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What is An X Out Golf Balls

An X Out golf ball is a type of practice golf ball that is marked with a blemish or stamp, indicating that it does not meet the cosmetic standards of a brand’s regular tournament golf balls. While these blemishes may not affect the performance of the ball, they do not conform to the strict visual standards required for tournament play. X-Out golf balls are usually sold at a discounted price compared to regular tournament golf balls, making them an attractive option for players looking to practice without using expensive balls.

The term “X Out” can also refer to the brand or line of golf balls that are sold as practice balls. However, it is important to note that while X Out golf balls may not be suitable for tournament play, they can still provide a similar level of performance and durability for practice purposes on the golf course

Why Do X-Out Golf Balls Exist?

X-Out golf balls exist for a variety of reasons. These balls, also known as practice or used golf balls, are often created by leading golf ball makers such as Titleist. The purpose of X-Out balls is to provide golfers with an affordable option for improving their game without sacrificing quality. While X-Out balls may not meet the exact standards of a conforming golf ball, they still deliver the performance and feel that golfers expect. Many golf shops offer X-Out balls at a discounted price, making them an attractive option for golfers who go through a dozen balls in a single round.

Whether a golfer is looking to simply play a ball that performs well without breaking the bank, or is in need of a reliable option for practicing their swing, X-Out balls serve a valuable purpose in the world of golf equipment. Overall, these balls are a practical and economical choice for those looking to reap the benefits of new golf balls at a fraction of the cost. 


There are a few main categories of X out golf balls commonly found today:

Factory Seconds

Factory seconds refer to balls that have some minor cosmetic defect, meaning something went slightly wrong during manufacturing. This could be an imperfection in the cover from the injection molding process, a printing error in the label or side stamp, inconsistent paint or clear coat lines, etc.

The flaw is a purely visual factory second X out balls actually conform fully to regulations and original specifications. These offer golfers an opportunity for huge bulk discounts.

Recycled Golf Balls

There has been major growth in recent years of companies gathering the lake balls lost at courses and refurbishing them into playable, discounted product.

Balls fished out of water hazards often don’t have too much damage and just need a good scrubbing and repainting or re-clear-coating. The X stamp indicates it as a restored ball being sold well under market rate. This makes the hobby very affordable.

Practice/Range Balls

Manufacturers also produce specific lines aimed for driving ranges rather than the golf course. Lower compression ratings make them more durable for the automatic dispensing range machines. Massive quantities are made very cheaply often with two-piece constructions rather than multi-layer balls.

The X is added once they start to show significant wear and get rotated out of the range buckets. They offer golfers an ultra-cheap way to practice their swing without worrying about losing inventory.


As you can see, X out golf balls encompass a wide spectrum – but they all indicate balls being sold at a discount. People often wonder why there is such an expansive market of X outs:

Allows Manufacturers to Reduce Waste

The X out golf ball system lets major companies minimize unnecessary wastage. Flaws happen during any type of mass production, but often the defects are so miniscule they don’t actually impact performance. Stamping an X on these near-perfect balls allows the manufacturer to still sell them rather than destroy them. Likewise, recycling and repurposing used balls back into circulation stops tens of millions from sitting unusable in waterways and landfills every season.

Offers More Affordable Golf

The manufacturer stamps an X on near-perfect balls, allowing them to sell the discounted balls rather than destroy them, which makes golf more affordable. Buying even Tour quality balls for 30%, 40%, or even 50% off retail keeps the sport open rather than pricing beginners and juniors out. Even good players can save money for practice sessions working through buckets of driving range X outs rather than their premium ammo.

Allows Testing New Products

You will sometimes even see R&D prototypes and test product marked with X outs and sold in sample quantities before full mass production starts. It gives companies a chance to gather wider feedback on new lines before fully committing. The markings indicate these are not the final commercial versions yet.

This is one of the most common questions around X outs can you use them legally during an official round or tournament play?

The answer is an emphatic yes! As long as the ball model itself meets all USGA and R&A requirements and standards, it remains fully legal for use even with the X out marking. Players have used discounted practice balls and lake balls recovered from ponds to shoot record scores for generations.

Some competition rules do prohibit the “use of non-conforming balls” but this refers to structural aspects. If the ball itself is regulation but simply has a superficial X stamp or paint lines added, it is perfectly valid in the eyes of golf’s governing bodies. As expected, you cannot add fresh markings yourself once play has started. But there are no issues swinging any properly approved X out right from your first drive down the 1st fairway to sinking the final putt on 18.


The performance heavily depends on which category of X you purchase, but we design them to look and play nearly indistinguishably from their full retail grade equivalents.

Factory Second Grade

These will likely offer the highest level of quality and consistency. Expect the ball to launch, spin, react on the greens, and even last almost identically to what you get from the best major OEM brands. Differences would only arise after extensive play testing such as robotic swing monitors – for all intents and purposes to human players, these perform to retail grade standards.

Recycled Grade

Performance here may vary more because we do not recover and restore all used balls to the same level. While some refurbished X outs look and play nearly new, others may get signs of cover damage after a few holes. On the whole though, when bought from reputable recycling companies that thoroughly sort their stock, you can achieve very close to OEM-level play at a fraction of the cost.

Practice Grade

These will show much greater deterioration in distance, flight control and spin as the grade focuses entirely on maximizing durability over everything else. Differences can be quite noticeable if you’re used to premium balls. But the cheap price makes them perfectly fine for working on fundamentals with range buckets or general recreation without worrying about losing inventory.

The Benefits of Using X-Out Golf Balls

Using X-out golf balls can provide a variety of benefits for many golfers. The main advantages include:

Cost Savings

The most obvious benefit is the ability to save significant amounts of money compared to buying traditional retail-priced balls. Retailers frequently sell X-outs at steep discounts, often 30-50% lower per dozen than brand name equivalents. Whether replenishing your playing stock or hitting the driving range, the savings add up quickly.

Performance Value

Along with the monetary savings, X-outs provide tremendous performance value. Minor cosmetic defects do not impact overall playability for most golfers. Expect distance, trajectory, spin rates, durability, and feel similar to what you would get with balls lacking the X-stamp. Well-rated companies have very stringent quality control testing.

Eco-Friendly Choice

Choosing to play X-outs aligns well with environmentally-conscious decisions. Either you give unused factory seconds a playable second life or balls recovered through recycling programs reduce waste ending up in landfills and waterways. Estimates state over 300 million balls per year become lost, discarded, or abandoned.

Confidence Using Various Shots

Having a ready supply of affordable X-out balls alleviates pressure during practice sessions. When working on curving drives, sticking difficult greenside pitches, executing lobs over hazards, or performing other unconventional techniques, anxiety often hinders execution and limits thorough repetition.

Ideal Balance for Beginners

Another prime demographic that can benefit greatly from using X-out golf balls is beginners. Newer players struggle with consistency and often lose numerous balls per round. Being able to play regulation-approved balls at an attainable price point keeps the game enjoyable while skills develop.


What is an X out golf ball?

An X out golf ball has a visible “X” mark on it, indicating a cosmetic defect or flaw. Retailers sell X-outs at a discounted rate, but they remain fully functional and conforming for play.

What does X mean on golf balls?

The X stamp or mark on a golf ball designates it did not pass final quality control inspection due to some noticeable aesthetic flaw. X does not make them illegal or lesser quality in terms of regulations.

How do you tell golf balls apart?

Check stamps for brand, model, logos for type of ball, approval logos for regulation balls, discount marks, and dimple number/patterns.

In Conclusion

That covers all the key questions on exactly what X out golf balls are, and their overall purpose within the sport:

The manufacturer marks factory second balls with minor flaws or prototype/refurbished balls sold at lower prices with X’s. They make the game much more affordable increasing accessibility and participation across all player demographics.

So don’t hesitate to grab those X-out deals to save money while also saving the balls from outright waste! They will serve you excellently whether playing pressure-packed tournament rounds or casual weekend matches with friends alike.

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