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Can you put golf balls in water?

22 March 2024

Golf balls are small, dimpled balls used in the sport of golf. They are designed to be hit with a golf club and travel long distances across the course.

Properties of Golf Balls

Golf balls come in various materials, weights, and designs, each affecting their performance on the course.


Modern golf balls are typically made from materials such as urethane, Surlyn, or rubber. Each material offers different characteristics, including durability and spin.


Golf balls are standardized to weigh no more than 1.620 ounces (45.93 grams). Weight distribution within the ball can also vary, affecting its flight trajectory.


The dimples on a golf ball’s surface are strategically placed to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase lift, allowing the ball to fly farther.

Can Golf Balls Be Put in Water?

Many golfers wonder whether it’s safe or advisable to put golf balls in water hazards on the golf course.

Buoyancy of Golf Balls

Golf balls are generally not buoyant enough to float on water. However, certain factors such as ball design, material, and surface conditions can affect buoyancy.

Impact on Golf Balls

Submerging golf balls in water can have various effects on their performance and longevity. Water can seep into the ball’s core, altering its weight and balance.

Environmental Impact

The practice of putting golf balls in water hazards raises concerns about its environmental impact.


Most modern golf balls are not biodegradable, posing a threat to aquatic ecosystems if left in water bodies.


Abandoned golf balls in water hazards contribute to pollution and harm marine life.

Golf Balls in Water: Pros and Cons


  • Retrieving lost balls for reuse.
  • Adds challenge and strategy to the game.


  • Environmental damage.
  • Potential damage to wildlife.
  • Altered performance of retrieved balls.

Safety Considerations

Golfers should consider safety factors before attempting to retrieve golf balls from water hazards, including water depth, visibility, and potential hazards.

Alternatives to Submerging Golf Balls

To avoid environmental harm, golfers can explore alternative methods for retrieving lost balls, such as using ball retrievers or accepting lost balls as part of the game.


While it’s technically possible to put golf balls in water, it’s not advisable due to environmental concerns and potential damage to the balls. Golfers should consider the impact of their actions on the environment and explore safer alternatives for retrieving lost balls.


  1. Can golf balls float on water?
    • Generally, golf balls do not float on water due to their density and lack of buoyancy.
  2. Are golf balls biodegradable?
    • Most golf balls on the market are not biodegradable, posing environmental concerns if left in water bodies.
  3. How can I retrieve golf balls from water hazards safely?
    • Golfers can use specialized tools like ball retrievers or exercise caution when attempting to retrieve balls manually.
  4. Do golf balls degrade over time in water?
    • Yes, exposure to water can degrade the performance and integrity of golf balls over time.
  5. What are the environmental consequences of leaving golf balls in water?
    • Leaving golf balls in water can contribute to pollution and harm aquatic ecosystems, impacting wildlife and water quality.
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