Golf balls are a strange part of the game. So crucial to every round of golf, but how much do you know about them?
For some golfers, golf ball size and dimensions are inconsequential; they just take a ball out of their bag and play.
For others, it is crucial, as many golfers often have a preferred type of golf ball.
The reality is there is a lot more to it than meets the eye regarding golf ball size.
There are several elements to the size of a golf ball in cm and in g and in this article, we are going to explore them.
We will look at:
- Circumference of a golf ball
- Radius of a golf ball
- Volume of a golf ball
- Width of a golf ball
- Golf ball weight
Hopefully, we will answer how big golf balls are and any more questions you have as to the dimensions of a golf ball.
Importantly we will also look at how all this can affect your game.
Let’s get started!
What is the circumference of a golf ball?
The circumference is the length of the perimeter of a circle, or the golf ball.
An easy way to think of this is if you wrapped a piece of string entirely around the middle of the ball, how long would that piece of string be?
Well, the answer for the circumference of a golf ball is 134.05mm, or 13.4cm, or 5.277 inches.
What is the radius of a golf ball?
If you remember learning math at school, you may remember that circumference and radius of a sphere (ball) are closely linked.
But what exactly is the radius?
The radius refers to the distance from the edge of the ball to the center.
The radius of a golf ball is equal to 21.35mm, or 2.135cm, or 0.84 inches.
Now that we know those two values, can you remember the math that links radius and circumference?
What is the width of a golf ball?
The width of a ball is sometimes referred to as the diameter and is simple to work out.
Often when looking at the dimensions of a golf ball, the radius will be listed but not the diameter.
However, the diameter is simply 2x the radius!
So the width or diameter of a golf ball is 42.67mm, or 4.267cm, or 1.680 inches.
What is the volume of a golf ball?
Another dimension of a golf ball that is closely linked to golf ball size is the volume of a golf ball, i.e. the amount of ‘space’ it takes up.
The volume of a golf ball is 40.68 cm3 (cubic centimeters) or 2.48 cubic inches.
To put that into context, the volume of a can of coke is 330cm3.
What Is The Weight Of A Golf Ball?
When thinking about the size of something, its weight is often an aspect that comes to mind as a key question.
So when answering the question of golf ball size, we should also consider its weight as well.
How much does a golf ball weigh then?
Well, unlike the other aspects of golf ball size, golf ball weight can vary.
The upper limit of golf ball weight is 45.9g, but they can weigh less than that.
However, most golf balls weigh no less than 45g.
How Do Golf Ball Dimensions Affect Your Golf Game?
So we have answered the critical questions of golf ball size and specifications.
But the question is, how much does it affect your game?
The answer is not massively as golf ball size is regulated and standardized by both USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A, the two major regulatory bodies in golf.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking all golf balls are the same!
There are considerable variations in golf ball design, and other design specifications can impact how a golf ball performs.
So keep reading for a guide on other golf ball design specifications and how to find the right golf ball for you.
Golf ball compression
An aspect of a golf ball’s design specifications that affects how a golf ball performs is how much it compresses at impact.
Golf ball compression is how much the ball squeezes when impacted by the clubhead.
The softer the ball the more its shape changes at impact. The harder the ball the less it changes shape at impact.
The reality is that golf ball size and dimensions change during the shot.
Manufacturers rate golf ball compression on a scale from 30 to 120. 30 represents the softest golf balls, while 120 represents the hardest.
Whether to go for a softer or harder ball depends on what you want out of your game.
If you are someone who is looking to achieve greater distance on your shots, then a softer golf ball is the one for you.
The increased compression from a softer ball allows more energy to be transferred from the clubface to the ball.
This means golfers who have less energy in their swing, i.e. have lower swing speeds, can attain greater distances with a softer ball.
Softer Balls = More Spin
Another advantage of softer golf balls is that they gain more spin.
This makes them useful for approach shots, and your short game, as the increased spin can give you the extra control you need to get the ball closer to the hole.
So what’s the downside of using a softer golf ball?
Softer balls are on the expensive side. Some high-end soft balls could set you back $60 for 12.
Harder balls may not offer as much distance or spin but they are cheaper!
So if you’re someone who loses a few balls a round, it may not be worth spending the money on a softer ball.
For the most part, a golf ball in the mid-range of compression is usually a good option.
They offer some of the benefits of a soft ball, at a more affordable price.
When you are next weighing up which golf ball to buy, and thinking about golf ball size, remember compression is a big part of the performance.
Golf ball dimples
Surely if golf ball size is standardized then the number of dimples on a ball is standardized too?
No, the number of dimples on a golf ball is not regulated.
On average, a golf ball will have around 330-340 dimples, but one ball was made with 1700 dimples!
But how do dimples affect a ball’s flight?
Interestingly a smooth golf ball with no dimples would only travel half the distance of a standard golf ball.
This is because the dimples create smooth air around the ball as it flies. This effect decreases air resistance and helps the ball fly further.
Do more expensive balls have more or fewer dimples then?
Not particularly. Most golf balls have several dimples in the standard range.
Some golf balls aimed at beginners will have a slightly higher number of dimples, as this helps to achieve a higher ball flight.
It is the design and pattern of the dimples on a ball that has the greatest effect on how a ball flies.
The size, depth, and pattern of dimples can affect the ball’s velocity, spin, and trajectory after impact.
There is no particular pattern of dimples to look out for when buying golf balls, as the differences are often very subtle.
The thing to bear in mind is that the most expensive balls will have had the most research and design work done on them, so they will generally have the most optimized performance.
Generally, however, only the most experienced golfers will be able to tell the difference.
When it comes to choosing golf balls, find the ones that work best for you and stick to them.
So that’s our guide to golf ball size.
We have looked at golf ball size in cm and g while assessing the width, volume circumference, and weight of a standard golf ball.
We have also explored some other aspects of golf ball design specifications such as compression and dimples.
The number and choice of available golf balls can seem excessive and several golf ball manufacturers claim to have the best ball!
The reality is the best ball for you is the type that you feel most comfortable with and the one that produces the best results.
Or you could be a golfer who couldn’t care less about the type of golf ball you use, and just pull out a ball and get on with it.
If you are looking to find a ball that suits you, try a few different types that vary in design specifications.
After a few rounds, you will have found a ball that you feel comfortable using and that produces the best results.
Once you’ve found your ideal ball, then stock up! As we all know every golfer loses a few golf balls now and again!
If you are looking for a good guide that tells you which golf ball to use, check out the golf guidebook article below for a comprehensive, experts guide.