What Do The Numbers Mean On Golf Balls?

What Do The Numbers Mean On Golf Balls?

If you want to be the best golfer you can be then it’s important to learn as much about the game as possible.

You might think that the numbers of a golf ball don’t really mean all that much, but that’s where you’d be wrong.

These numbers do have a meaning and getting to know the game to the best of your ability will require you to understand this.

The good news is that it isn’t overly complicated.

How Many Numbers Are On A Golf Ball?

Different manufacturers will print different numbers onto their golf balls.

The number of digits that you see will have a different meaning.

Typically there will either be one digit, two digits or three digits and we will look at what this means in a little more detail later on.

You can also speak to a manufacturer and have a special number printed on the ball, of course, this only applies when you are making a custom order.

But this makes the ball unique to you and certainly helps to identify it when you’re on the course.

Why Does My Golf Ball Have One Digit?

Most golf balls will just have a single digit printed on them and the main reason for this is so that the ball can be easily identified.

Let’s say you are going off to play a round of golf with three other people, you’d each use a ball with a different number so that there would be no confusion over whose was whose.

In most cases, manufacturers will print either 1, 2, 3 or 4 on their balls but it isn’t uncommon to have any digit between 0 and 9, depending on the brand.

Why Does My Golf Ball Have Two Digits?

If the golf ball you are using has two digits, this is not as much to do with being able to identify it but has more to do with the compression rating.

Of course, you could still use this number to identify the ball if nobody else you are playing with has the same.

The compression rating refers to the feel of the ball and balls that have lower compression, perhaps around the 70 or 80 mark would typically be a ladies’ ball.

On the other hand those with a higher swing speed might need a ball with higher compression.

While these numbers did used to appear on golf balls quite frequently back in the 1990s, it isn’t quite as common nowadays.

Why Does My Golf Ball Have Three Digits?

Finally, you may find yourself with a golf ball that has three digits printed onto it.

This number will typically be anywhere between 300 and 400 and this refers to how many dimples are on the ball. We have written an in-depth guide on the importance of dimples, here.

However, you must be careful as you may sometimes notice a lower three digit figure around 100 which would certainly not relate to dimples and would almost definitely be referring to compression.


When playing golf, there are a lot of intricacies to learn and so when you see that there are numbers printed on your golf ball, you’re probably wondering how this will affect the way you play.

Depending on the number of digits printed on the ball, these numbers might mean different things.

Most commonly, a single digit is used to help players identify their ball on the course.