If you're a golfer, then you know that there are a lot of rules and regulations that come with the sport. And one of the most important rules is making sure that your golf balls are up to par. Literally.
Each month the USGA and the R&A publish a list of conforming golf balls. For a golf ball to be considered legal it must meet the rules and specifications outlined across six different categories. Let's take a quick look at those categories.
USGA and R&A Golf Ball Conformance Standards
- General - This has to do with the materials and construction of the golf ball
- Weight - The golf ball can not weigh more than 45.93 Grams or 1.62 Ounces
- Size - The diameter of the ball can not be less than 1.68 inches
- Spherical Symmetry - The golf ball must behave symmetrically
- Initial Velocity - the purpose is to limit the speed off the clubface
- Overall Distance Standard - Carry and roll restrictions
Now that we know the rules, what about those crazy distance balls you've heard about to help seniors or golfers who drive it less than 250 yards - MG Senior Balls. If you're using MG senior golf balls, you might want to rethink your strategy. These balls do not conform to USGA standards and are considered illegal for tournament play.
Why Are MG Senior Golf Balls Illegal?
The reason the MG seniors are illegal has to do with their initial velocity - conformance standard #5. This is the speed at which the ball comes off the clubface. The USGA has a limit on how fast a ball can be moving when it's hit, and the MG seniors exceed that limit.
And while MG senior golf balls do comply with the other five USGA conditions, their high initial speed velocity makes them ineligible for use in tournament play. So if you're looking to play by the rules, you'll have to avoid these balls.
The problem with balls that exceed the initial velocity limit is that they give players an unfair advantage. A ball that comes off the clubface faster will travel further than a ball that doesn't. That means players who are using MG seniors will have an advantage over those who are using legal balls.
Not only is this unfair, but it also ruins the game for everyone involved. Imagine if you're playing a round of golf with someone who's using an illegal ball. They're hitting the ball 20 yards further than you are, so they're getting to the green in two shots while you're still struggling to get there in three. It's not fun for anyone involved, which is why using illegal balls is frowned upon by most golfers.
But Why Are They So Fast?
The simple answer is that MG senior golf balls are designed for seniors. And as we all know, many senior golfers begin to lose distance as their swing speeds become slower. So the makers of MG senior golf balls decided to give them a little extra boost by making them faster than the average golf ball. But as it turns out, that extra boost is just enough to make them illegal. Whoops!
What to Do if You Have MG Seniors
If you've been using MG seniors without realizing they were illegal, don't worry- you're not going to get in trouble. In fact, if you're playing recreationally you can continue to play MG Seniors. Just make sure you don't tee them up in a tournament.
And because golf is a gentlemen's game you may want to let your playing partners know. Maybe you can level the playing field by giving them each a ball and playing a few holes to see who really hits it longer.
Illegal or not, some golfers swear by their MG seniors. But if you want to play by the rules, you'll have to find another ball to use. There are plenty of legal options on the market that will perform just as well as the MG seniors, so you won't be missing out on anything by making the switch.
In fact, we have the perfect solution, see below to discover the Best Senior Golf Ball for Distance.
If you really can't do without the extra distance from MG Seniors or Illegal Golf Balls then see below.