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What do the numbers on golf balls mean?

For most beginner golfers, learning and understanding all the concepts of the game can seem difficult and time consuming. Knowing every detail of the game will help you to become an expert golfer, right down to the numbering on a golf ball. What the numbers and the color of the numbers mean on a golf ball is a popular question asked by many new golfers. There are many meanings to the numbers on a golf ball and the answer highly depends on the number of digits on the golf ball.


If the number on your golf ball is a single digit, it is most likely there for identification purposes. For example, if three people are golfing with the exact same make of ball, they would each use a ball with a different number in order to distinguish one from the other. If your ball has a single digit, it will most likely be 1- 4, however anywhere from 0-9 is acceptable.


If your golf ball has a two digit number, this will most likely indicate the ball's compression rating. The compression rate of a ball relates to the feel of the ball. A golf ball with a lower compression rating of around 70-80 would indicate the ball was for a lady, whereas a ball with a number of 100 would indicate that the golfer would have to swing hard to make the ball work properly. Compression rating numbers on golf balls were popular in the 90s, however very few brands still use this on their balls.


Your golf ball may also have a three digit number of around 300-400. This is most likely going to indicate the number of dimples on the ball. A three digit number of around 100 will likely indicate the compression rating and not the number of dimples.

Golf ball numbers indicate a number of useful tools to the user. As for the color of number, like red or black, it doesn't really matter. Red used to indicate a softer compression and blacker a harder compression, but they are not used to represent these qualities anymore.

It is important to know and understand what these numbers mean in order to choose the best golf ball to suit you and your golfing style.

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