Unarguably, it’s the golf ball. The sheer number of lost balls found by golfers on the greens attests to this fact.
Golf balls go through a lot on the golf course. While clubs and associations spend a fortune in keeping their golf courses clean, you will always find your ball muddied after a satisfying shot. In fact, if you stroll around the golf course, you will find small hidden muddy pockets that balls find unable to escape.
During a game, you have probably ended up with scuffed and dirty balls more than a couple of times. While picking up our golf balls from the muck, is wiping them with a dry or a wet towel enough?
Before playing the game, the player needs to remember four important things:
- On the course, the player is required to play the ball in the state that it is in, which underscores the importance of cleaning the ball before the game begins
- During the game, a ball can pick up anything that it comes into contact with
- The golf ball has a surface that is designed to perform on the course. So any element present on its surface can reduce its playability
- The presence of any element or material doesn’t reduce the usability of the golf ball
Although cleaning your golf balls may sound like a mind-numbing task, clean golf balls not only look much more elegant, but they are also much easier to play and to spot around the golf course when lost. A dirty ball might impact the aerodynamics of the ball, including the speed, shot accuracy and distance. So if you want to be at the top of your game, cleaning your golf balls should fall under your weekly maintenance tasks.
Let’s discuss the various situations and places where our ball goes into and then see how we can clean them. Following these steps will help you make your golf balls like new –the way they should be.
How to Clean Dry Dirt?
The first step to remove any dried out dirt and mud from the golf balls is to rinse them with a hose and dry them with a towel. After that, fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add about a cup of dishwater detergent to the water. Once they are washed, soak the golf balls for one to two hours and then remove them from the water.
Please note that the amount of dish soap you use will depend on the number of balls you are cleaning and how dirty they are. After you have removed them from the water, rinse them with clean water and wipe the golf balls with a clean, dry towel. The last step is to let your golf balls air dry for a couple of hours and you are ready to hit the golf course!
For all those that find the above procedure a bit cumbersome, there is one alternative that may help. Many golfers, even professionals, use the dishwasher in order to clean their balls. Just make sure you place the balls in the silverware basket in order to remain stable during the wash cycle. Many even suggest that using the dishwasher is not only an easy, quick option to clean your golf balls, but also a test of quality. If you have high-quality golf balls then you shouldn’t be worried about damaging your balls during the wash. This alternative option is much easier, especially when you are short on time.
How to Clean Mucky or Sticky Dirt?
Since mucky dirt needs a strong wash, it is necessary to rub the golf ball with a solution rather than simply soak it in water. Spraying the balls with a water hose, or scrubbing each of them individually with an old unused toothbrush may come in handy to scrape off the dirt from the ball. A solution of water and baking soda works well to remove the dirt and muck from the ball. Apart from the solution, it would also be wise to soak the balls in a solution of warm water and vinegar to remove the dirt from the trickier spots of the ball. White vinegar helps in loosening the dirt.
Some may suggest using alcohol to remove heavy dirt; however, it is a bad idea because it will absorb the oils present on the rubber and plastic material surface. While it may help in removing the pen markings, not using it is the best option.
If a solution of baking soda and water doesn’t work, then a bleaching agent such as Hydrogen Peroxide will let the dirt fall off the ball without even using a sponge or a towel.
How to Clean Pen Markings?
Golfers who stroll around the golf clubs often recover balls lost or abandoned by other golfers. Many of these balls have paint or pen markings on them. Some markers or paint can be cleaned using detergent and bleaching agent, but some need more vigorous washing.
If the marks don’t vanish after rigorous washing, it would be good to wipe it by cotton dipped in nail polish remover. Since sharpie pens are fairly permanent, it would be good to treat the stain or the mark with a vinegar or acetone solution. Some may also require lacquer thinner. Once the desired solution is applied, the balls need to be dipped in the detergent solution and then rinsed with water.
All in all, just like any outdoor sport, golf equipment can get dirty really quickly. Yet, leaving your golf ball dirty has several drawbacks, ranging from impacting the aerodynamics of the ball to ruining its quality.
Important Points to Remember:
- It is always beneficial to avoid acidic elements for cleaning the golf ball. It is better for the ball to remain less shiny than being damaged.
- While keeping the golf balls submerged in water overnight is a good idea, it is advisable not to keep them in water for an entire day.
- Hand gloves should be used while cleaning the ball with any detergent or acetone to prevent any damage to the skin.
- As per the USGA rules, during a game, golf balls can be cleaned only when the player is between the holes. Cleaning the ball on the green is illegal as it may give rise to instances of ball tampering and the golfer may be awarded a one-stroke penalty.
- It is always recommended that balls of different colors should not be mixed together while cleaning.
A golfer needs to find effective ways of keeping his equipment clean and tidy. Cleaning your golf ball may seem to be a mundane task, but in reality, a golfer who has invested a fortune in purchasing other golf accessories may find all his efforts in vain if he forgets to take care of one of the most inexpensive accessories of his game – the golf ball.