What Do the Numbers On A Golf Ball Mean? (All You Need to Know)

There are plenty of things players on the golf course neglect. But taking such things for granted is only common. Such as the ball width is 1.68 inches. The golf hole width is 4.25 inches. Another very common thing golfers underestimate is the golf ball number. But what do the numbers on a golf ball mean?

Since it’s a natural part of your golfing equipment, you pay no heed to it, right? Why bother finding out what that number or those numbers actually imply? Well, not anymore. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or a newbie, it’s time to find out the meaning of those digits.

Why Are Numbers Printed On Golf Balls?


In simple words, the number on golf balls makes it easier to identify your golf ball during your round of golf. Back in the days, there weren’t too many kinds of golf balls. So it was only natural  to assume that these balls and their markings did not include such differentiation. Even so, it wasn’t easy for players when it came to figuring out which golf balls belonged to them.c

After all, golf balls do look alike. So the chances of golfers playing a ball that’s not theirs were pretty high. And that’s when the numbers on golf balls came into the picture. By adding numbers, you can now determine which golf ball is yours.

Needless to say, there are all types of golf balls being manufactured these days. So many new, modern models. Nevertheless, there are a few that stand out. Therefore, are more popular in comparison to the rest. In that case, there may be many golfers playing the same golf ball on the course.

Keeping that in mind, if the golf balls are equipped with a different number. Then you get a clear distinction.

Which Numbers Are Printed/Allowed On Golf Balls?


Are there any restrictions in terms of printing numbers on golf balls? No, not necessarily. Most golf ball manufacturers print 4, 3, 2, or 1. But then some brands reach number 8 as well. In that case, a golf ball can have just about any number printed on it.

Personalized golf balls are often equipped with a 2-digit number. Because many golfers like to choose numbers that they consider special or lucky. So there’s no rule here; it’s just mere superstition. As for the rules, it’s completely okay to use golf balls with different numbers during a single round of golf.

It’s only for adding an aspect of differentiation that golf ball numbers exist. In fact, for yet another differentiation layer, some golf ball manufacturers print the numbers in various colors. Mostly the color is black, but sometimes it’s red too.

Speaking of which, back in the days, the golf ball number color indicated compression. Black color represented a 100 compression rating. And red numbers indicated 90 compression golf balls.

What Do the Numbers On A Golf Ball Mean?


Does the process of choosing the best golf balls have anything to do with the number or numbers printed on them? If you’re a beginner, then it’s important for you to understand every aspect of the game. Along with every concept of golfing equipment. Even if it means finding out the answer to something trivial. Such as what do the numbers on a golf ball mean?

In fact, this is a very frequently asked question. So let’s find out the correct answer below…

  • Single-Digit Number On Golf Ball


It’s merely for the purpose of identification. For instance, 3-4 people are golfing on the course using the same golf ball. So these golfers can use golf balls with different numbers printed on them. No doubt, it helps in distinguishing one ball from another.

Single digits range from 1 to 4. But then there are those that start from 0 and go as high as 9 as well.

  • Double-Digit Number On Golf Ball


But what about two digits printed on the golf ball? More often than not, double digits indicate the compression rating of the ball. This compression rating directly impacts the feel of your golf ball.

With lower compression i.e. 70 to 80. The golf ball is more suitable for women golfers. As for a 100 compression rating, it means you need to swing comparatively harder. So the golf ball works properly.

But you should know that these double digits were used for indicating compression rating back during the 90s. Not many golf ball manufacturers still employ double digits for the same purpose.

  • Triple-Digit Number On Golf Ball

How about three digits printed on the golf ball? This brings into the picture the dimples of the golf ball. How many dimples are on a golf ball? The answer is that triple-digit printed on the ball. So three digits have nothing to do with compression but dimples.

As to why do golf balls have dimples, here’s the answer you might be looking for.

  • Other Numbers On Golf Ball


What golf ball should I use? I mean do I have to take the number printed on the ball into consideration? You should know that many pro golfers choose these numbers. They have them specially printed on their golf balls. For whatever reason.

Golfer Sergio Garcia played with golf balls that had number 10 printed on them. Why though? It’s because his favorite football club Real Madrid won the European Champions League 10 times. So the number was only a tribute.

Then there was Justin Rose who printed number 99 on the golf balls he played. Because 9 was the lucky number of his wife. So he decided to double his luck by printing 99.

Another example would be Rory Mcilroy and his number 22 golf balls. The number indicated his wedding anniversary, 22 April. So it was his way of remembering the date.

Likewise, you can also get a fancy number printed on your golf balls. It can be something personal or simply random. The options include any two-digit number starting from 00 till 99.


So there are no restrictions or rules when it comes to the number printed on golf balls. As to what do the numbers on a golf ball mean? You now know that they’re printed only for the purpose of identification. The most common ones being 4, 3, 2, and 1. And you can use golf balls with different numbers printed on them in a single round of golf.

On rare occasions, double digits imply compression. And triple digits indicate the number of dimples. Then there’s the color of the number as well. Color black means the compression rating of the golf ball is 100. While red indicates 90 compression balls.

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