

Is looking for an advantage over all the other golfers in the field

A single putt that goes in as opposed to just missing the hole – can be the difference between a tournament win and all the advantages that it brings to coming second or even as much as losing the chance to compete at that level for a year or even forever

This means that no golfer competing on the any of the professional tours of the world leaves anything to chance – something that especially applies to the equipment that they use and

In the context I’m talking about here – the golf balls that they use

The best golfers in the world as you would expect want the best possible performance from their golf balls – in terms of them providing consistent distances (notice I didn’t say maximum there), predictable flight through the air, maximum backspin for control once the golf ball hits the green and of course the most important of all

A golf ball that rolls towards the hole without any deviation on the putting green

To be sure that they will get the performance from their golf ball that they are expecting, they really only have one option when they are out there playing

Which is that – not only do they tee off the first tee of their round with a new golf ball – every few holes during their round they will swap their golf ball for another brand new golf ball

Yes, you read that right – a new golf ball every few holes!

In actual fact the reason that they do that is not surprising if you consider firstly – What happens to the golf ball when it’s hit (there’s a neat video link to watch in that post if you haven’t seen it yet) and secondly, what can happen to the golf ball when it lands or at least, starts to come down

The damage to the cover of a golf ball that it sustains from simply being hit with the force that top golfers generate or more commonly, the damage

That can be inflicted by the golfer’s club if they hit it slightly in the wrong place

Something that possibly isn’t limited to the top golfers of the world – as you may be aware

Can be quite extensive and will alter its performance just enough for the top golfer to notice

That’s only half the problem though as if it hits a cart path, ricochets around in some trees or even hits a little stone or patch of sand that may be in its path while landing – it will definitely sustain some flight or putt altering damage

The bottom line is that a golf ball with even slight cover damage

Simply won’t do what the best golfer’s in the world expect it to do – which is why they change theirs for a new one so often

Now I’m guessing that about now, you may be thinking:

“Gosh that must be expensive for them to use all of those new golf balls every round”

But you can rest easy as the top golf pros of the world and a lot of other people as well

Don’t ever pay for their golf balls – you do instead when you buy your new golf balls!

This extremely simple system came into existence many years back as the golf companies of the world looked for ways to increase their business by having a strong presence at professional golf events – in the hope that the best golfers in the world would use their products either due to the contractual obligations that they came up with or simply by choice

They did that as they were hoping that you and the rest of the general golfing population of the world

Would somehow become aware that player ‘x’ is using their product this week

Either through attending the event, word of mouth, watching coverage of the event somehow or through advertising on the inter-web or in golf publications

As a result of you becoming aware that player ‘x’ is using their product – the golf companies then expect you to play your part by rushing into your local golf shop to buy their brand of golf balls and when you do that – part of the price that you pay for every golf ball that you buy

Covers the cost of the free one’s that you see the golf pros changing every few holes

Now you know why they cost more than you figure they should!

So it’s clear that the best golfers in the world aren’t going to have the mind-set of “not buying a new golf ball – as you will only use it” but they only make up a small number of the world’s golfers – in fact they are about 0.01% of the estimated 100 million golfers who play the game worldwide

They do however influence around 49.99% of the other golfers in the world

Who like the top golfers that they watch and attempt to learn from – hopefully not too much though as I wrote about in this post

Are aware that a new golf ball will in theory provide them with a better level of performance

Which is an important thing to them – so they are quite happy to both buy and start their game with a new golf ball – recklessly disregarding the potential “to lose it first shot!”

If my maths is correct – that leaves the other 50% of golfers still to be accounted for

Which I will do in the post “Why golfers almost always lose their golf ball if they start with ‘a new one’ – part two” soon

Until then

Play well

 

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