What Is Glow Ball Golf? — (and How Does It Work?)

what is glow ball golf and what does the glow ball golf tournament mean

Glow ball golf is a unique and fun way to enjoy the game of golf that has been gaining popularity at golf courses around the world over the past two decades. 

Night golf makes it possible to be on the tee box for an 8 PM tee time, and launch glow balls high into the night sky! There are a few different types of glow golf balls available on the market, as well as some basic supplies that will make glow ball golf more enjoyable. Glow ball tournaments are also fun-filled outings that are fun for the whole family!

what is glow ball golf and what does the glow ball golf tournament mean

How Does Glow Ball Golf Work?

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While there are a handful of “light up” golf courses that offer night golf across the country, they are few and far between and not accessible to many golfers. By implementing the use of glow balls and glow sticks, any golf course in the world can be used for night golf events.

To prepare a golf course for night golf, glow sticks or led light strips are fastened to the flag pins on all 18 holes on the course. Oftentimes, the 150 yard marker will also be illuminated, or another mark in the center of the fairway to serve as an aim point. 

Golfers play golf as they normally would, though usually at a slower pace to prevent any mishaps!

Golfers often use flashlights to carefully walk the course, while others use personal golf carts equipped with headlights. 

Some golf courses will rent golf carts with added lights for night golf events, though this is becoming increasingly less common due to liability issues. Each golfer in the group should use a different colored ball to avoid any mix ups

A golf game played after dark using night golf balls will be extremely different from one played during the day, so don’t expect to score low during a night round. While the flagstick will be illuminated, that is the only reference point available to the golfer, making it nearly impossible to spot hazards or leave the ball pin high!

Putting is one of the toughest parts of glow golf, as greens can be nearly impossible to read with a flashlight. Golf courses can prepare for night golf events by cutting the pins toward the center of the greens in flat areas, while more mischievous greenskeepers will leave tougher pin placements on the course for night golfers.

Course knowledge is a huge advantage when playing night golf, as not many areas on the course will be clearly marked. Par 3 courses work especially well for glow ball golf, and executive courses with only a handful of par 4s will often host night golf contests and tournaments.


Glow ball tournaments can be an absolute blast, and a great way to beat the heat during the summer months. They can also provide a new source of income for golf courses who are looking to turn a larger profit. 

Golfers check in at the pro shop or club house as they would in a regular tournament, and the cost of entry usually covers glow balls for each golfer.

Balls are distributed, and the tournament is conducted as usual, except at night. 

Night golf tournaments can be held safely at golf courses with proper planning, and all water hazards as well as other dangerous areas should be marked off or clearly lit. Oftentimes, golf courses will only make night golf tournaments available to members of the golf course who are very familiar with its layout to avoid any mix-ups or issues. 

Playing night golf tournaments is an extremely fun and unique experience. Golfers will usually wear glow sticks around their hats, making them visible to other groups and onlookers. 

Golf carts are often not allowed for use during these night golf tournaments, as they can make things more dangerous for everyone involved. Groups will normally walk the course, and night golf tournaments are traditionally only nine holes to help keep things organized. 

Proper planning and organization are the keys to any successful golf tournament, but they are even more important when setting up a night golf event. It is easy for golfers to become lost or confused on a dark course, so lights should be placed strategically for golfers to follow.

It is also helpful to illuminate tee boxes, hole number indicators, street crossings, and restrooms. Glow sticks are fairly cheap, and the more the merrier when it comes to making sure that the golf course is as lit up as possible.


What Are Some Night Golf Supplies?

Glow sticks, LED light strips, and other portable, battery powered lights are used to mark certain areas on the course making them visible to golfers from the tee box.

LED glow candles are also great and affordable options for marking bunkers and other hazards around the course. 

Golfers participating in a round of night golf will often wear glow sticks around their hats and attach them to their clothing, which can look pretty comical from a distance at night. Glow-in-the-dark golf tees are also sold, and golfers will also pick up random light up equipment from party supply stores. 

How Far Do Glow Golf Balls Go?

Glow balls will not fly as far as regular golf balls, and players will notice a one to two club distance loss when using them. This is due to their construction and higher compression core which is designed to protect the electrical elements inside the golf ball.

Similar to the RFID chips inside of Topgolf’s range balls, the miniature LED light and battery need to be protected from damage when the golf ball is struck. The core of the ball is harder than usual to minimize the impact from the club on the electronics. 

The softer cores in regular golf balls compress and “squish” more at impact, in turn releasing off the club face with more energy and speed. While LED golf balls will not fly as far, the harder core is necessary to ensure the equipment stays working and is able to properly light a ball for an entire round of golf. 

While the general rule is that these LED balls will fly one to two clubs less far, these numbers change a bit depending on club selection. Wedges and short irons will be less affected by the difference in compression, and will be closer to a one club distance.

Long irons and woods will see a significant loss in distance with glow balls, and will be closer to the two club distance rule. The biggest distance loss will be with the driver, and many golfers have reported 20 to 50 yard distance discrepancies compared to traditional balls

How Do You Activate a Glowing Golf Ball?

Night Eagle LED glow balls are activated by shining a bright light like a flashlight onto a designated circle printed on the ball. This light will activate the LED, and will stay lit until you decide to turn it off, with no need to re-hine throughout the round. 

The glow ball brand Glow V1 takes the cake when it comes to a clever product name, but their balls tend to not last as long as those produced by Night Eagle, and they will need to be “re activated” with light throughout the round. 

Older glow ball models did not feature LED technology, and were only activated by the impact of being hit. They would fade in between hits, and were often unreliable. These older glow ball models were often lost between shots, as golfers would be unable to locate them once the light faded.

Modern glow balls are equipped with LED lights and small batteries that are much more reliable, and will stay lit until the golfer decides to turn them off. While some golfers elect to turn the ball off between holes, many of the newer models last so long that this isn’t necessary.

How Long Do Glow Balls Last?

Night Eagle is one of the most trusted and highly reviewed golf balls on the market, and they are known to last well over 30 hours. This is much longer than many other glow balls on the market, and many golfers have reported that other brands have stopped working after less than 18 holes! 

The makers of Night Eagle claim that many times the battery for the light will outlast the ball itself! This is quite a claim, as the balls are very hard, and protected with an extra dense cover that helps protect it.

In any case, even PGA Tour players will have a tough time using a golf ball for 30 continuous hours before losing it. Especially at night, there is a good chance that the LED light will continue to shine at the bottom of the lake or deep in the woods after it has been lost by the golfer!

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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Glow ball golf is a great way to enjoy the game of golf in a completely different way. By playing at night, golfers are able to beat the heat during the summer, especially in hotter areas. 

Many golfers use night golf events as an opportunity to get dressed up with all kinds of glowing apparel, and they are usually lighthearted, semi-competitive events played amongst friends and members of the same club.


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