The Case for Illegal Golf Balls

There is a lot of talk these days about making golf more fun and illegal golf balls may be the answer. All of the discussions about growing the game are about making it cheaper and faster. Why not make it easier?

There have even been discussions about two different sets of rules. One set for equipment that pros play with and another for amateurs. The question is not is it time, but is it time again?

It wasn’t until 1990 that the USGA and the R & A agreed to have one set of rules for golf balls. Prior to 1990 the R & A ball (often referred to as “British size”) was smaller than the USGA approved ball and would go farther.  The USGA had their rule and the R & A had the rest of the world.

When I would go to Scotland to play in tournaments Titleist would send me 4 dozen of the “British size” and I saved as many as possible for my members when I returned. Nobody cared that they were illegal; it was just that you couldn’t buy them legally in the U.S.

Later a golf company named Polara introduced a golf ball that would dramatically reduce your slices or hooks. According to the company it could be by as much as 75%.

“The Polara 2-piece Ultimate Straight golf ball reduces hooks and slices by up to 75%. Get yours today and dramatically improve your golf game! Each box contains 12 golf balls.”


Although the ball met existing standards, the USGA and R & A quickly came up with a new rule and outlawed the ball. That was based on a new rule disallowing designs that vary the depth of dimples in order to change the ball flight. It made the ball “self-correcting.”

Can you imagine what the “mad scientists” could come up with if they were allowed to? The average golfer could hit the ball about as far and as straight as the tour players. Just imagine how much fun that would be.

Maybe it’s time for the average golfers to unite and say that they don’t care about equipment rules, they just want to have more fun.

Written by BP Staff


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