Many golfers have a love-hate relationship with colored golf balls.
They sometimes love the color because it adds variety and is highly visible. They sometimes hate the color because its appearance is non-traditional and it can make golf look something like a croquet match.
In the Japanese market, about 40 percent of all ball sales are a color other than white, according to Corey Consuegra, Bridgestone’s director of golf ball marketing.
The corresponding figure in the United States, Consuegra said, is “somewhere in the 15- to 20-percent range.”
Love them or loathe them, colored golf balls seem to be with us to stay.
Yellow is the most popular secondary color for golf balls. Most ball-makers offer some kind of yellow ball.
Wilson was one of the first to offer colored balls. Titleist, the industry leader in golf ball sales, expanded its line in 2013 with the NXT Tour S Yellow and the DT SoLo Yellow.
Three ball manufacturers have been particularly aggressive with colored balls in the United States: Bridgestone, Srixon and Volvik.
Bridgestone has four models available in optic yellow. Srixon sells five colored models (four in yellow, one in pink), and Volvik boasts six models sold in a rainbow of colors (orange, yellow, green and pink).
Senior golfers tend to love colored balls because they are easier to see in the air and on the ground.
Paula Creamer has played a pink Bridgestone ball on the LPGA, and a handful of Champions Tour competitors have used a variety of colored balls from various manufacturers.
South Korean manufacturer Volvik has turned many heads among U.S. golfers. Volvik has established a U.S. headquarters and has focused most of its endorsement efforts on the LPGA and Symetra Tour. Volvik manufactures and sells two tour-quality, four-piece models. It has established colored balls as its mantra.
Jon Claffey, national director of sales and marketing for Volvik USA, says golf is developing a color-crazed mentality. The most popular Volvik color, he said,
“is easily orange, which surprised us initially. Orange is followed by yellow, although green is gaining steadily on yellow.”
Bridgestone’s Consuegra has formulated one final argument on the side of colored balls.
“Just about everybody says they can see these balls better,” he said, “so here’s my theory: If I can see it longer, my ability to find the ball should increase. I shouldn’t lose as many balls, so I should score better.
“That’s our golf lesson for the day.”