Did You Know: How Paint Affects Golf Ball Flight

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By Mike D., Titleist Staff

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  • 19 Replies
  1. Team Titleist Staff

    Did you know... A poorly painted golf ball can cause a poor shot. 

    It might seem purely cosmetic, but the consistency of the paint application contributes to a consistent ball flight. Unevenly applied paint can negatively affect your golf ball’s aerodynamics, resulting in a different shot shape and/or trajectory than what you had expected.  

    Our testing shows that, even when hit by our laboratory robot, a golf ball with poor paint application can fly inconsistently from one shot to the next. An unevenly applied paint coating creates inconsistent dimple depths. Playing a golf ball with inconsistent dimple depths is like trying to fly a plane with each flap on the airplane’s wings set in a different position—it just won’t want to fly as straight, as far or as fast.       

    In our golf ball plants, Titleist paint spray operators constantly verify and validate the amount and distribution of paint on Titleist golf balls. This ensures every Titleist golf ball you tee up will perform how you expect, and just like the last one. 

  2. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    Military
    Makes perfect sense, this is why I'm always cleaning even the smallest amount of turf, mud, grass, etc... off the ball I have in play.
  3. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Thanks Mike. Really enjoyed the Ball Plant 3 tour last year. I would suggest anyone getting up that way when things open back up, try to schedule a tour. Very impressive balance of high volume with detailed control.
  4. So if I put two dots on my ball for identification that will affect the ball flight??
  5. Andrew A

    Andrew A
    Charlotte, NC

    Makes total sense to me. Thanks for the confirmation to my OCD when it comes to a pristine golf ball.
  6. El bandito

    El bandito
    Fife Bonny Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Very interesting
    Great read ️‍♂️
  7. I remember the painting part of the BP3 tour and how fragile that area is to make sure consistency...even down to dust particles.
  8. Great analogy with the flight of an airplane. Aircraft manufacturers and airlines are very aware of how paint affects the performance of an aircraft so only natural it would be the same dynamics in effect for flying a ball to target.
    Happy Landings !!!
  9. Very curious how this paint imperfections applies to the decisions about what becomes a Titleist "Practice Ball"? Should users of "Practice Balls" expect some irregularities given those balls are tagged with practice because of paint issues?
  10. Team Titleist Staff

    JMUGtown said:

    Very curious how this paint imperfections applies to the decisions about what becomes a Titleist "Practice Ball"? Should users of "Practice Balls" expect some irregularities given those balls are tagged with practice because of paint issues?

    Thanks for the question, JMUGtown! Here's the scoop...

    Pro V1 Practice golf balls differ only due to a cosmetic blemish and do not have any construction or performance deficiencies. Cosmetic blemishes range from an ink smudge to the placement of the Titleist script or sidestamp not meeting our rigorous standards (we have super tight tolerances for this) to other minor cosmetic issues.

    A ball with a paint irregularity like we describe in the above wouldn't pass our stringent QA standards.

    Thanks again for the question and we hope this helps clarify!

    - Mike
  11. Xochi2

    Xochi2
    Eau Claire, WI

    "How Paint Affects Golf Ball Flight" - Hmm, so you're saying that having this icon on my Pro V1 is not a "stroke of genius?!?"
    Post Image
  12. What does this mean for my Pebble Beach logo ball and all the identifying markings most golfers use?
  13. Makes me wonder if things like "Golf Dotz" applied to the ball would make it less consistent aerodynamically ? After all, I'm so consistent myself that I can't afford these little issues elsewhere (yeah right ! :-) )
  14. Jerry M

    Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    Interesting question JMUGtown. I use Titleist "Practice Balls" for chipping around the green. My guess it doesn't effect that aspect much but I could see how it could effect a ball definitely in flight for a certain distance....but then I'm not an expert. Just my opinion. Good Story though
  15. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    I have never worried about the paint of my golf balls before. Now I have a new excuse for a poor shot that flies off line! Thanks Mike.
  16. No'l

    No'l
    Palmdale, CA

    Yes, sir... and that is why I have stayed away from "refurbished" second hand balls. Those are "painted over" to hide marks.
  17. Alex N

    Alex N
    Ohio

    Military
    This is so cool. I enjoy seeing and learning about things like this. It’s details such as this that makes you truly appreciate certain brands that take pride in producing the best products they can.
  18. Team Titleist Staff

    Thanks again for all of the comments here. I did catch up with our R&D team on the question about any impacts to aerodynamics from marking your golf ball or using a logo ball and here is what they had to say:

    It is often asked do Sharpie-like markings on a ball affect aerodynamics? Do customized logos affect the aerodynamics of a golf ball? When it comes to dye-based markers (like Sharpies), the dyes are absorbed into the coatings of the golf ball, not impacting the thickness of the coatings or resulting in aerodynamic differences.

    When it comes to custom logo printing, most customized logos are limited in size – typically to a logo smaller than 7/8”. While there are two different methods for printing logo images (inkjet and pad-printing), the majority of golf balls use the pad-print process and the print thickness of such logos is very thin (most less than 0.0004”).

    Experimentation has shown that balls with images of this size and scale show no significant difference in aerodynamic performance.

    I hope this helps clarify!

    - Mike

  19. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Thank you for the info Mike. A visit to Titleist Ball Plant 3 is in my bucket list.
  20. Aloha Bruce

    Aloha Bruce
    Sunnyvale, CA

    Thanks for the info Mike as I didn't know that.

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