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Balancing Balls

Mark W

Most golf balls, and I would think the Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls are ever so slighting off balance.  My question is - Does the line on the ball show the balance line for putting or is it just the line from where the two halves come together.

I would like to know so I don't go out and buy a balancing machine to balance the balls.  Putting is by far the worst part of my game and I am trying to fix all of my variables.


11 Replies

  1. Brent W

    With today's solid core's, The golf balls are very true. Back in the day of liquid centers and wound golf balls you def had to balance your golf ball. Not today.

    If it gives you some piece of mind go for it but I do not think they warrant doing so.

  2. Vincent M

    See Tom Wishom's book Search for the perfect club. His tip is about equal parts of Epsom salts and water. Float the ball and mark the top. Then spin it. If the spot comes back up then the heavy part of the ball is submerged. 

    But with today's construction technique I would not worry about it.

    Get some goos putting lessons and then practice practice practice. Use a smooth rug at home and work on 1 to 6 feet.

  3. Dan W

    Hello Mark,

    I think the line on the ball is to "help" a golfer line up his/her putt. Since most golfers miss anyway, all it does is slow down the pace of play. Were you fitted for your putter or are you playing off the rack? Getting fitted for a putter was a huge help to my game in terms of consistent roll, distance, and line.

    Good luck.

  4. Geoffrey B

    Actually, golf balls are so balanced you can stack them up two on one tee.

  5. Don O

    Betcha you can't do that with refinished golf balls.  :-)

  6. Jonathan D

    It's true that all balls are off balance; given enough time virtually all balls will "fail" the epsom salt test and float to the same point.  However, what you are more concerned about if you perform a test like this is how quickly the ball rotates to this position.  The faster it pops to this same spot, the stronger the bias.  (bias = amount of topping force pushing the ball off-line)

    Having said that, balls today are generally balanced fairly well.  I probably relegate 10-15% of my Pro V1's as having too much bias; this is much less than in the past with other balls and I'm reasonably picky when it comes to measurements like this.  So your tolerances are probably less than mine.

    In my experience, the line is not representative of a "balance line".  If you use a epsom salt test, you can mark the spot that floats to the top with a dot.  If you put this dot straight-up (or straight-down), when you strike the line between the heavy and light spot will be on the same rotational axis.  This will minimize the bias on your roll.

    I have more specifics and thoughts about this.  Happened to write my thoughts on balancing golf balls a couple days ago.  If you are interested, send me a message and I'll send you the info.

    Since you are interested in removing variable like this, it might ease your mind to test your balls for balance as it will reduce the variability in ball mechanics.  If you are interested in removing the variability in your stroke mechanics (which likely have much greater impact), I would suggest finding a coach with access to a Science and Motion (SAM) machine or similar device to analyze your stroke and make sure you are using a putter suited for your vision/stance/swing.  As a numbers person, I learned more about my stroke in two hours than I had figured out on my own in the several years prior.

    Best of luck!

  7. Ron B

    The lines on the balls are not the balance point.  Just a way to help you line up your putter.  But almost all golf balls are out of perfect balance and it does make a difference.  My putting has improved significantly after I got a Check-Go machine.  It spins the ball and finds the perfect balance point and you put their special pen in the hole and make a line around your ball.  It will roll and even fly better.  I use ProV1x balls and balance each before I use them.  It makes a difference - for sure!

  8. Chris H

    As a mechanical engineer and an alum of collegiate golf I'll tell you that if you're thinking about material flaws and inconsistencies in the physical make up of the golf ball, you're thinking too much. Spend this time working on your swing instead! The A.I.M. Line you will find on the side of the Pro V1 is to provide a helpful visual aid in alignment. The variable here is not the ball, it's the swing. The pros don't worry about this stuff; they just practice hard, step up, and hit the shot thinking about the delicious steak they will enjoy later in the clubhouse.

    Keep it in the short stuff! 

    Chris H

  9. Mark V

    Geoffrey B

    Actually, golf balls are so balanced you can stack them up two on one tee.

    \\   And I will try to publish a photo as i have witnessed this myself.

  10. Fred C

    Chris H is absolutely correct. I will add that unless you play on really fast greens (stimpmeter 12+), the ball's balance will have a negligible affect on your line. If you want to putt better, hit your putts better.

  11. RFowler

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