Can PGA use color balls?

Answered by Robert Flynn

PGA Tour players are allowed to use colored golf balls as long as they meet the requirements set out by the governing bodies. The Rules of Golf, as established by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), provide guidelines for the equipment used in professional golf tournaments.

According to Rule 5.1 of the Rules of Golf, a golf ball must conform to certain standards in order to be used in competition. These standards include specifications for size, weight, initial velocity, symmetry, and overall performance. As long as a colored golf ball meets these requirements, it can be used on the PGA Tour.

The color of the golf ball is not specifically regulated by the rules, so players have the freedom to choose whatever color they prefer. However, it’s important to note that the PGA Tour does have some restrictions on changing the ball’s color during a round. Many tournaments do not allow players to switch to a different colored ball during the same round, so players need to commit to their chosen color for the duration of the tournament.

Using a colored golf ball can have some advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, a colored ball can be easier to spot in certain lighting conditions or against certain backgrounds, which can help players locate their ball more easily. This can be especially beneficial in situations where a player hits an errant shot and needs to find their ball quickly.

On the other hand, a colored ball may be more difficult to track in the air, especially if it blends in with the sky or other surroundings. Additionally, some players may find it distracting or prefer the traditional white golf ball for aesthetic reasons.

Ultimately, the decision to use a colored golf ball on the PGA Tour comes down to personal preference. Some players may enjoy the added visibility and uniqueness of a colored ball, while others may prefer to stick with the traditional white ball. It’s important to note that regardless of the color, the performance characteristics of the ball, such as spin and distance, are still crucial factors for professional golfers to consider.

PGA Tour players are permitted to use colored golf balls as long as they meet the specifications outlined in the Rules of Golf. The color of the ball is not regulated, but players should be mindful of any tournament restrictions on changing ball color during a round. Ultimately, the choice of using a colored ball is a personal one, with potential advantages in visibility and uniqueness, but also potential drawbacks in tracking and personal preference.