How to Use a Golf Course Ball Washer

By Herm Otto

woman golfer hitting a shot
The ball that you tee off with is the ball you must continue to use through the green until you hole out, unless it is lost along the way. You cannot clean your ball through the green, unless you're playing a scramble format or a rule permits you to lift, clean and place your ball. On the green, you may lift, clean (normally with a towel) and place between putts. Between holes is the best time to thoroughly clean your ball using a ball washer.

There are generally two types of golf course ball washers: post-mounted and cart-mounted. Both consist of a reservoir filled with cleaning solution, and fixed brushes and a manual plunger for cleaning the ball. The post-mounted type usually has a towel attached and is normally located near the middle tee box along the cart path on the driver's side.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy
  1. Pre-clean your ball by removing any excess mud, turf or dirt so you don't carry debris into the ball washer reservoir. You can do this by rubbing the ball across turf or by wiping it with a towel. Don't use the towel provided at the ball washer, or your clean towel, to pre-clean your ball. Both towels should remain as clean as possible for drying a freshly washed ball.
  2. Check to see that no one is addressing the tee in the tee box. Etiquette prohibits you from making distracting noise when someone is teeing off. The same applies through the green when you are preparing to use a cart-mounted ball washer, so don't wash your ball while someone in hearing range is taking their shot.
  3. Raise the plunger and insert your pre-cleaned ball into the round receptacle.
  4. Push down and pull up repeatedly with the ball in the receptacle. Each downward plunge into the reservoir coats the ball with cleaning solution, and the up and down action of the plunger moves the ball across the fixed brushes in the reservoir. Continue this action until the ball appears clean.
  5. Raise the plunger one last time to expose the clean ball. Remove the ball from the plunger and dry it with the towel provided on the ball washer, or with your own clean towel if no towel is provided. You should now have a freshly cleaned ball ready to put back into play.

Tips & Warnings

  • Carry at least two towels with you: one wet one for pre-cleaning your ball before washing or for cleaning it where no washer is available, and one dry, clean towel for drying your washed or cleaned ball. When marking your ball for identification purposes, use a permanent marker so your mark is not removed by ball washing.
  • Carry at least two towels with you: one wet one for pre-cleaning your ball before washing or for cleaning it where no washer is available, and one dry, clean towel for drying your washed or cleaned ball.
  • When marking your ball for identification purposes, use a permanent marker so your mark is not removed by ball washing.