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You’ve probably heard all about oversized golf clubs, thanks to the huge marketing budgets of the biggest brands in golf. But did you know that you can equip your bag with oversized golf balls, too?
Several manufacturers have entered the market recently to produce oversized golf balls that appeal to the recreational golf market.
So, to help you decide if you might be able to benefit from adding oversized golf balls to your bag, we explain what they are, whether they’re legal, and why they help certain players out on the course.
What are Oversized Golf Balls?
Oversized golf balls are those that are slightly bigger than conventional balls. Perhaps surprisingly, the USGA and R&A don’t stipulate a maximum size that golf balls can be, instead focusing on a minimum size that players must adhere to.
It’s for this reason that oversized golf balls have become popular in the recreational game, as certain brands have capitalized on the fact that some players like playing with a slightly bigger ball.
For instance, one of the most popular oversized golf balls is the Callaway Magna, which is a super soft ball that has been designed with beginner golfers in mind.
While they’re certainly not for everyone, some players undoubtedly benefit from playing slightly bigger balls than standard. To help you decide if you should try oversized golf balls, we explain everything you need to know about them in the following sections.
Are Oversized Golf Balls Legal?
Yes, oversized golf balls are perfectly legal. In fact, the USGA and R&A have not produced any rules that stipulate the maximum size a golf ball can be. Therefore, provided it fits in the hole, you can technically play it!
However, there are rules regarding the minimum size of a golf ball. For a golf ball to be legal, it must have a diameter of at least 1.68 inches, which is the standard size of all golf balls that are typically sold at online and brick-and-mortar golf retailers.
Still, if you’re planning to play an oversized golf ball, it’s best to research its size to ensure that it’s not ridiculously big! The last thing you want is to be stuck with a gimmick product that you can’t actually use out on the golf course, so make sure you do your research before placing an order.
What is the Largest Legal Golf Ball?
As mentioned, there is no legal limit on how big a golf ball can be. However, all golf balls must be at least 1.68 inches in diameter. So, provided the oversized golf ball that you add to your bag is bigger than this, you can play it on the course without worrying about breaking the rules.
That being said, most oversized golf balls are approximately 1.73 inches in diameter, so they’re not significantly bigger than standard balls. For instance, Callaway Magna golf balls, which are the most popular oversized golf balls on the market, have a diameter of 1.73 inches.
Even if you find an oversized golf ball that is bigger than this, it’s probably not a good idea to play it. Balls have been designed with a specific diameter in mind, so don’t get too carried away when you’re looking to stock your golf bag up with balls this season!
Are Oversized Golf Balls Good?
Oversized golf balls can help you, but it really just depends on your expectations. The main reason for playing an oversized golf ball is that it’s more forgiving and assists with your accuracy and launch, which are all characteristics that recreational players are keen to improve.
Another reason why oversized golf balls are popular with some players is that they feel soft and provide a sense of weightlessness, which can help with ball striking and getting the ball airborne.
This has obvious benefits for beginner players and is one of the reasons why some coaches use oversized golf balls in their lessons.
This is because oversized golf balls have a higher center of gravity than standard balls, which means it’s easier to get the ball in the air. Balls like the Callaway Magna also possess a low spin flight and play extremely straight, making them even easier for beginner players to hit.
How Much Bigger are Oversized Golf Balls?
Oversized golf balls are only marginally bigger than standard golf balls. For instance, Callaway Magna balls have a diameter of 1.73, which is only 0.05 inches bigger than Callaway’s tour range of golf balls that are popular with players at all levels of the game.
So, playing an oversized golf ball shouldn’t have a huge impact on your game, but you are likely to notice some of the small changes that we’ve already mentioned.
Anyone who has tested and compared oversized golf balls will agree that one of the most notable differences is the loss of distance off the tee, so this is something to be mindful of.
It’s important to check the size of oversized golf balls before adding them to the bag, as anything bigger than 1.73 inches in diameter could cause you some issues as far as ball striking is concerned.
So, by all means, try some oversized golf balls, but make sure they’re not too much bigger than the standard golf balls that you normally play.
What are Magna Golf Balls?
Magna golf balls are Callaway’s oversized balls, and they’re one of the most popular oversized golf balls on the market. They boast a high center of gravity and are easier to get the ball airborne, making them popular with beginner golfers.
Due to the forgiving nature of Magna golf balls, most players notice that they lose between 10-20 yards of distance by switching to these oversized golf balls, but it’s arguably worth it to watch your ball sail down the middle of the fairway more often than not.
Although there are several brands to try if you’re hoping to add some oversized golf balls to your bag – such as TaylorMade – Callaway Magna is pretty hard to beat.
They’re available at a reasonable price, too, meaning you can pick up a dozen to try out for a similar price as other brand-new golf balls.
The good thing about Callaway Magna balls is that they’re legal, and you can use them in your club competitions if you wish.
This means you don’t have to worry about breaking the USGA rules when you take to the course with your new golf balls in the bag, and it allows you to swing away with confidence.
Do the Magna Golf Balls Work?
Callaway’s Magna golf balls are really easy to get up and away from, and they help you with your ball striking. They also fly really straight and are an excellent option if you’re struggling to hit the ball consistently off the tee.
The high center of gravity and the soft feel of the Magna golf balls combine to deliver a sense of weightlessness that is ideal for beginner players. After all, when you’re new to the game of golf, any advantage you can gain off the tee is worth exploiting.
As we’ve already said about oversized golf balls, you will lose a little bit of distance by playing a Callaway Magna, but this is arguably worth it.
Most recreational golfers would rather find themselves a little bit back in the center of the fairway as opposed to a long way down in the rough.
Do Bigger Golf Balls Make a Difference?
Bigger golf balls undoubtedly make a difference to your game. They’re particularly helpful for beginner golfers, as they help you get the ball off the ground and reduce the number of duff shots that you’re likely to hit.
Although they’re only marginally bigger than standard golf balls, oversized balls can improve your ball striking when you’re new to the game.
You might want to switch back to conventional golf balls when you’re more confident with your ball striking, as you will be able to hit the ball that little bit further.
Ultimately, if you’re struggling to hit the ball well off the tee, you could undoubtedly benefit from switching to an oversized golf ball. Provided you’re okay with giving up a little bit of distance; you’re likely to reap the rewards as far as accuracy and consistency are concerned.
Oversized golf balls are an excellent option for beginner golfers and recreational players who are looking to hit the ball straighter. Thanks to a high center of gravity, oversized golf balls are easier to get off the floor and assist with your ball striking.
So, if you haven’t yet tried oversized golf balls and are looking to improve your accuracy and consistency off the tee, there’s no harm at all in adding a sleeve of oversized golf balls to your bag this golf season.