4 Dos and Don'ts of Purchasing New or Used Golf Balls

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4 Dos and Don'ts of Purchasing New or Used Golf Balls

The game of golf is immensely popular and widely loved by many different cultures around the world. It strikes an excellent balance between sport and recreational activity, and is known for its leisurely pace and the social status it imparts to its players. Above all, golf is a simple and fundamentally enjoyable game. To play golf, golf balls are needed. These balls are struck with clubs into holes. The quality of the balls used has a notable impact on the outcome of the game.

It is the intention of this guide to explore the 4 do's and don'ts of buying either new or used golf balls, comparing the two in the process. This guide will also look closely at the online auctioning platform eBay, and examine the various features it possesses, which make it the perfect means of buying both new and used golf balls.

Features of a Golf Ball

The first step in understanding what to do and what not to do when buying golf balls, new or used, is to understand the golf ball itself. The following section will closely examine the features of a golf ball. It is split into two sub-divisions. These are:

* Design - the physical characteristics of the golf ball

* Grade - the golf ball grading system

Design

The golf ball has a very particular, specific design. This design helps ensure that the ball's performance is optimised, as well as creating a fair and balanced set of playing circumstances for all golfers. The main design features of a golf ball are as follows:

Size

There are strict regulations governing the size that a golf ball is allowed to be, since size affects trajectory and speed (amongst other important factors), which can alter the results of a game. Without these regulations, players using different sized balls may experience an unfair advantage or disadvantage. The regulation size for a golf ball is no smaller than 1.680 inches in diameter

Weight

Weight is another attribute that affects the flight of a ball, much like size. The maximum weight of a golf ball is 1.620 ounces.

Symmetry

Regulation golf balls are symmetrical. An asymmetrical ball will spin differently in the air, which has a direct impact on the end result of the shot.

Dimples

Small, concave dimples at regular intervals around the whole surface of the ball have been found to increase its aerodynamic capabilities, and provide more consistency to a ball's flight.

Material

Golf balls are made from a synthetic resin called 'surlyn', and are coated with urethane. These materials are relatively recent innovations, and provide the best functionality.

Colour

Most golf balls are white, though some are designed to be more easily visible in different environments, and might be fluorescent yellow or green.

Grade (Used Golf Balls Only)

Used golf balls are sold under one of several 'grades'. These grades are assigned by the seller, and are meant to indicate the quality and condition of the ball to the buyer. Due to the fact that the retailer applies the grade of the ball, the grade is essentially subjective.

In fact, the grading system is not universal, and differs from seller to seller. However, there are underlying similarities between the systems. The following is a spectrum of broad grading categories, with explanations of what they represent, as well as information pertaining to how different retailers might implement them.

Pearl

Pearl is the word generally used to describe the highest quality of used golf balls available. Pearl grade golf balls will have been used as little as once, or maybe never at all. Pearl grade golf balls will have no perceivable loss of quality, wear or damage, and as such can be expected to perform in the same way as new golf balls.

A

A grade golf balls are not perfect; they may sport minor discolouration or superficial damage. However, they are not impeded in any significant way in terms of their performance. They can be expected (for the most part) to fly as well as a new ball. As such, A grade balls provide a good balance between quality and pricing. There are often numerous sub-divisions of the A grade, usually classified by the number of A's. For instance, AAA grade would be better than an AA grade, which would in turn be better than an A grade.

B

B grade is the most cost-effective grade tier of golf ball classification. The balls may be damaged in ways that are more noticeable than the higher grades; scuffs, marks and the like are common. However, B grade balls will not for the most part be impaired in such a way as to make them unplayable; the difference in performance is so small as to be only noticeable in very high-level games. As such, B grade balls are clear choice for novice players, and for players on a budget.

New Golf Balls

New golf balls are, obviously, unused. This guarantees a high quality product, straight from the manufacturer. Experienced or professional golfers will usually opt to buy new balls for this reason. However, the payoff is directly proportional to the benefits: new golf balls are the most expensive available. Since golf balls are easily lost, many golfers will end up buying large quantities of them, making this option impractically expensive for a great deal of them.

Do's

When considering whether or not to buy new golf balls, consider all the factors. Weigh the need for a flawless ball against the price; how much is the condition of the ball really going to affect the level of play? For very experienced players, every little detail counts towards accuracy, and new balls can be justified.

However, for the vast majority of players the answer will be this: not enough to justify the extra expense of balls fresh from the manufacturer. The wealthier, more experienced players will buy the balls, then sell them on after a few plays, ensuring a constant market of used balls at more reasonable prices.

Don'ts

Don't buy new balls just because they are new; most of the time, it is unnecessary and expensive to do so. However, do not dismiss the idea out of buying first-hand either. If the expense is an affordable one, and the player is good enough that the quality of the ball has a significant impact on their play, don't reject the idea of buying new.

Used Golf Balls

Used golf balls have been played with before. This means that they may have taken damage, and they may not look as good as new balls, or in some cases play as well as them. Buying used is the more practical option for most golfers.

Do's

Carefully consider the grading system when buying used balls. Balance the need for quality of product against the budget on which you are shopping. Pearl grade are effectively new, but at a slightly cheaper price. B grade are very affordable, but suffer in terms of quality. Consider quantity: used golf balls are available in small quantities or en masse from eBay.

Don'ts

Buy too cheaply if quality is going to be an issue. Experienced players, for instance, would be ill advised to buy B grade, as the potential impairment of ball effectiveness can impact the player's performance. It is also ill advised to buy pearl grade if it is too expensive to afford, or if the buyer is a novice golfer, and is merely learning the ropes of the sport.

How to Buy New or Used Golf Balls on eBay

Anyone shopping for either new or used golf balls online would be well advised to use eBay, the popular online auctioning destination. A wide range of products is combined with a helpful, user-oriented interface, making for a totally consumer friendly shopping experience.

Navigating to the appropriate section is a simple, easy matter. Begin from the eBay homepage, which features a list of broad product categories. From this list, select Sports & Leisure, followed by Sporting Goods. Next, choose Golf, after which Golf Balls should be selected. Finally, decide whether to shop for new or used balls, and tick either the New or Used boxes under the condition heading, depending on your choice. Alternatively, the search bar provides instantaneous navigation; simply type in the desired product's name, and press enter.

The item listings should now be displayed. The item listings consist of lists of relevant items, represented by thumbnail images and brief product descriptions. The listings can be customised with a wide array of 'filtering options', which are found in the page's left-hand margin.

These options include condition (as mentioned above), brand, price and seller's location. Further, 'auction' and 'buy it now' can be chosen between, enabling bidding against other users in the case of the former, and instant purchasing in the case of the latter.

Clicking on an item's entry in the listings will take the user to that item's individual page, wherein information about the product (such as details and specifications) can be found. Seller's information is also found on this page. This includes ratings and user feedback, as well as information about how to get in touch with the seller.

The combination of a superlative selection of products and a simple and easy user interface make eBay the perfect place to shop for both new and used golf balls online.

Conclusion

Golf is a tremendously popular game, combining strategy, skill and leisure in an iconic and widely appealing format. Golf is played with balls, which need to be bought by the player. Buying new balls can be expensive, though, and so buying used balls is often a legitimate option for players. This guide firstly provided detailed information about golf balls, then highlighted several dos and don'ts of buying new and used golf balls, including:

* Do consider budget

* Don't buy balls ill-suited to the player's skill level

* Do balance the need for quality with the price range of the buyer

This guide concludes that eBay, the renowned bidding website, is a truly excellent place to buy golf balls, owing to its versatility and ease of use, as well as its wide pool of sellers and products.

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