Lots of things are getting expensive in today’s world, whether it be groceries, gas, or insurance.
If you have noticed that the price of golf balls is also going up, you are not mistaken.
Golf balls have always been one of the more expensive pieces of equipment that golfers need.
The reason behind this is not about the price of the individual golf ball but more about how many you will need during the course of a round.
A great round of golf means that you won’t lose a single golf ball.
However, this is not the case for most amateur players.
If you want to play golf, you will need to have golf balls, and there is no way around it.
Understanding why golf balls are so expensive can help you justify the money you are spending to play the sport you love.
Even though golf balls cost more money than they ever did, they are also better than they ever were.
Here are the top 10 reasons golf balls are so expensive.
Why Are Golf Balls So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Necessary For Play
When it comes to pricing, products have a lot more competition when there are options for customers to choose from.
When it comes to golf balls, there are no other choices for golfers.
If you don’t have golf balls, you can’t play the game.
Of course, this does not mean that you need the most expensive golf balls to have a great round, but it does mean that you will need to purchase them.
The rules of golf will never change, and buyers will find it necessary to purchase golf balls for almost every round they play.
This is where the golf ball manufacturers have the upper hand.
They will put in lots of research and development and create incredible products because they know you need them.
Without their golf balls and this performance technology, your game will not be as good.
One thing that we know about golfers is that they’re willing to pay money to play a round of golf.
If a piece of equipment or golf ball can give you a few more yards or a little bit more accuracy, most players are willing to pay the extra money.
2. Research And Development
Have you noticed that new golf balls come to the market every year?
All golf ball manufacturers, through tremendous research and development procedures, strive to put out the best possible product that they can.
Each year, experimentation is done with different materials, organization of layers in the ball, colors, covers, and more.
The goal is to continue to make golf balls that feel great and perform well, while still being legal in the eyes of the USGA.
The research and development that is done on golf balls are done by engineers and scientists.
These people have very high-level college degrees are extremely smart and innovative.
With their brainpower and modern-day technology, golf balls are currently able to do more than they ever have been in the past.
The problem, of course, is that this type of research and development to create better products is very expensive.
Not only are employee salaries high, but so are the costs of materials, equipment, and spaces used to do the product testing.
We all need research and development to be able to move forward with the game of golf, but it is a cost that trickles down to the consumer.
3. Materials Used
If you are a golf history fan, you may know that golf balls have come a long way from their original material makeup.
Some golf balls in the past were even made with feathers as a center.
Today, golf balls mostly have a rubber core and several outer layers.
The outer layers are different, and the rubber core composition is different depending on the golf ball company you are considering.
Every company has its unique value proposition through which they try to ensure players are getting a golf ball that meets their specific needs.
Some of the most popular materials used to make golf balls have high acquisition costs.
Even though alternatives have been tested, sometimes there is no way to replace a material like urethane or Surlyn in the cover of a ball.
In addition, the USGA makes this a little bit more difficult because of the restrictions that they put on materials and performance benefits.
Even though golf ball manufacturers will try to say that their ball is longer, straighter, and higher-flying the next, the truth is all balls still must conform to the USGA regulations.
This means that in the end, most golf balls are relatively similar except for a few of the unique materials used.
4. Performance From Tee And Green
In the past, golf balls were designed to be driven a long way.
Today, players expect that there will be a performance from both the tee and the green.
Golfers want to be able to hit the ball a long way from the tee but then have spin and control around the greens.
This takes quite a bit of work on the part of the golf ball manufacturer.
They will need to test their product and add different layers and technology to make it work from all areas on the golf course.
Another thing that the players are looking for is ball flight.
Some people have naturally low ball flight and need a little help with that, and the newest golf balls on the market can do that.
Others struggle with spin.
Getting too much spin off the tee can create golf shots that will go very far left or very far right.
This is something that almost all players would like to avoid if possible.
The technology on the market today can help you hit the ball straighter, higher, and more precisely than ever before.
As you can see, this has led to an increase in the cost of golf balls on the market.
5. More Layers
Years ago, it was rare to find a golf ball that was more than two pieces.
The two-piece ball consisted of a rubber core and then an external cover.
Their coursework had different options when it came to the materials used and the cover technology.
However, there is a major difference between a golf ball with five layers and a golf ball with two layers.
The more layers there are, the more unique performance that a golf ball can have.
When you increase the number of layers in a golf ball, you see extra spin performance and an overall better feel.
Some of the two-piece golf balls tend to feel rather hard or have kind of a rubbery feel to them.
It really makes more sense to look at a ball that has at least three pieces.
If you are serious about your game, some three-piece golf balls are still relatively affordable but offer excellent performance.
Having that little bit of extra help from that third layer can make a big difference in your game and the abilities that you have around the green.
So many amateur players think that they are not capable of getting spin on their short game shots.
However, this is not the case. They’re simply not playing with the right equipment.
We have yet to see a ball that has more than five layers, but we can almost guarantee you that that will be an even more expensive option to choose from.
6. Unique Performance Characteristics
In today’s world, everyone wants a custom product.
Whether it be custom golf shoes or custom golf clubs, customization of products is a significant feature that golfers are looking for.
Although we haven’t quite reached the point of golfers choosing custom golf ball technology for their game, people want a ball built specifically to suit their needs.
This means that a golf ball may need to have a low spin from the tee and a higher spin around the green.
The ball may need an impressive feel or a bright color to be a good fit for a player.
No matter how you look at it, golfers simply want more choices.
Between all of the companies on the market, there are plenty of choices out there.
These options all have unique characteristics, and they can help golfers get the performance they need for their games.
Find a golf ball that feels great for your game, and you will be well on your way to shooting lower scores.
If there are golf balls in your bag that simply don’t work for your game, you have hundreds of other options to choose from.
Players should be trying the new equipment that comes to the market.
Have you ever thought about the concept of playing with a golf ball that you hit straighter and how you may not need to purchase as many of them in a year?
Think about this the next time you think golf balls are too expensive.
Every golf ball manufacturer has worked hard to earn their position in the industry.
It is no accident that Titleist is considered the number one ball in golf.
They have worked hard to earn this position in the market, and they will do everything they can to maintain it for as long as possible.
However, the branding process has been expensive, and the result is that consumers will pay more money for the product.
When you look at a Titleist golf ball, you will think about quality.
This is not just you, but this is the majority of golfers.
Part of this is because the Titleist golf balls are being used on the PGA Tour.
When professional golfers use certain equipment or golf accessories, many amateurs believe that it is the best option on the market.
This is not to say that a Callaway or a Wilson ball is not just as good as Titleist.
The issue is that golf ball manufacturers have to spend a lot of time building their brand and then maintaining their brand image.
The bottom line is that this process is expensive.
8. People Will Pay!
This may seem silly, but it is one of the significant reasons for expensive golf balls.
If you put a golf ball in front of a player and tell them that it has all of the performance characteristics that they need, many people will pay regardless of the price.
As we have mentioned, golfers want to get better.
For many of them, this means that there are no holdbacks, including cost.
When new players find a golf ball that works well for them, they will pay for it.
Sometimes without even realizing that a golf ball could be a good or a bad fit for a player, they will use it anyway.
We see this often with the Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.
These golf balls have been considered to be some of the best for amateur golfers for many years.
Those who have no idea what golf ball they should be playing their game since they walked into a golf shop and paid well over $40 for a dozen of the Titleist Pro V1.
Blindly purchasing golf balls that are higher in price simply because others say they are great is not a good idea.
It is best to try out several different types of golf balls and see which one is the best for your needs.
You may find that the most expensive golf balls give you the best performance.
However, you may also find that there is very little difference between mid-level price golf balls and the ones at the top of the market.
Don’t simply assume that the most expensive golf balls are the best because people have been doing this for many years.
Golf ball manufacturers know that people will pay, and therefore, they continue to put out a high-priced product.
Every time you buy a product, whether it be for golf or your kitchen, a part of what you are paying for is marketing.
There is so much competition on the market now that marketing costs are continuing to increase.
For companies to compete with each other, they will need to spend money on their marketing.
Therefore, golf ball manufacturers have to compete against each other and will pay lots of money towards marketing companies and different marketing avenues.
The problem, of course, is that this extra spending needs to be recuperated somewhere else.
Where that is recuperated is in the sale price of the golf ball.
Some golf ball manufacturers are trying to create a direct-to-consumer model that helps keep some of these costs down.
Others like to fly under the radar and keep marketing costs down, and the overall products are just as good, except you may not even know about them.
There are a lot of different business strategies that companies take, but most of them are involved in some type of marketing.
In the end, as a golfer, you will pay for this marketing.
Hopefully, you love those commercials with the golf balls in them because each time you purchase a dozen balls, you are paying for part of this!
10. Supply And Demand
Last but certainly not least is supply and demand.
When the covid pandemic hit, and golf became even more popular than it ever has been, golf equipment and even golf balls were becoming hard to find.
With more and more players in the game, golf equipment has become more difficult to obtain.
Although there is no shortage of golf balls at this time, there are still players who continue to purchase all the golf balls on the market.
Golf companies need to continue to produce golf balls to keep up with the demand.
The supply and demand system means that consumers will have to pay more.
Golf ball manufacturers can barely keep up with this demand, and they must charge more because of the volume and the expenses on their end.
Supply and demand is an exciting concept, and it applies to all areas of the world of golf.
The bottom line is that you can expect to see golf ball pricing remain stable or potentially even increase over the next several years.
However, the golf ball manufacturers have us all in a great position.
How will we play the game we love without the golf balls we need?