See how customized golf balls are made

Customized Titleist golf balls David Dusek/Golfweek

See how customized golf balls are made


See how customized golf balls are made

At this time of year, people are hustling to stores and scouring the Internet to find the perfect holiday gift for friends and family. Customized golf balls are always a popular choice and several manufacturers offer a variety of options, but it might be surprising just how many balls are customized.

Titleist, which sells more golf balls than any other company, said one-third of all Titleist balls receive some level of customization – a person’s initials, a few lines of text, a logo or an image.

Titleist has a facility dedicated to custom golf balls in New Bedford, Mass., and it employs about 200 people year-round. During heavy promotional seasons, that number swells to 400 working in three shifts. When all the machines are humming, about 540,000 customized balls (45,000 dozen) are created per day.

Customized Titleist golf balls

Customized Titleist golf balls. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

People get all kinds of things imprinted on golf balls, ranging from initials to names to holiday messages. Many companies order customized golf balls that feature their logo to give out at holiday time and at golf outings.

Whether letters, numbers or logos are added to a ball, the process is basically the same. A metal plate is created with the words or images laser-etched into it. Using special machines, ink is applied to the plate, and any excess is wiped away. The ink stays in the areas where the letters or logo have been applied.

After a ball is positioned in just the right spot, a pad taps the plate and picks up the remaining ink, moves over the ball and then presses down against it. The ink transfers from the pad to the top of the ball.

Every color that is added requires repetition of the same process, so three red letters can be added to a ball using one plate and pad, but a four-color corporate logo requires four plates and four perfectly placed pad stamps.

Customized Titleist golf balls

A golf ball that has two colors requires two stamps. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

After they are stamped, the balls are dried so the ink will not smudge or come off as the balls are packaged and prepared for shipping. Titleist said it ships about 99 percent of orders within five days.

With that kind of efficiency, even Santa’s elves would be impressed.


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