Golf balls with color have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many golfers enjoy having a pop of color on the course rather than just the traditional white golf ball. Colored golf balls can make it easier to spot your ball, they can represent your personality or favorite colors, and some players even believe the colors help with their game. Let’s take a closer look at what colored golf balls are all about.
The History of Colored Golf Balls
Golf balls were originally made from feathers stuffed into a leather pouch. These feather balls were used up until the mid-1800s. In 1848, the gutta-percha ball was created. This was made from the sap of the gutta tree. These new gutta balls could be easily molded and were much more durable than feather balls.
In the early 1900s, golf balls began to be mass produced using rubber cores with a gutta-percha cover. This eventually evolved into balls with rubber thread windings around a solid core. These wound rubber balls became the standard for many decades and were only available in white.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that colored golf balls first started to emerge. These early colored balls were produced by starting with white balls and simply adding a coating of paint. This allowed for balls in a variety of bright colors like orange, pink, and yellow.
In the 1990s, improved technology led to long-distance two-piece balls with surlyn covers. Surlyn is a thermoplastic resin that allowed for more intricate dimple patterns on the balls. It also enabled the production of balls with color throughout the cover rather than just a surface coat of paint.
Today’s golf balls use advanced technology and materials like urethane covers to create optimal performance. Modern manufacturing processes also allow true color designs, letting players choose from hundreds of color and pattern options.
Benefits of Colored Golf Balls
There are several potential benefits to using a colored golf ball instead of a traditional white ball:
- Visibility – Colored balls can be easier to spot and track during the shot. This helps with finding errant shots that end up off the fairway or green.
- Alignment – Some players feel colored golf balls help with proper alignment and aiming. The contrast of the color against green grass can make it simpler to line up putts or determine if the ball is aimed left or right.
- Performance – Manufacturers claim that layering and aligning the different components of a colored ball can enhance overall performance. Some users feel colored balls provide advantages like longer distance or a softer feel.
- Preference – Golfers simply might like the aesthetic of a colored ball and enjoy the customization and personalization it allows. It’s about opting for one’s desired ball color and style.
- Fun – Colored golf balls provide a sense of fun, personality, and flair on the course. Golfers can express themselves or try something new by playing a ball that matches their mood or the latest trends.
Considerations with Colored Balls
There are a few things golfers should keep in mind when deciding whether to use a colored ball:
- Make sure the ball is legal for competitive play. Balls must be a single color and cannot be patterned or two-toned.
- Dark-colored balls can be hard to find at times, especially if they end up amongst dark leaves, dirt, or shadows.
- Colored balls won’t work for golfers who rely on seeing scuff marks and ball imperfections to determine the spin and which way their ball will break on the greens.
- Less variety is available compared to white golf balls since colored balls represent a niche market.
- Colored balls are sometimes more expensive than balls that come in white.
Overall, it comes down to personal preference and each golfer should test and see if a colored ball improves or hinders their individual game.
Popular Color Options
Golf ball manufacturers today provide a rainbow of color choices. Here are some of the most popular colors golfers are using:
|One of the most visible against grass, good for hazy weather
|Visible in many conditions and seasons
|Fun color that stands out year-round
|Blends into greens and fairways but good for alignment
|Contrasts against grass and sky for visibility
|Red or burgundy suits fall foliage colors
|Unique color that pairs well with yellow flowers
Golfers also have their choice of solids, colors with pearlescent shimmers, neon tones, and ombre fades between two colors. The variety allows each player to select a colored ball aligned with their personality and needs.
Popular Golf Ball Brands with Colors
Most major golf ball manufacturers now offer colored options alongside their traditional white balls. Some of the top brands producing colored balls include:
- Titleist – The #1 ball in golf offers limited runs of their premium Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls in colors like pink, orange, yellow and green through their Special Play Numbers program.
- Callaway – Their Chrome Soft line provides a wide selection of color choices in solids and triple track alignment aid designs.
- TaylorMade – Models like the TP5 pix have multilayer constructions and urethane covers available in vivid colors.
- Srixon – The Soft Feel Lady ball comes in popular colors like pink, as well as their Q-Star Tour divided color balls.
- Wilson – Their UV golf balls provide bright pops of color, while the Staff Model line offers more subtle tones.
- Noodle – Almost all their balls geared for seniors, women and beginners come in various colors.
- Cutters & Co – Specialty brand offering custom logo and phrase balls in every color.
There are also more brands joining the colored ball space every year so keep an eye out for even more variety.
Playing Colored vs. White Golf Balls
Both colored and white golf balls have their pros and cons:
|– Most variety available
|+ Easier visibility
|– No alignment aids
|+ Can match your style
|+ Easy to see ball marks
|– Can blend into surroundings
|+ Typically lower cost
|– Less selection
|+ Considered classic golf tradition
|– Some tournaments don’t allow
It comes down to weighing visibility and preference against performance factors. Try testing both to see which works best for your vision and your game.
Do Colored Balls Affect Performance?
Research is split on whether colored golf balls make a significant performance difference. Here are some of the key considerations:
- Enhanced visibility and tracking can lead to better shot-making for some players.
- The contrast with grass may help certain golfers with alignment and aim.
- Manufacturing colored balls requires adjusting the components and layers which can change spin, launch and feel.
- There is no consensus that mass-produced colored balls themselves add more yards or improve scores compared to white.
- Custom-fit colored balls aligned to a player’s swing may optimize distance, but comes at a higher cost.
The bottom line is colored balls don’t automatically improve anyone’s skills. They simply provide an option that some golfers feel helps them play better by increasing confidence and visibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about colored golf balls:
Why are most golf balls white?
White was the natural color of original golf balls made from feather and gutta-percha. As production expanded, white rubber windings also lent themselves to white balls. Since golf originated in Scotland which has cool, often gray conditions, white was highly visible. Tradition has kept white the standard color.
Can you use colored balls in tournaments?
Most amateur tournaments allow colored balls that conform to the Rules of Golf. But events on the professional tours typically mandate white balls from approved lists. Always check your event’s local rules on ball color.
Do the pros ever use colored balls?
A few professional golfers have used colored balls in various events over the years. But it is still relatively rare due to sponsor contracts and the tradition of white balls in competitive play. Colored balls are an option pros use more often in practice rounds, charity events, or personal play.
Do colors like red or orange travel farther than white?
There is no evidence that mass-produced red or orange balls automatically fly farther than white balls. The color alone does not create more distance without changes to the ball’s construction. Custom-fitted colored balls may add yards for some players based on swing speed and launch conditions.
Why are colored golf balls sometimes more expensive?
Producing colored golf balls requires additional manufacturing considerations and costs compared to white balls. Since they represent a smaller market share, colored balls cannot benefit from the same production scale and volume discounts. The expenses get passed along through higher retail pricing.
Colored golf balls offer benefits like better visibility and alignment against the contrast of green grass. They provide golfers with options to match their personal styles. While no ball color on its own improves performance, some players believe colored balls give them more confidence. Golfers should test both white and colored options to see which suits their game the best.
Manufacturers continue to expand colored varieties with new styles and technology. Their prevalence shows how golf is opening up to personal expression. On the course, choose whichever color golf ball brings you joy and helps you play your best game.