What Do The Numbers On Golf Balls Mean? You Should Know This!

Did you know that golf holes have a diameter of 4.25 inches? Yes, that’s right! That means golf balls should be smaller than these holes! Also, do you know what the number on golf balls describes something about them?

Small details in golf should not be taken for granted, like the numbers or letters printed on them. Today, golf balls have number/s printed on them. So, do you know what do the numbers on golf balls mean?

Numbers vary depending on the brand, but we will try harder to explain them to you. Keep on reading!

Why Do Golf Balls Have Numbers on Them?

If you are a beginner, you might be confused about the numbers printed on golf balls. But it is not what you think they are. Initially, understanding golf rules/concepts may be time-consuming for you, but understanding them will somehow make you more informed: Just like the numbers in golf balls.

You might be surprised to open a box of golf balls and find each ball has a different number. They sometimes have the same numbers. Each manufacturer provides diverse numbers on every set of golf balls. But why do golf balls have printed numbers?

The simplest explanation for this is to make it easier for golfers to distinguish their golf balls when they are playing. Back when there were few brands of golf balls, it was tough for players to tell which balls are theirs once they are on the ground.

Although there are more than a hundred models of golf balls nowadays, many players may choose the same brand. To differentiate each one from the other, manufacturers put different numbers on each ball.

What Is The Meaning Of The Numbers On Golf Balls?

Golf ball makers will print one or more numbers into their golf balls. The numeral/s can mean many things, subject to where the prints are on the ball. Most printed numbers come in one-, two-, and three-digit, but each will mean different things. Here are some of the explanations:

1. One-Digit

There is no rule in golf on what number of balls you should use. The single-digit number is usually to identify your ball. The 1-digit number commonly ranges from 0-9, but most manufacturers used 0-4.

The numbered balls make the distinction from other balls, especially when you are playing with a group. However, if some players have the same number, they write their initials on the ball using a marker.

2. Two-Digit

In customized orders, manufacturers print any 2-digit numbers requested by customers. The two-digit number may range between 00 and 99, depending on the manufacturer or the clients’ descriptions. Most pro golfers order golf balls with customized 2-digit numbers based on their lucky numbers.

Back then, most golf ball makers printed the balls’ compression rating, like 70 or 80. It will indicate that the ball is ideal for lady golfers or beginners with a low swing speed.

The printing of the golf balls’ compression rating into them was a success in the 90s. Today, you can rarely see golf balls with printed compression ratings on them, except when a player is using an old one. The two brands that mostly used 2-digit numbers on golf balls are TaylorMade and Titleist.

3. Three-Digit

Nowadays, the 3-digit numbers on golf balls indicate the number of dimples on the ball. The triple-digit may range between 300 and 400, represents the number of dents (dimples) in a golf ball. This way, you can figure out the quality or performance of the ball, although the dimple numbers may show on the box.

However, a number lower than 300, like 100 may indicate the compression rating of the ball. The number 100 usually designates a golf ball meant for average male golfers.

If you wonder how many dimples golf balls should have, check out this article.

Which Numbers Are Allowed On Golf Balls?

There are no rules on which numbers should be allowed on golf balls. Currently, golf ball makers print the numbers 1 to 4 on golf balls. Some models are printing a single digit as high as 8. But theoretically speaking, golf balls may have any number printed on them.

Read More:  the 17 Best Longest Golf Balls.

Are There Regulations On Printing Numbers In Golf Balls?

In both professional and recreational games, there are no current restrictions on what number should a golf ball has.

Some players, on custom orders, may pick the numbers they like or lucky for them. But with the absence of customized orders, golf ball makers are now using single- and double-digit prints on golf balls. Most one-digit numbers on new golf balls in a box are divided into sleeves.

To illustrate: a dozen golf balls will have four sleeves, each with four balls. Each sleeve will have the same printed number on the balls. In a dozen golf balls, four balls will have a number “1”; the next set has numbered “2”, while the last four balls will have “3” as their number, and so on.

Some Captivating Golf Ball Numbers

Here are some stats concerning golf balls in the modern era:

  • Golf Ball Diameter: The standard diameter of a golf ball is 1.68 inches (42.67mm). However, the standard golf ball has a circumference of 5.28 inches (134.05mm). Back then, golf balls had a smaller diameter (1.62 inches).
  • Golf Ball Weight: Modern golf balls have a standard weight (USGA ruling) of 1.62 oz. (45.92 grams). A heavier ball will travel farther because of less air resistance. That is why the USGA sets this maximum allowed weight for golf balls.
  • Golf Ball Speed: The golf ball speed depends on the strength of your swing. However, the average speed of golf balls is 160 miles per hour (mph) when hit from the tee. Beginners will have less speed, while pro golfers are expected to have higher ball speeds.

Custom Numbered Golf Balls

The possibilities are endless if you want custom-numbered golf balls. You can hire professionals to do the printing of your preferred number/s into your balls.

If you want to do the printing, you can use the popular Sharpie writing implements. You can put colored dots or other identification marks (number or your initials) into the balls.

Read more: Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Clean Your Golf Balls At Home


1. What do high numbers on golf balls mean?

The high numbers are 5, 6, 7, and 8, like the Titleist Pro V1x Golf Balls. The higher numbers are deviations from the standard 1-4 stamping of other brands and have no other meaning.

The balls on the Titleist golf ball model (with one dozen balls) are boxed three balls per sleeve. Each number has three balls. The numbers are used to aid golfers in identifying their balls. No other reasons are behind it.

2. What do the different colored numbers on golf balls mean?

Back in the day, red numbers represent 90 compression ratings, while the black numbers were stand-out for 100 compression grades. Today, golf ball makers used red numbers as an indication of a softer feel, while black numbers suggest a firmer feel.

3. What does the arrow on a golf ball mean?

Some golfers draw an arrow on their balls as an alignment mark on where to hit and where the ball should go. The arrow usually points toward the target and the direction where you want the ball to travel. Adding an arrow or lines into your golf ball is legal.

4. What golf ball should I use?

If you are a beginner or a high-handicapper, the best-to-use balls are those with soft construction (2-piece). The two-piece golf ball provides straighter flight, less spin, and increase forgiveness. Golf balls with less spin will travel farther and gives you more range.

However, more advanced players should pick golf balls that have a high spin with less forgiveness. It will provide them better overall ball control.

5. What about the Numbers in Golf Clubs?

The number of golf clubs refers to the loft (the angle of the clubface). The higher number a golf club has, the loftier it is. It will mean that the angle of the golf club face is more intense: providing a higher launch with a shorter range. For a lower number of golf clubs, the opposite is possible.

To know more about the numbers (sometimes the lettering) on golf clubs, watch the video below:


Now you know the reasons for the question what do the numbers on golf balls mean? There is nothing wrong with knowing even the smallest detail in golf. Besides, you could learn more as you go deeper into the game.

It is now more interesting to know that numbers on golf balls are nothing but identification on who owns them. But some players take them as a personal choice.

Read more:Do Golf Balls Go Bad? How Would You Know And What Would You Do To Avoid?

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