Can Pro Golfers Use Colored Balls?

There are many different colors and designs on golf balls.  Many people love to get their company or favorite sports team’s logo painted on their golf ball.  When playing a weekend round of golf you may notice other golfers using colored golf balls and you may be wondering if professional golfers are allowed flexibility with their golf ball. Can pro golfers used colored balls?

Yes, pro golfers can use colored golf balls during events. 

Let’s discuss the different types of golf ball styles and designs that pro golfers do play.  The vast majority of professional golfers play with a white ball, but there are some professional golfers that play colored golf balls or have special designs on their golf ball.

What Colors of Golf Balls Can Golfers Use?

The USGA doesn’t restrict the color or the design painted on a golf ball.  Professional and amateur golfers cans use any color or golf ball design they want. 

The standard golf ball is white, but there are many colors and designs golfers can choose from.  Pink is a common golf ball color used by women. Pink golf balls are often used to signify breast cancer awareness, so women often times will use a pink ball to add to the awareness campaign. 

Pink, in general, is a color that is often preferred by women.  So often times golf companies that design golf balls specifically for women will have a pink option. 

Bright yellow or neon yellow is another commonly played color of golf ball.  This color became popular because it would stand out and be easier to find for golfers while out on the course. 

That said, yellow is a very popular color that golf courses use to paint their range balls, making it easy to catch people trying to steal their range balls.  Those are the two common alternate colors being used, but if a golfer wants a specific color and can’t find it locally, they can order it from specialty golf ball companies.

There are also companies that will paint designs or logos on golf balls.  Popular designs are company logos.  Companies will often times print their logo on golf balls and use them to give away to customers. 

Also, another very popular trend is getting a favorite sports team painted on your golf ball.  If you can think of a design you would want to have, there are companies that will paint it on a golf ball for you.

Why Don’t Pro Golfers Use Colored Balls?

Most pro golfers just use white golf balls because that is what they are familiar with.  Professional golfers try to do everything to keep things the same, which provides consistency and comfort when playing. 

Also, many of the top professionally-branded golf ball manufacturing companies don’t make colored golf balls.  Golfers typically sign endorsement deals with golf ball companies to earn money. 

When they do this, they will agree to use a certain company’s golf ball only.  If a professional golfer wants to use a certain brand of golf ball and signs an endorsement deal with that golf ball company, they will be limited to using the golf ball (and color) that the company makes.

Companies may also want endorsed players to use a white ball because it is their most popular selling color and they don’t want their customer base to get confused. 

Also, professional golfers are typically very superstitious.  Growing up, they may have played with and been successful with white golf balls, so they want to keep using white balls. 

White is also a color that stands out on a golf course, therefore white golf balls are very easy to find.  The most popular players on tour usually have large amounts of fans watching them play, so finding their ball when they hit it offline isn’t usually difficult.  This isn’t always the case for less popular players.  So using a golf ball color that is easier to find is more important to them.

Why are Golf Balls White?

The first golf balls were made of wood and were hard to find and were easily damaged.  Back then, golf balls would be commonly painted white or sometimes red to be able to find them more easily and to provide added protection to the golf ball. 

White was the most common color used and eventually just became the dominant color of golf balls. Today, the vast majority of golf companies make white golf balls and then add designs or stamps to them.  Adding different colors or designs usually cause the golf balls to be more expensive, which makes them less attractive to customers. 

There are a few companies that make colored golf balls.  These companies will advertise the full range of colors and designs for those customers looking to branch out from the standard white golf ball.

What is the Easiest Colored Golf Ball to Find?

The easiest golf ball color to find is the white golf ball.  There are situations that can lead to the yellow ball being easier to find, but in general the white ball still stands out the most. 

When you hit a ball offline and are looking for the ball, you will commonly find other golf balls that previous golfers lost.  In this scenario, having a different colored ball will help distinguish your ball from other lost golf balls. 

Though, as mentioned above, if you are playing a hole near or around the driving range, having a yellow ball will make it extremely difficult to find since range balls are usually yellow. 

Other colors besides white and yellow will likely blend in to other objects on a golf course.  So depending on the time of the year, some colors such as red or pink might standout better than white or yellow, but this will not be the case year around.  In general, there is also a bit of preference built in to this. You know what color your eyes are trained to look for better than anyone else.

Can You Switch Out Colors During a Round?

In professional tournaments, the USGA doesn’t restrict the color of golf ball you can use.  However, they do restrict changing the color of the golf ball during the round. 

If a professional golfer starts a round with a yellow golf ball, they will have to use a yellow golf ball for that entire round.  If they lose their original ball, they better have that same color of back up golf balls to play in their bag. 

However, if they want to switch colors between rounds they are able to do that without penalty.  Typically a professional PGA Tour event has four rounds, so they could play a different color in each round if they wanted to.

Do Pro Golfers Use the Same Ball for the Entire Round?

When watching a golf tournament you may be wondering if a professional golfer uses the same ball for every hole.  The answer is yes, as long as they don’t lose the ball or it becomes damaged in some way. 

Some of the ways a golf ball can be damaged are when a golf ball hits a golf cart concrete pathway, hits a tree, or if the outside covering wears out from being played for a long period of time. 

Ways a golfer can lose a ball are by hitting it out of bounds, hitting it into water, or simply hitting it and not being able to find where it is. A professional golfer can’t change their ball out until the hole that they are playing is complete. 

Of course, if they lose the ball while playing the hole, they will take a penalty stroke and put a new ball in play. If none of these things happen during a round, then usually a professional golfer will use the same ball for the entire round.

Joshua Lloyd

Joshua is lead content creator for basketball and golf at Sports Fan Focus. Golf is a passion of his and he enjoys both playing and watching golf in his spare time. To read more about Joshua, visit the SFF About Us page.

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