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Is playing old golf balls a bad idea?

Ryan M

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A family member bought a home along a golf course to remodel. When he cleaned out the yard, he pulled out 300 or 400 golf balls. I threw out the low grade balls and non-urethane cover. Then after cleaning, if they had significant scuffs I also discarded them. This left me with maybe 100 balls in the Pro V1(x), Chrome Soft, TP5(x)/Penta, etc. Some of these were probably only a year or 2 old, but many were 5+ years old. For instance, I found a few of the Pro V1 392 balls.

I usually shoot in the 80's. Am I a fool for playing these older balls? I hit a few of them yesterday on a course I play 50 times a year, and felt like I was losing distance on the driver. Maybe a little on irons too, but that was a bit harder to see and I could chalk some of that up to colder weather, damp conditions, and a little wind. However, I felt like I was losing 20 or 30 yards on drives.

Are these balls old enough that I should not be playing them? Or is this all in my head and I just had a bad one?

Driver: PXG 0811 XF GEN4, 9* w/ Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited 60g
Woods: PXG 0341 X GEN4 3W/15* w/ Aldila NV Green Hybrid NXT 70g?
Hybrids: PXG 0317 X GEN4 3H/19* w/ Aldila NV Green Hybrid NXT 85g
Irons: :taylormade-small: M2 Tour 4-A w/ KBS Tour 90
Wedges: :titelist-small: Vokey SM7 56*, SM6 60*
Putter: :scotty-cameron-1: Studio Select Newport 1.5
Ball: :titelist-small: ProV1x
Bag: Sun Mountain C130

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There was a test done recently with older Pro V1 balls compared to the new model. There was not a significant difference. So older models are ok to play. The thing to consider was the tests were new in the box comparisons. There wasn't a weather factor in the equation. Tests have also been done comparing refurbished balls and water balls and the results were not favorable. Since these are yard balls I would probably stick to the newer models to play with and use the rest for your shag bag. Fine for chipping around the yard.

My son is part of a golf course matenience crew. He sometimes is the rough mower. He brings home a dozen or two every week he is on the mower. I know the balls are only a few days old. I separate them and keep the high end urethane for play, the rest go in a bin and I give them away. 

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:titleist-small: Driver, TSi1 10* Stiff Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: 939x 5 hybrid

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (6 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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sounds like you answered your own question.   Some performance loss and depending on how serious you are an amazing about golf it may or may not matter. 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15*  w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 915H 21* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/:Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   :seemore-small: mFGP2

Backups:  :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787, logo-horizontal-black.svg Directed Force 2.1 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG


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Callaway talked about this several years back. 3-5 years is about shelf life if kept at normal temps. Going to be a lot less if outside even for a short period of time 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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