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What Do The Numbers On Golf Balls Mean?

Most golfers will have noticed at some point that on every golf ball, there is a printed number.

Why is it there? Is it on every ball? What does it all mean?

We did into golf ball numbers to help you out.

Why is there a number on a golf ball?

The number on a golf ball is there to help players identify their balls. It ensures that you don’t play another player’s ball instead of your own.

What does the number of the golf ball actually mean?

You might have noticed a few things about the different numbers on golf balls. But do they mean anything specific?

The answer is that it’s complicated.

Historically there was a meaning behind these numbers. The number indicated some features of the ball they were printed on.

This was usually related to things like compression.

What does a single number mean?

A single number on a golf ball is used for identification purposes only.

When two golfers use the same brand of ball and play together, it can be confusing. To avoid hitting the other player’s ball, they need to know which is which.

What do two numbers on a golf ball mean?

These numbers actually used to mean something back in the 90s. These numbers were used to identify a ball’s compression rating back then.

Lower compression balls are generally used for those with a slower swing or those trying to learn. 

They are also used by juniors, older players and sometimes, in the past, ladies.

Nowadays, players will request their favourite number on their ball. Meaning that the compression number doesn’t make it on.

Three digits on balls, what about that?

What about if we get higher numbers on a golf ball?

These numbers are commonly higher than 300. They indicate the number of dimples on the ball.

These can be drastically different between brands and between types of golf balls. 

I know, you thought each golf ball had the same number of dimples? Think again.

Okay, okay, what about the colour of the number on the golf ball?

Well, that’s kind of a similar thing. As we just mentioned, golf ball manufacturers use numbers to indicate compression.

They also use colours to do this. These days red numbers usually indicate a ball that feels softer. Whereas black numbers will indicate a firmer golf ball.

Now you know what that little number means!

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James Ewen