Golf Ball Size Questions Answered (Diameter and Weight Restrictions)
Golf balls have had many different designs, shapes, and sizes since golf was invented. In 1990, however, golf's two major governing bodies (the USGA and the R&A) came together to create universal standards for the size of golf balls.
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
Under the Rules of Golf, governed by the USGA and the R&A, the minimum diameter of a golf ball must be at least 1.68 inches (42.67 mm).
While there are no rules on a golf ball's maximum diameter, manufacturers are incentivized to make their balls as small as is allowed because smaller balls travel further and more consistently than larger balls.
In fact, before the USGA and the R&A jointly agreed upon the 1.68 inches diameter limit, the R&A allowed balls as small as 1.62 inches in diameter. Even American golfers, including Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, who were accustomed to larger balls that conformed to USGA standards, would typically choose to play the smaller "British ball" for their advantages when they competed in events governed by the R&A.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
The USGA and R&A have also come together to regulate the maximum weight of a golf ball. A golf ball can weigh a maximum of 1.62 ounces (45.93 grams).
Like a small diameter ball, slightly heavier golf balls can provide a distance advantage to big hitters.
Are There Restrictions on How Many Dimples a Golf Ball Can Have?
There are no restrictions on how many dimples a golf ball can have, though we've found that most of today's popular and best-performing golf balls have between 300-400 dimples.
While there are no rules on the number or shape of a golf ball's dimples, the dimple pattern and the golf ball itself must be symmetrical to conform with USGA standards.
Additional Conforming Requirements
In addition to the weight and size of a golf ball, golf ball manufacturers also have to work with the USGA to comply with restrictions on distance, velocity, and symmetry.
What Is The Size of a Golf Hole?
Now that you know the size of a golf ball, you might be wondering about the size of a golf hole. A hole must have a diameter of 4.25 inches. Holes also must be cut a minimum of 4 inches deep, though there is no maximum for their depth.
Do Your Golf Balls Conform to the USGA's Size Restrictions?
If you're worried about buying golf balls that conform to USGA standards, don't be.
All modern balls made by well-known manufacturers will conform to the size and weight restrictions we've covered in this article. You'd have to go out of your way to find a new golf ball that cheats these restrictions.