Do Golf Balls Get Waterlogged

Golf is a precision sport where every small detail can make a significant difference in a player’s performance. One crucial element in the game is the golf ball itself. Golf balls are meticulously designed to optimize distance, control, and feel. However, one concern that golfers often have is whether golf balls can get waterlogged. In this article, we’ll explore this topic in detail.

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Understanding Golf Ball Construction

Before delving into the issue of waterlogging, it’s essential to understand the construction of golf balls. Modern golf balls typically consist of several layers designed to perform specific functions. These layers often include:

  1. Core: The core is the innermost layer of the golf ball and is responsible for generating the initial velocity and distance when the ball is struck. Cores can vary in composition, with some being solid while others are filled with a liquid or gel.
  2. Mantle: The mantle layer surrounds the core and contributes to controlling spin and optimizing ball flight. Mantle materials and design vary among different ball models.
  3. Cover: The outermost layer of the golf ball is the cover. Golf ball covers are typically made from materials like Surlyn, Urethane, or Balata, and they influence the feel and control a golfer experiences when striking the ball.

Can Golf Balls Get Waterlogged?

Golf balls are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain and damp grass. However, they are not completely waterproof, and extended exposure to water can have adverse effects on their performance.

1. Absorption of Water: Golf balls can absorb water through small pores or imperfections in their cover. When water enters the core or mantle, it can significantly affect the ball’s performance.

2. Weight Increase: As a golf ball absorbs water, it becomes heavier. This increased weight can affect the distance the ball can travel, as it won’t compress and rebound as effectively upon impact.

3. Altered Flight: Waterlogged golf balls may experience changes in their aerodynamics, leading to unpredictable ball flight. This can make it challenging for golfers to control their shots accurately.

4. Reduced Spin: Waterlogging can decrease the spin rate of the golf ball, affecting the golfer’s ability to generate backspin, control the ball’s trajectory, and stop it on the green.

5. Feel and Sound: Wet golf balls can feel and sound different when struck with a club. This can be distracting and affect a golfer’s confidence and performance.

Prevention and Remediation

To prevent golf balls from getting waterlogged, golfers should take precautions, such as:

  • Keeping Equipment Dry: Store golf balls in a dry place, and use a waterproof golf bag or cover during wet conditions.
  • Quick Retrieval: If a golf ball lands in water, retrieve it as soon as possible to minimize water absorption.
  • Inspecting Balls: Regularly inspect your golf balls for signs of damage or waterlogging. Discard any balls that show visible damage.
  • Drying Techniques: Some golfers use techniques like towel-drying or placing golf balls in a bag of rice to remove moisture. However, the effectiveness of these methods can vary.

Testing for Waterlogging

For golfers concerned about whether their golf balls have become waterlogged, there are a few simple tests that can be performed:

  1. Float Test: This is a straightforward test where you fill a container with water and place the golf ball in it. If the golf ball sinks, it likely has absorbed water and is waterlogged. If it floats, it’s still relatively dry inside. However, keep in mind that some golf balls may have a slightly positive buoyancy, so this test may not be foolproof.
  2. Squeeze Test: Gently squeeze the golf ball. If you feel or hear any sloshing sounds, it may indicate that water has penetrated the ball’s core or mantle. A waterlogged golf ball will typically feel heavier and sound different when squeezed.
  3. Visual Inspection: Examine the golf ball closely for any visible signs of damage or waterlogging. Look for cracks, discoloration, or changes in texture on the ball’s surface. These can be indicators that water has infiltrated the ball.
  4. Performance Test: Ultimately, the most reliable way to determine if a golf ball is waterlogged is through its performance on the golf course. If you notice significant changes in distance, control, or feel when using a particular ball, it may be waterlogged or damaged.

Proper Storage and Care

To ensure that golf balls remain in optimal condition and are less likely to become waterlogged, golfers should adhere to the following storage and care tips:

  • Dry Storage: Always store golf balls in a dry place, away from moisture and humidity. A climate-controlled golf bag or storage container can help maintain ideal conditions.
  • Sealable Bag: Consider using sealable plastic bags or airtight containers to protect golf balls from moisture, especially when playing in rainy or wet conditions.
  • Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your golf balls, not only for waterlogging but also for any signs of damage, such as scuffs or cuts. Damaged balls can also affect performance.
  • Rotate Balls: If you have a set of golf balls that you use regularly, rotate them to ensure they all receive equal wear and are not stored unused for extended periods, which can make them more susceptible to waterlogging.

Types of Golf Balls

TypeMaterialOuter LayerDimplesWaterlogging Potential
Multi-LayerUrethaneSoft320Low to Moderate

Factors Affecting Waterlogging

FactorInfluence on Waterlogging Potential
Material CompositionSignificant
Outer Layer TextureModerate
Dimple DesignModerate
Age of the Golf BallSignificant
Environmental ExposureSignificant

Waterlogging Test Results

Golf Ball TypeInitial Weight (g)Weight after Water Test (g)Waterlogging (Yes/No)

Water Absorption Rate (in %)

Golf Ball Type1 Hour2 Hours3 Hours4 Hours5 Hours

Waterlogging Prevention Tips

Store golf balls in a dry placeKeep them away from moisture.
Inspect balls regularlyLook for cracks or damage that can allow water in.
Use high-quality, water-resistant ballsChoose golf balls designed to resist waterlogging.
Replace old golf ballsOlder balls are more susceptible to waterlogging.
Keep balls clean and dryWipe them dry after use and before storage.



In conclusion, while golf balls are designed to perform admirably in various weather conditions, they are not impervious to waterlogging. Extended exposure to water can alter a golf ball’s characteristics, affecting distance, control, spin, feel, and sound. Golfers should take preventive measures such as proper storage and regular inspection to minimize the risk of their golf balls becoming waterlogged. Additionally, simple tests like the float test or squeeze test can help determine if a ball has absorbed water. By following these guidelines, golfers can maintain the integrity of their golf balls and enjoy consistent performance on the golf course.


Do Golf Balls Get Waterlogged


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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