X-Out golf balls may be something you have heard of before, and yet you may never have played with them. So, what is everything you should know about X-Out golf balls? Also, are they even allowed?
The fact we have to go ahead and ask if they are allowed is something people tend to overlook when it comes to balls. Most people just presume a golf ball will be fine, but that’s not always the case.
So, what is there to know about these balls? Are they any good? There’s only one way to find out.
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Let’s Get One Thing Straight
According to both the R&A and the USGA, the X-Out golf ball does not appear on their list of approved balls. That means the X-Out is illegal when it comes to tournament play, but it doesn’t mean you are unable to use it when out on a round on your own, or even with friends who are all using the same balls.
A manufacturer is going to generally not submit the ball to the authorities for it to then appear on this list of conforming balls. Why not? Well, it’s all thanks to what these balls are, and also how they come about to be manufactured.
What is an X-Out Golf Ball?
An X-Out golf ball is easy to understand. It refers to a ball that has incorporated some type of error during the manufacturing process.
On most occasions, the error is actually cosmetic. In other words, it doesn’t often affect the way in which the ball plays.
But here is the often crazy thing.
The cosmetic error connected to these balls will often be something that we the customer would not even notice. To us, they sound and play in the exact same manner, and yet we can buy these balls for a heavily discounted price.
But it’s Not Always Cosmetic
Even though the majority of X-Out balls have something wrong with the printing, such as the logo being slightly wrong, that is not the case 100% of the time.
There are instances where there can be some small error with the inner components of the ball. That is something that could result in a slight change in how the ball plays, and this is something you need to take into consideration. After all, slight differences can lead to huge changes in how it plays.
How to Identify an X-Out
It’s easy to identify an X-Out ball, but the exact way is going to differ depending on the manufacturer.
In general, you will see an X, or something more than one, printed on the ball. In the past, the brand name of the ball was actually over-stamped with a row of X’s, but nowadays that is not the common way of doing things.
For some brands, they actually print the word X-Out on the ball, or it will appear on the packaging, so you know what you are getting.
Overall, it’s easy to spot, and like we said earlier, the ball will often cost a lot less money than other apparently perfect balls.
What you need to remember is that these brands are perfectionistic. They do not want something to be out there in their top balls range, and have some miniscule error attached to them.
But then, they also have a problem.
The problem is they will also not want to take these balls and throw them away. It has cost them money, and there’s nothing actually wrong with them from a playing perspective.
So, they package them up with their name on them, but sent out to the market while informing people that there’s something not quite correct about them.
In doing so, they still make money, and it’s along the same lines as buying discounted clothing that has some minor flaw on the inside stitching of one pocket. Nobody sees that, and yet they still perform perfectly.
Who Uses Them?
A number of players will actually use these balls, but they are primarily used as practice balls, or by those people just starting out in the game.
Keep in mind that the way they play is not altered. It’s not as if these balls do not fly straight or anything else. They will perform in the same way as other balls with the same brand name attached to them.
However, it’s accepted that more experienced golfers won’t go anywhere near X-Out balls. That is often because they are looking for something very specific from their ball, and they don’t want the risk of a ball destroying their game.
But if you are new to the game, then an X-Out ball could be perfect for you.
Are They Any Good?
So, is using an X-Out ball a good idea? Well, while they are inexpensive and often play like a normal ball, there is an issue.
The main issue is that you never know what is wrong with the ball in the box. You could use a couple of balls in a round, but one could have an issue with the logo, and the other could play differently due to an internal error.
This inability to have a sense of consistency with the ball is a huge deal. That is the main reason why more experienced players will steer clear of an X-Out ball. That lack of consistency is not worth the hassle and stress.
So an X-Out ball is going to be something you will come across in golf shops, but unless you are new to the game or want to simply work on your swing, then they are perhaps best to be avoided.
They do not have the same consistency as other balls. They can test your patience with how they will perform. However, they are an inexpensive ball that won’t make much of a difference when you are struggling with every other part of your game.
Just keep in mind that you cannot use them in any tournament. But then, why would you when you cannot be 100% certain as to how the ball will react with your shots?