Can Practicing with Plastic Golf Balls Improve Your Game?

Mark Crossfield
11 Min Read
are plastic golf balls good for practice

Wondering if plastic golf balls are good for practice? If you’re a golf enthusiast or a beginner looking to improve your game, you’ve likely pondered this question. After all, practicing with the wrong equipment can set you back, and no one wants to waste time or money.

So, are plastic golf balls good for practice? Yes, plastic golf balls can be an effective and cost-efficient option for practicing your short game and for indoor use. However, they don’t replicate the exact feel and distance of real golf balls.

Curious to dive deeper? Stick around. As someone with a keen understanding of golf equipment and practice methods, I’ll guide you through the nuances of practicing with plastic golf balls. You’ll learn about their durability, feel, and when it’s best to use them over foam or traditional golf balls. Plus, I’ll answer some of your burning questions like “How many golf balls should you hit a day for practice?” and “Are practice balls the same as regular balls?” Let’s elevate your practice sessions, shall we?

Key Facts:

  1. Plastic golf balls are cost-effective and safe for indoor use.
  2. They are particularly useful for short game practice.
  3. Plastic golf balls don’t offer the same feel or distance as real golf balls.
  4. They come in different types, like hollow and solid, each with its pros and cons.
  5. Plastic golf balls are not suitable for long game practice.

Are Plastic Golf Balls Good for Practice?

Improve your range game and save money with plastic golf balls! Learn the pros and cons of using plastic golf balls for practice, when to use them, and the best plastic golf balls on the market.

What Makes Plastic Golf Balls Different?

Do plastic golf balls differ from traditional golf balls? Absolutely. Plastic golf balls are made from lightweight materials and are designed for safe practice in confined spaces. Unlike traditional golf balls, they don’t provide the same feel, distance, or spin.

The construction of plastic golf balls is simpler, often lacking the complex layering and dimple patterns found in regular golf balls. This affects their flight characteristics, making them less predictable in terms of distance and spin.

Tip: If you’re practicing your short game or need to practice indoors, plastic golf balls are a good choice. For long game practice, stick to regular golf balls.

Advantages of Using Plastic Golf Balls for Practice

Are plastic golf balls advantageous for practice? Yes, they are, especially for specific scenarios. One of the most significant benefits is cost-effectiveness. Plastic golf balls are generally cheaper than their traditional counterparts, making them an excellent choice for bulk practice sessions.

Another advantage is safety. Their lightweight nature makes them less likely to cause damage or injury, making them ideal for indoor practice or in your backyard.

Key Takeaway: Plastic golf balls are a budget-friendly and safe option for specific practice needs.

Limitations: What Plastic Golf Balls Can’t Do

Are there limitations to using plastic golf balls for practice? Yes, there are. The most glaring limitation is their flight behavior. They don’t mimic the flight and spin of real golf balls, making them unsuitable for long game practice.

Another downside is the feel. If you’re an experienced golfer, practicing with plastic balls won’t give you the same tactile feedback as a regular ball, which could be crucial for improving your game.

Tip: Use plastic golf balls for initial practice sessions or specific drills but transition to real golf balls for a more authentic experience.

Types of Plastic Golf Balls: Making the Right Choice

Hollow vs. Solid Plastic Golf Balls

Which is better: hollow or solid plastic golf balls? Hollow balls are generally lighter and less durable but offer a softer feel. Solid plastic balls are more durable and provide a bit more weight, giving a somewhat closer feel to real golf balls.

Both types have their merits, and your choice should depend on your specific practice needs. If you’re looking for durability and a bit more “real feel,” go for solid plastic balls.

Key Takeaway: Choose the type of plastic golf ball based on your practice needs and the kind of feedback you want.

Wiffle Balls vs. Other Types of Plastic Golf Balls

Is there a difference between Wiffle balls and other types of plastic golf balls? Yes, there is. Wiffle balls are generally lighter and have more holes, affecting their flight characteristics. They are excellent for very short-range practice but not ideal for gauging real ball flight.

Other types of plastic golf balls may offer a more realistic flight pattern, making them a better choice if you’re looking to practice your short game more authentically.

Tip: For very short-range practice, Wiffle balls are adequate. For more realistic short game practice, opt for other types of plastic golf balls.

How to Effectively Use Plastic Golf Balls for Practice

Short Game Practice: Tips and Techniques

Can plastic golf balls be used for short game practice? Absolutely. They are excellent for practicing your chipping and putting. Due to their lightweight nature, they won’t travel far, allowing you to focus on your technique rather than distance.

When practicing putting, try to focus on your stroke and alignment. Plastic balls roll differently than regular balls, so use this time to perfect your technique rather than judging the distance.

Key Takeaway: Use plastic golf balls to hone your technique in chipping and putting.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Practice: What to Consider

Can plastic golf balls be used for both indoor and outdoor practice? Yes, but with some considerations. Indoors, they are a safe and practical choice. Outdoors, wind and other elements can significantly affect their flight, so they are less reliable for gauging distance and direction.

Tip: Use plastic golf balls for indoor practice or calm outdoor settings where wind won’t be a significant factor.

When Should You Use Plastic Golf Balls for Practice?

Beginners: Learning the Basics

Are plastic golf balls good for beginners? Yes, they are. They offer a less intimidating way to practice basic swings and get a feel for the game.

Practicing at Home: Making the Most of It

Is practicing at home with plastic golf balls effective? Yes, especially for short game practice. You can set up a small chipping and putting area to work on your technique.

Confined Spaces: How to Adapt

Are plastic golf balls ideal for confined spaces? Absolutely. Their lightweight nature and limited flight make them perfect for practicing in smaller areas.

Key Takeaway: Plastic golf balls are your go-to for practice in confined spaces or at home.

FAQs About Plastic Golf Balls for Practice

Q: Can I use plastic golf balls at the driving range?
A: It’s not recommended to use plastic golf balls at the driving range as they won’t provide accurate distance or flight feedback.

Q: Are plastic golf balls good for putting practice?
A: Yes, plastic golf balls can be useful for putting practice, especially for focusing on technique.

Q: Can I use plastic golf balls to practice my driver?
A: Plastic golf balls are not suitable for practicing your driver as they won’t mimic the flight and distance of real golf balls.


In summary, plastic golf balls can be a useful practice tool for specific scenarios like short game practice and indoor sessions. However, they don’t offer the same feel or distance as real golf balls.

Remember, while plastic golf balls are cost-effective and convenient, they should not completely replace traditional golf balls in your practice regimen.

So, what’s your next move? Will you incorporate plastic golf balls into your practice routine? The ball is in your court.

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Mark Crossfield is a UK-based golf coach, author, and YouTuber. He simplifies complex concepts, emphasizes understanding fundamentals, and has authored several golf books. Mark has helped golfers worldwide improve their game through his coaching, online content, and contributions to magazines and TV programs.
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