Are you about to hit the golf course for a round and wondering how many golf balls to bring with you? For those of you that are not scratch golfers, this is probably a very realistic question to ask yourselves. After all, you don't want to run out, nor do you want to carry around a 50 pound bag. Below are 5 tips to know approximately how many golf balls you should need:
1) Know what kind of player you are
Do you take risky shots, or do you tend to play more conservatively? Depending on the type of player you are, the amount of balls you bring to the course can be a huge deal. Do you usually lose multiple balls per round? Or are you one of the exceptions who hasn’t lost a ball since 2010? Personally, I have been golfing for about 5 years now, and every round seems to be so different it’s comical. I will have rounds in which I don’t lose a single ball, and then I will have drounds where I lose multiple balls on the same hole. Take some time to think about your average round, and what kind of player you are. 5 years in the making and I still haven’t been able to answer that question definitively, but hopefully you can answer it.
2) Consider the circumstances
After you have assessed what type of golfer you are, or attempted to, take the time to think about the circumstances you are playing under. What type of round is it? If the upcoming round is just a time for you to get out and play with your buddies, then you should be fine just bringing a sleeve or two. But if the round is a competitive tournament (like an NCCGA or City Tour event), it's probably safe to say that running out of balls mid-round would be one of the worst things possible…
3) Check the weather
Planning on packing rain gear? Pack extra golf balls too. If you are planning on going out in a torrential downpour and gale force winds, I would strongly argue that more than a couple strokes will be added to your score. That being said, an extra sleeve will be a necessary safety net. No amount of rain clothes, rain gloves, or towels can make up for the inevitable shank when your club flies out of your hand mid-swing.
4) Better safe than sorry
Okay I know what you’re thinking: I’ll apologize now for being cliché. But it doesn’t take a certified genius to know that bringing less than 3 golf balls to a round is not the smartest idea. Yes, there will be days where you hit every fairway and every green. But sometimes having a safety net of 3-4 extra balls in your bag helps on a subconscious level.
Don’t be the guy who spends 15 minutes looking for his last ball in the woods while there are two groups waiting on the tee. What would you prefer? Having your buddies make fun of you for bringing a dozen balls along? Or be disqualified for losing the only 3 balls you had? I’ll take the first option every time.
5) Be confident!
This piece should not be a driving force for overthinking your upcoming round. Because ironically enough, if you start to overthink the round, you’re probably going to play worse and you’ll probably lose more balls. That’s just the beauty of golf. Be confident in your game. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought too much about the current shot, or the next shot, or the shot that I’m going to be hitting 50 strokes from now. Just play your ball one shot at a time, with a confident swing and an empty mind. Besides innate talent, confidence is the biggest factor. To quote the great Yogi Berra: “Golf is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” Well, maybe I put my own spin on that but nevertheless, golf is a mind game. It’s better to think less and be confident in yourself.
Hopefully these five tips will help you bring the right amount of golf balls to your next round, or you'll know to pop in to the pro shop and buy a sleeve before teeing off!