Are Golf Balls Magnetic?

Are Golf Balls Magnetic?

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The idea of having magnetic golf balls has a lot of controversy surrounding it, with some being strongly against the concept (as it could introduce newer ways of cheating). The positive aspects of having magnetic balls far outweigh the cons in my opinion. 

The convenience offered by the idea of magnetic golf balls is something that golfers around the world have always been looking for.

However, are golf balls currently magnetic? Will a ball be attracted to a metal flag pole or a magnet inside a putter? 

Golf balls currently aren’t magnetic, as they mostly have layers of rubber, covered with a tough layer of plastic, Surlyn, or urethane. Golf ball designs vary, but metal has never been used in golf balls, meaning there is no way golf balls can be magnetic. 


In this article, I will go over why the idea of having magnetic golf balls is so appealing to some and equally unappealing to others, along with some alternatives that golfers can use.

To see some of the latest and greatest golfing gadgets currently on the market just click here.

Are Golf Balls Magnetic – A Quick Overview

Golf balls aren’t magnetic, but some tees are. The concept of magnetic golf markers has been around for quite a while and has proven to be particularly handy, especially for beginners, learners, or people with back and/or knee problems. 

These tees are magnetized and are therefore usually called “magnetic markers.”

However, it’s not the tees that are magnetic. However, there is a strong magnet that goes into your grip that attracts the small clip on the tee. It has no bearing on the ball itself or the trajectory.

Some players believe that having metal inside balls can reduce the frequency of slices by 30% and will pave the way for golf balls to be made magnetic. However, the metal within would also mean an imbalance of materials, impacted flight time, and an overall change in the ball’s performance.

Then again, the balls themselves won’t be magnetic as this would mean that the ball would get impacted in-flight by other metallic objects. The ball’s trajectory would become impaired, which, in turn, will lead to inconsistencies and increased room for error.

Metal strips inside the ball also present a similar problem, but magnetic fields in golf courses are extremely rare because of the greens.

The Potential Benefits of Magnetic Golf Balls

The goal of a magnetic ball would be to allow the users to track and pick up the ball easily – especially from the green. Sometimes, there are some very small holes in a less-used part of the course. The magnetic golf balls are supposed to help with that. 

In theory, the ball should snap firmly to another magnet or magnetic object – preferably your club – and can be pulled out or picked up easily.

Magnets would also help players find the ball when it hits the shrubs or enters a pond. All you’d have to do is stick your club in there and wave it around in the bush until you hear or feel a snap (the ball connecting) to your club. 

Golf balls are pretty easy to lose in shrubs and water. 

Around 300 million golf balls are lost every year in the US alone. Although the balls aren’t that expensive, the costs can add up over time.

Illegal balls have ferrous (magnetic) material in them. Not only does the metal make the ball go farther, but its trajectory can also be controlled with strong enough magnets pointing towards the ball. The change is just a few millimeters horizontally, but as you know, it can make a very prominent difference nearing the end. 

This is precisely why magnetic testing of a ball is among the primary tests for a ball to qualify as ‘ready for competition’.

For Example, the Maxfli Magnetic Golf Ball Putter Attachment

The device simply screws on the butt of your putter grip and can be used to pick up the golf ball once inside. You simply insert the putter’s back end into the hole, and the magnet + foldable arms secure your golf ball in between. 

It also allows you to pick up other clubs around the green easily.

It is useful mostly for people who have a bad back, but not for those in a hurry. The concept is similar to what you would expect from a magnetic ball. However, with this attachment, the ball doesn’t necessarily have to be magnetic.

Now, a question arises. Despite there being pros and cons of both sides, why haven’t any magnetic balls been produced yet?

There’s a Patent for That…

Two major magnetic golf ball patents are worth your attention.

The German Patent for Magnetic Golf Balls

This patent claims protection against the combination of a golf ball and a magnet. A neodymium magnet is proposed for the ball which is relatively lightweight and smooth, thus giving it maximum contact with the rubber inlay of the ball.

The construction would allow the golf ball to adhere to magnetic surfaces easily, and at the same time, not impede the industry-accepted weight, flow, aerodynamics, and other properties of the ball. 

For production, an already produced golf ball would be taken, a hole drilled into it, and a magnet will be placed therein, or the magnet would be placed mid-manufacturing to avoid drilling the hole.  

According to the patent holder, this ball wouldn’t be for normal day-to-day use, but for decoration purposes, as a collector’s item, giveaway, or as an advertising medium.

The “Smart Golf Ball”

Another patent for a magnetic golf ball (with several other technologies to boast) is for the Smart Golf Ball. The idea is to use ferrofluids (magnetic fluids) and elastic magnetic material to give the golf ball an adaptive set of features.

The ball includes a similar principle as the one described above, many layers around an inner magnetic core, such that the layers are magnetic as well. 

According to the patent, it involves the use of a “ferrofluid, a magnetorheological fluid, an inverse magnetorheological fluid, and/or a magnetorheological elastomer” in its construction.

The Future of Golf Balls

Nothing is ever perfect, and there is always room for improvement. There are some issues with the golf ball in its current form, but including magnets in it is not something that the world needs – or wants, for that matter as of now. 

Yes, some golfers suggest that magnetic golf balls would be an amazing breakthrough. However, the same results, i.e., ease of finding it, can be achieved by other means. Currently, golf balls are NOT magnetic, and despite the patents, the world doesn’t seem to want to go that route, either anytime soon. 

Matt R.

Hello, My name is Matt and I'm the founder of Just Golfin'. This site is all about one thing... GOLFING!

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