Everyone knows how addicting golf can be. Sometimes, your schedule just doesn’t allow you to play during sunlight, though. Other times, it’s so hot during the day that you don’t even want to be out in the sun if you don’t have to. You might even have to work late everyday, or you live in a place that gets dark very early. Either way, you still have another option.
There are not many courses around the US that are decked out in lights to brighten the entire course. That would be expensive; a cost that most likely wouldn’t be recouped. Installing large flood light on entire courses, or even 6-9 holes, would surely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The course would also have to staff workers for a longer period of time.
However, many clubs put on Night Golf Events for their members. Providing them with glow in the dark golf balls, they allow attendent to hit golf balls through the air like shooting stars. Fairways and greens are lined with glow sticks, and the holes are filled with them as well. They can hold scoring competitions, closest to the pin contests, longest driver contests, and more! From past reviews, these seem to be the member’s favorite golf events and socials that clubs plan for members. Add some alcohol and you have got one hell of a time!
Playing Night Golf with Glow in the Dark equipment can be one of the most fun golf activities of all time. There are two different audiences that I want to try to cater to in this article:
- Those that are addicted golfers that just want to have fun and get some more practice in during the night. Nothing too serious, just looking to have a good time with some glow in the dark golf balls, some headlamps, and an optional flashlight. They might ask their home course if they can play on the course when it is shut down. It is up to them to accept/deny that. If you are feeling very sly, you might consider playing when everyone is gone already. This is risky and I wouldn’t recommend it, as you are technically trespassing, but I know some will try it.
- Those that are tasked with putting on a golf event for a country club, golf course, social gatherings. You will need lots of balls, glow sticks, targets, flashlights, headlamps, etc.
There are three types of glow in the dark golf balls.
- UV powered golf balls (the best kind)
- Glow stick golf balls (sometimes bust or break clubs; have to be careful)
- LED golf balls (hardly work, not very bright, cheap)
I’d strongly recommend UV powered golf balls. They are the best bang for your buck and produce the best results. The best brand in UV powered golf balls is Glow V1 (catchy name!).
You need to shine a UV light on these golf balls to activate them; the UV light is included in each set. These golf balls are surprisingly high quality balls, glow-in-the-dark ability aside. The golf ball will travel just as far as your average, normal golf ball. It just won’t spin as much when it hits the green, and it won’t feel as soft when you hit it though. However, the distance difference will be practically unnoticeable. I would recommend keeping the UV light handy. It is very small, so you can just keep it in your pocket. The golf balls stay bright for around 15 minutes after a charging, before you will need to brighten them up again with the UV flashlight tool.
I’d recommend you charge them between every hole or even more often if you’d prefer. This will ensure the balls will be as bright as possible in the air and easier to find when they are on the ground. It’s surprisingly very easy to find balls in the dark when you have good glow in the dark balls. It’s even easier than when looking for balls in the day time. For faster “charging” of the golf balls, you might want to purchase a higher power LED UV torch. These will light the balls up quickly and easily.
These balls do not float, so be aware of that when you are deciding which golf balls to buy for Night Golf. These golf balls are well priced in the night golf industry, but that is still an expensive loss when you lose a ball or hit one in the water. Each 12 pack includes one UV light. So if you want each golfer to have their own, you might need to buy some more separately. The UV light needs 3 AAA batteries, which are included in the purchase as well.
You might have heard that some glow in the dark golf balls damage some clubs, especially drivers. The balls that you hear about doing this are glow stick golf balls, though. Glow stick golf balls can burst or put a small indention in your driver if the glowstick is not placed correctly in the ball. However, these Glow V1s will not do that, as no club damages from the wide range of reviews have been reported online.
When playing in the dark, it can be difficult to know roughly how far away you are to the hole. For this reason, consider buying a good budget GPS watch that can tell you your distance to the middle of the green from wherever you are. These are obviously optional, as you don’t NEED to know how far away you are from the green, but it is nice to know if you are in a competition or just want to shoot a decent score.
My recommendation is the Golf Buddy Voice GPS watch. It is the best value one on the market. You simply input what course you are playing, and it will pick up where you are on the course in seconds. It will speak to you so that you don’t have to look at it each time you need a distance.
It doesn’t give distances to bunker or other hazards, but the middle of the green is really the most important information when you are playing in the dark.
I’ve written a much more in depth review of the Golf Buddy Voice GPS watch here, so check it out if that interests you!
Headlamps will be very beneficial to use when playing Night Golf. Even though the ball is already lit when you are about to hit it, you need a light to examine your surroundings. Plus, it will make it easier for other players (if there are some) to see you. When playing with multiple groups, this will ensure that they won’t hit into you and possibly badly hurt you. Better safe than sorry.
Headlamps also allow you to see your immediate surroundings, so that you can see if you are about to step in water or a bunker. You can tell if you are on a slight angle or if an animal might be near you. More visibility is always better, so definitely spend a few dollars and pick one up.
It is much easier to have a headlamp on at all times instead of using a flashlight the entire round. That can be very inconvenient. These headlamps last for many hours, and the batteries (AAA) can simply be replaced when needed.
Note: you’ll also want to bring some flashlights just in case. You probably have some already at home.
If you are putting on a golf event, then you will need lots of glow sticks to put around the course. The best places are alongside the edge of the fairway, where the fairway and the rough meet. You might also put some around the greens. Putting a few in the hole or on the flag/flagstick is also a great idea. The more the better, so that players can see where they should be aiming.
Glow sticks would only be used if you are having a formal golf event that you are planning. If you are looking to just play with some buddies or by yourself, you obviously wouldn’t need to buy any. That would mean that you would have to go on the course before hand and place them all over. Although it would increase how much fun it would be, it is not worth the hassle in my opinion. They are only meant to really maximize the player experience. I would imagine that the only time you would need them is if you are tasked with putting on a fun golf social or membership event.
Just be aware that they can definitely get expensive if you buy enough of them. And you will need plenty. I would suggest 10 along each fairway (5 on each side) and 10 bordering each green. Then take a few extra and find a way to connect them to the flag or flagstick (clear tape should do the trick).
Good luck and I hope you have a great time playing Midnight Golf in the Dark!