Why Are Golf Balls So Expensive?

Yes, some golf balls can be expensive for example the Titleist Pro V1 but you can also find many cheaper options. This is true of almost any consumer product. There is a wide range of performance, quality and price.

It’s up to you to decide how much you can afford or are willing to pay to get a certain level of spin and “feel”.

It’s just the same as buying a car. If you want the absolute best performance and/or luxury then I’m afraid you are going to have to dig deep into your wallet!

If you are looking to get from A to B in a reasonable timeframe then you can do it for a fraction of the cost and even less if you buy used.

Exactly the same is true of golf balls. If you want the best performing balls then they are going to cost more!

If you are willing to sacrifice a certain amount of performance or feel then you can save quite a bit of money.

Why Are Golf Balls So Expensive

Reasons Why Golf Balls Are Expensive

Research And Development

A lot of time, effort and money goes into developing golf balls sold by the top-tier manufacturers. The more complicated the design of the ball then the more it will have cost to design it.

Developing new compounds to use and testing them to prove they are better all take a lot of money. Ultimately that will be reflected in the final selling price.

Manufacturing Costs

It will obviously cost more to create a multilayer ball that goes through more processes and uses many different materials compared with a cheap distance ball. 

More expensive balls will tend to use higher quality and therefore more expensive materials such as urethane rather than surlyn.

Tour-level golf balls will usually be 3, 4 or even 5-piece. This will make the whole manufacturing process longer and more expensive when compared with simpler and cheaper 2-piece golf balls.

Titleist quality control

Quality Control

The better that you become golf the more likely you are to demand better performance from your golf ball in particular consistency.

In order to achieve consistent performance with their products, manufacturers will spend more time and therefore money on quality control.

This means you will have confidence that every ball you put in play will react the same for any given shot you hit.

Marketing

The likes of Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, Srixon and Bridgestone spend a lot of money marketing their products. Whether that is paying endorsement contracts to the top players on the PGA Tour or paying for advertising on TV, the Internet and in magazines.

Has your local pro run a ball amnesty where you can trade in some old balls for some brand-new ones from a particular manufacturer? Obviously, that costs the company quite a bit of money over the course of the season.

Supply And Demand

To a certain extent, it comes down to supply and demand. Every golfer needs golf balls otherwise they are not going to be playing much golf! Even golfers that don’t lose many golf balls will eventually want to replace a damaged ball so there is always a demand for new balls.

As the demand for something rises the price tends to go up.

Manufacturers Will Charge As Much As People Will Pay

The cost of drivers has risen way above the rate of inflation over recent years yet people still buy them. The same is true for golf balls. If people will pay $50 per dozen for a golf ball then companies are quite happy to charge that amount.

Bryson gets the picture

Why Are Golf Balls So Expensive: Conclusion

So in summary, golf balls are expensive because of:

  • R&D Costs
  • Manufacturing Costs
  • Marketing
  • Supply And Demand
  • People Will Pay It

If you lose several balls per round it can really start to add up!

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Are Expensive Golf Balls Really Worth It?

It comes down to whether you can appreciate the benefits that expensive golf balls can provide.

The biggest benefit is usually higher levels of spin. However, not all golfers will necessarily improve if they use a ball that spins more. 

Is There A Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Golf Balls?

There are usually quite a few differences between the manufacturing processes and materials used.

There also tends to be much tighter quality control. This means that expensive golf balls exhibit similar performance within that model range.

By contrast, cheaper golf balls may perform very differently even within a box of 1 dozen.

How Much Do Golf Balls Cost On Average?

Brand-new golf balls will tend to cost between $15 and $50 a dozen. Tour-level balls all tend to fall in the range of $40-$50.

Cheap distance balls will usually cost you around $15-$25 while midrange balls tend to go for between $25-$40.

Used golf balls could be had for as little as $0.30-$0.40 if you buy in a sufficiently large quantity. Although if you are pickier about the make and model or condition then you can quite easily spend as much as $2-$2.50 per ball.

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Golf Ball?

Someone on Reddit approached a golf ball manufacturer to get some quotes on the cost of ordering some balls.

The factory quoted $13-$14 per dozen for 3-piece urethane-covered golf balls. This didn’t include shipping and some of the costs associated with packaging and logos et cetera and was admittedly five years ago.

Obviously, it’s not taking into account R&D costs or marketing costs but even so, it does show the level of markup on premium golf balls.

Why Are Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls So Expensive?

It’s at least partly down to what the market will bear. People are prepared to pay the top price for the “best” ball on the market and so Titleist is able to charge the top price.

Of course, the Pro V1 is more expensive to manufacture than most other balls but it’s likely that Titleist has the largest marketing budget as well.

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