If you have played golf for quite some time, chances are you know what it is like to lose a few golf balls during the course of a round. It is frustrating to lose a golf ball. Not only is this going to impact your score, but it impacts your wallet as well.

image of golfer with 3 golf balls in his hand - AEC Info

One major concern that the average golfer have is running out of golf balls while they are on the course. Although this is rarely a problem for most experienced players, it can help to have a better idea of how many balls to carry in your bag before you head out for a round of golf.

Let’s take a look at home many golf balls you need for 18 holes.

How many golf balls for 18 holes

Most amateur golfers will be fine bringing nine golf balls with them for a rough of 18 holes. Some will like to keep a dozen balls in the bag, and that is fine, although it is rarely necessary. If you are playing a course with a lot of thick rough, tight fairways or water hazards everywhere you look, pack extra golf balls.

For the most part, golfers are playing rounds of golf with way too many golf balls in their bags. Having all of these golf balls in play can have a significant impact on the weight of your bag. If you are walking the golf course, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage by having all of this extra gear.

Some lower handicap golfers will likely only keep a few balls in their bag because they know that they rarely lose a ball during a round of golf. Here are some other things you should know about what to keep in your golf bag, how long a golf ball is good for, and how you can ensure that you are prepared for every round of golf you play.

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What is the one ball rule?

The one ball rule is an optional condition that the USGA may implement and states that a golfer must use the same ball from the time they tee off to the time they finish their round of golf. Of course, there are times that you will lose golf balls during the course of your round, but you must replace them with the same golf ball type.

Let’s say you tee off with a Pro V1 golf ball . During the course of a round, you hit a ball out of bounds and can’t get to it; you must still be using a Pro V1 when you hit your provisional golf ball. This is obviously most important during tournament play.

The reason the one ball rule is in effect is that the technology differences between most golf balls are starting to get a bit extreme. You can really see differences in spin and distance performance, and it would benefit the average player if they could change this technology from one hole to the next.

Instead, this rule keeps it fair, but it does mean you may need a few more balls in your bag than you initially thought.

How long is a golf ball good for?

Another issue that some golfers have is they are never sure when to let go of a golf ball. If you are an avid golfer that rarely loses the ball, you may have dozens and dozens of balls in your bag that were only used for one round.

Essentially you can use a single ball for at least 6 or 7 rounds before you need to replace it. Starting off with a new ball is not one of the crazy rules, although some players prefer it. This takes into account that you won’t lose a single golf ball, and have not hit a cart path, golf cart, trees, or other objects  on the previous hole that could cause the ball to be damaged.

Once a month, depending on the holes of golf you played, you should go through your golf bag and do a thorough cleaning of your ball supply. During this single time, you will want to clean your golf clubs, inspect your golf bag, look at the golf balls outer layer you are carrying around for exterior scratches and get your bag ready for the next month.

Chances are you will have much more than nine golf balls in your bag, and this is going to be weighing you down for no reason. Take out the extras and use them as practice balls or give them to your kids to play a round.

How many golf balls do pros carry in their bag?

If you haven’t already noticed, the golf bag that pros carry around is massive. These players have a lot of gear, plus they are getting paid a lot of money to advertise. Most of the time, golfers have between 6 and 12 golf balls that they like to carry in their bags.

This is more of a personal preference, and some golfers will look at it from a superstitious viewpoint, but right around nine is pretty standard for most professional golfers. During the course of a round, it is very rare for a professional to lose a golf ball.

However, this is not just about losing golf balls. With the swing speeds that a professional golfer has, there is a strong possibility that the golf ball will crack or scuff, and they will need to replace it for this reason.

Do recreational golfers need brand new balls?

image of collected used golf balls - AEC Info

You have probably seen quite a few advertisements for refurbished golf balls. These golf balls were likely found by other golfers and then sold to a company to clean them up and then sell them again like Lost golf balls.com . The golf balls will come at a very fair price, and you will sometimes buy them by the dozen.

Recreational golfers that are just learning how to play golf or simply want to play once a month are fine to use any golf ball. If you can find something like a refurbished model that is high-performing and easy to launch, it makes sense to give it a try.

Golfers playing golf in a tournament or on the PGA tour have to be much more selective about the golf balls they use.
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Hopefully, you can now see that around nine golf balls is a good safe bet for a round of play. Some golfers will insist on having at least a dozen golf balls in their bag, but this is not necessarily the case for most players.

Chances are you will get around the course using just one golf ball. If you are playing in gale force winds or a golf course with several island greens, even then, you may only lose two or three golf balls. Carrying nine golf balls just helps to give golfers peace of mind.