Your Guide to Buying Golf Balls on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying Golf Balls on eBay

It goes without saying that golf balls are an extremely important piece of equipment when playing golf. However, what may need explaining is the way to go about purchasing golf balls on auction sites such as eBay.

There are several different types of golf ball available on the market, ranging from those that are better suited to players who like to spin the ball, to those who prefer balls that enable them to hit a longer distance.

It is these differences and several more that can make the golf ball buying process more complicated than it needs to be.

As well as there being different types of ball for different purposes, there are also both new and used golf balls available on the likes of eBay. The decision whether to buy new or used may depend on a number of factors.

This guide aims to simplify the golf ball buying process.

Two Levels of Golf Ball

There are two main levels of golf ball that are available to purchase on eBay. These different levels play a role in determining which ball is most suitable for one’s personal game in that one level of golf ball may not be suitable for a golfing beginner, whereas someone who plays golf at a high level may not be able to play without a certain level of golf ball.

The two levels of golf ball are given and explained below:

High Level

High level golf balls are used by those who play golf at an advanced level. They tend to be softer than lower level golf balls to allow for a better feel when hitting the ball with the club. This does mean, however, that players will have to hit the ball harder to enable it to travel further on the course as the softness absorbs some of the impact of the hit of the club. Advanced golf balls are made in a way that allows for more spin to be induced on the ball, which some would say may play a role in improving one’s game. Golf balls are made with between 1 piece and 4 pieces, which will be explained further in the guide, but high level golf balls tend to be made with either 3 or 4 pieces, with a firm core.

Standard Level

This type of golf ball is used at a level more in line with club players and those that enjoy playing golf at a recreational level. Balls that are used at this level are often harder on the outside (it is not that easy to discern the hardness of a golf ball by hand) meaning that they travel further than higher level golf balls. This, however, is due to the fact that golfers who play at this level tend to have slower swing speeds. The levels of spin that can be achieved with higher level, advanced golf balls are significantly decreased with the use of regular golf balls. Balls of this nature tend to be made from 1 or 2 pieces. They also tend to be more affordable if budget restraints are an issue.

Golf Ball Piece Variants

As mentioned in the table above, golf balls tend to be made from a number of different pieces depending on the quality of the ball. The various numbers given to golf balls determine how many pieces they are made of, as well as determining the level and the class of the ball.

The piece numbers range from 1 to 4 and are listed and detailed in this table:

1 Piece Golf Balls

1 Piece golf balls are fairly self explanatory in their anatomy. They are usually just made from an outer shell with dimples on the outside. It is recommended that these balls should not be used as balls playing on a club course and should only really be used on a driving or practice range. 1 piece balls tend to move a lot in the air as they are hollow but are able to be hit further because of the same reason. 1 piece balls are often the least expensive available and are expendable. One advantage of 1 piece golf balls is that they are extremely durable and do not get damaged easily.

2 Piece Golf Balls

Golf balls that are coined as 2 piece golf balls have a solid centre made from hard plastic (or on rare, older balls, wood) that is covered by a similar outer shell to that of a 1 piece golf ball. The fact that 2 piece balls have this solid core means that they are able to travel further. It also makes 2 piece balls very hard. This hardness is expressed further by the two piece golf ball’s durability. 2 piece balls are generally considered to be the most popular on the recreation golf ball market.

3 Piece Golf Balls

3 piece golf balls differ in more ways than merely have one more layer. Firstly, the core at the middle of the ball is slightly smaller than a 2 piece golf ball and tends to be made from a dense rubber. This solid centre is covered by large numbers of tightly interwoven elastic strings. This is then covered by an outer shell made from a material known as surlyn. The elastic casing of the core means that 3 piece balls are softer. This allows for the golfer to have more control over the ball and be able to implement more spin into a shot. 

4 Piece Golf Balls

4 piece golf balls are very similar to 3 piece golf balls but have an extra case over the elastic core cover. These balls allow for as much control as a golf ball can allow and require a high swing speed to be able to be hit over far distances. 4 piece balls also have a high spin speed, allowing for more advanced play. Golfers at the highest level tend to use these balls as they allow so much variation in their play.

Used Golf Balls

One of the more affordable ways of buying golf balls on eBay is by buying recycled and second hand golf balls. Often there are golf balls found listed as used that are in great condition but are still lower on the price scale than brand new golf balls.

There is a grading system in place set by those who sell used golf balls that denotes the quality of the ball and the condition it is in. This grade should be supplied by the eBay seller in the product description.

The grading is as follows:


‘A’ golf balls are the worst condition of used golf ball. They will have markings on the surface of the ball, as well as markings from the player to denote that it is their ball (players will often write their initials or name so as to be able to determine which is their ball on the golf course). The dimples on the ball will be damaged and the overall condition is poor. Balls given the ‘A’ grade should only be used as practice balls.


Golf balls marked as ‘AA’ are a step up from those marked as ‘A’. They may have pen marks from players, as well as a few scratches on the surface of the ball.


AAA balls are as close to perfect condition as can be without being at the top level of the golf ball grading system. They may have slight marks on the surface but will not have any pen marks or dimple scuffs. These balls are often of great value as unless they are closely inspected the price will be low in comparison to brand new golf balls.


Golf balls labelled as ‘mint’ in the grading system are hard to tell from brand new balls. They may in fact often be brand new balls that have only been hit once and lost on the course. On rare occasions they may have a smaller player’s mark.


Buying golf balls need not be a complicated process. Whilst there are a vast number of brands available, a favoured brand can only be found after hitting a certain amount of shots with those balls.

It may be a better option, initially at least, to purchase based on the amount of pieces that a golf ball has or the grade of the ball if one is to buy used golf balls.

Remember to buy suitable for one’s personal ability and experience levels, also. Higher handicapped players should begin playing with regular, harder balls (a 2 piece ball is recommended) and players at a more advanced level should be hitting 3 or 4 piece, softer golf balls.

Being well informed on golf balls and the terms and conditions of both eBay and PayPal can lead to a smooth and secure transaction.

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