Are Refurbished Golf Balls Good?

Love it or loathe it, golf equipment is crazy expensive. Even the golf balls can cost far too much money depending on which brand you spring for. Refurbished and recycled balls are increasingly popular among some savvy shoppers. Question is, are refurbished golf balls good? 

There are many unkind claims made about refurbished balls, mostly from the top golf ball brands. It’s suggested that their quality and performance just can’t compare to a brand new ball. Are they correct? On this page, we’ll try to find out.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, read on to learn more.

What are Refurbished Golf Balls? 

Refurbished golf balls are second hand golf balls that have been repainted for resale. Unlike the other types of golf balls listed below, the process of getting a refurbished ball ready for market is pretty uninvasive. They’re painted on an ‘at need’ basis.

Let’s say a small part of a marking is missing – the refurbishing process would simply add this part of the marking back. As long as you’re buying from a decent supplier, refurbished products don’t have to mean sacrificing performance. 

Refurbished Golf Balls

What are Refinished Golf Balls? 

When refinishing a golf ball, the manufacturer wet blasts its surface to remove any old decorative paint and reapplies an appropriate design. Only golf balls that aren’t scuffed or significantly damaged are used for refinishing. 

This makes them another decent option for those looking to save money when shopping for new balls.

What are Recycled Golf Balls?

The term ‘recycled’ can be a bit misleading here. In the vast majority of cases, golf balls can’t be broken down and reformed like other recycled products. Most ‘recycled’ golf balls are just second hand balls that have been cleaned before resale.

This makes it difficult to know whether you’re getting a good deal with a recycled golf ball. Some options will perform perfectly with barely any wear at all. Others can show significant signs of age immediately. 

Proceed with caution with shopping and try to determine the age of any ball you buy. 

The Difference Between Recycled and Refurbished Balls

The main difference is that with a refurbished golf ball, the only change that’s happened prior to resale is that any superficial paint elements have been repainted. The refurbishing process for golf balls is perhaps the least invasive second-hand process out there. 

Why Do People Play With Refurbished Golf Balls?

Because they can save you money! This of course depends on where you buy them from, but refurbished golf balls work out significantly cheaper than many brand-new options. If you’re buying a lot of balls, this can easily add up to hundreds of dollars.

Consider refurbished or refinished balls when next shopping if you’re on a budget.

Should You Play With Refurbished Golf Balls? 

Okay, so we’ve established what refurbished golf balls are and why people like to play with them, but is it actually a good idea? In this section, we’ll discuss what some people claim about these golf balls online and whether or not their claims hold up.

What the Naysayers Claim

The following claims are made about refurbished clubs often: 

  • There’s no guarantee that they’ll perform as expected 
  • There’s no warranty or refund possible 
  • Their spins are unpredictable 
  • Their flight paths just aren’t as good 
  • They’re harder to play with effectively 

Because the ‘starting point’ for most refurbished balls is some form of defect, the naysayers claim that they simply don’t perform as well as brand new products. While some balls may let you down from time to time, things have changed a lot in recent years.

We explore this below. 

The Performance Claims – Do They Hold Water? 

Gone are the days where it was impossible to find a decent second-hand golf ball. It’s now relatively easy to find cheap, reliable refurbished balls that are practically indistinguishable from a brand new equivalent. 

We address the above claims here: 

  • There’s no guarantee that they’ll perform as expected. 
    • These days, plenty of refurbished balls perform very well.
  • There’s no warranty or refund possible 
    • Many refurbished balls still come with some form of warranty or refund. policy. 
  • Their spins are unpredictable. 
    • Not if you buy from the right supplier. 
  • Their flight paths just aren’t as good. 
    • This has way more to do with the skill of the player hitting the ball.
  • They’re harder to play with effectively, 
    • This isn’t the case anymore, 

How to Pick Refurbished Golf Balls That Don’t Suck 

Even if some refurbished balls can perform very well, how on earth do you make sure you’re getting the right ones for your games? In this section, we’ll run through a few things to keep in mind when shopping. 

The more clued up you are now, the easier it will be to avoid disappointment. 

Buy From Places You Trust 

Buying from some guy you just met in the golf course parking lot? Your experience will likely be world’s away from someone who went to a reputable retailer. A good golf supplier will be able to talk you through what was wrong with the ball and the standards that were maintained when refurbishing them. 

Check How They’ve Been Refurbished

Was the ball in question recycled, refinished, or refurbished? Try to get a clear answer from any seller you talk to. Knowing how the ball was prepared for resale will make it much easier to know whether it’s worth buying in the first place. 

Check For Customer Feedback 

Online and offline reviews can be super helpful here. If a location has a ton of positive feedback, there’s at least a better chance that they’re worth trusting. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut here too. 

If things don’t feel right, there’s a good chance that you’re onto something. 

Related:

Can you put golf balls in the washing machine?

What golf balls are made in America?

Are Refurbished Balls Good? Final Thoughts 

All of the time? No. In most cases? Absolutely. As long as you’re buying from a supplier you trust, a refurbished ball can be imperceptible from a brand-new one. Where possible, check to see how a ball was prepared for resale before deciding to buy it.