Can Pro Golfers Play with Coloured Balls?

Can Pro Golfers Play with Coloured Balls?

a person holding three coloured golf balls: one is yellow, one is orange and the other is white

Yes, in fact pro golfers can choose from a huge range of coloured balls during tournaments and competitions, as long as the ball they choose adheres to the rules set by the PGA.

Coloured golf balls are popular for their many benefits on the course, especially in terms of improved visibility. Why then do so few professional golfers choose to use them?


Why don’t pro golfers use coloured balls?

Like most sportspersons, pro golfers are creatures of habit; once they find the gear that works for them, they’re hesitant to make any changes.

This is especially true of the golf balls they use. Most professional golf players will opt for the classic white balls despite the practically endless colour options available.

There are lots of reasons why this might be, but the most likely reason is simply familiarity. Since the game’s inception, white golf balls have been the standard. Today’s pro golfers will have grown up watching professionals play with white balls on TV, so they favour the classic colourway as well.

With so many variables out of the player’s control, consistency is key in golf. If a player finds success with a particular ball, changing it could disrupt their performance. That’s why it’s so important to golfers that they keep the same ball from practice to tournament to ensure their best play.

Beyond player preference, brand sponsorship also plays a role. Brands often require players to use specific balls for promotional purposes, further contributing to the dominance of white balls on the professional circuit.


Do any PGA pros use coloured balls?

Despite growing openness to coloured balls, very few pro golfers use them. Let's take a look at some pro golfers who have used coloured golf balls throughout their careers:

  • Bubba Watson is famous for his use of bright pink, green and yellow balls during major championships.

  • Brian Cairns used yellow balls throughout his impressive career, winning three Michigan PGA titles, five Match Play titles and several team titles.

  • Fred Couples used a yellow golf ball during one of the best rounds of his career when he made 12 birdies and shot 60 to win the 2022 SAS Championship.

  • Paul Lawrie used a yellow ball when he hit the first shot of the 150th Open at St Andrews in 2022.

  • Hale Irwin even used orange balls back as the 1970s!


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