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Do Pro Golfers Bring Their Own Balls to Tournaments?

Golf’s roots date back hundreds of years to when people hit pebbles along the beaches of Scotland. Now, the pebbles are gone and players have magnificently engineered balls that adhere to their style as they take the course. As such, regulations must state what’s allowed and forbidden in a professional game.

What are the rules regarding modern golf balls?

As time has passed, the golf balls have evolved both in design and the ingredients used to make them. Gone are the rocks and in are heavily regulated custom golf balls that help a player on the field while sticking to the rulebook.

The rules regarding golf balls are basic, reports GolfBalls.com. They must be symmetrical, meaning they cannot be the slightest bit ovular. As far as size, the balls must be no more than 1.62 ounces or less than 1.68 inches in diameter. Curiously, no rules exist regarding how big a golf ball can be, although being too big would be a hindrance to any golfer who tried.

Brands must have products go through rigorous testing to make sure their balls meet the distance and velocity requirements vital to pro golf events. Whether a player likes the way a ball hits off the tee or the way it rolls on the green, every golfer is free to choose their approved ball.

Do players bring their own balls to tournaments?

Players do bring their own balls to tournaments, reports the United States Golf Association. They are allowed to carry no more than nine with them as they compete throughout the day. The balls must adhere to the PGA’s standards of size, brand, and model.

During practice, however, the players often receive unlimited balls to do away with any confusion regarding retrieval. These may not necessarily be the same as the ones they use in competition, however.

Once a player tees a ball off, they are bound to that ball unless it’s lost, hit into the water, or unplayable due to damage. On the putting green, players must use the same ball, even if it’s lifted to clear a path for an opponent. Substituting the ball outside of the rules will result in swift punishment. 

What types of balls do famous golfers use?

As far as paying for balls, most pro golfers are part of sponsorship deals, where they get the required equipment without going out-of-pocket.

According to Golfweek, most golfers are partial to the Titleist Pro V1/1X. These balls are known for carrying good distance while also boasting good control on the putting greens. Mike Weir, Zach Johnson, and Angel Cabrera have all won majors using this ball.

The Callaway Tour is the choice for Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, who’ve both seen major success using this firm ball known for increased spin. The Callaway Tour claims to be the most aerodynamic among competitors. Tiger Woods, unsurprisingly, uses the Nike One Tour, reports Golf.com. This ball, made in partnership with Bridgestone, is known for its consistent distance and spin.

Does it really matter? 

The design of the ball helps or hinders a golfer might be hard to determine, but part of being a pro golfer is knowing what works and doesn’t. The PGA’s guidelines ensure that everyone competes on an even playing field. It also allows them to use what makes them comfortable. 

Golf is a game of inches. If players want even the slightest advantage, they use the ball that’s best for them. This is why it is so important for the PGA and other leagues to set guidelines.

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