A ball washer is a tool used to wash golf balls, usually found on a golf course, often at every hole. They are generally made of bristles and soapy water, and are often accompanied by towels. It is used by the golfer to keep golf balls clean and playing more efficiently and naturally. They can be found near the tee box, and sometimes around garbage cans, water coolers, benches, and hole layouts. Ball washing takes only a few seconds and some golfers clean their golf balls every hole.
Especially important in golf, the ball washer is used to clean the hard-dimpled surface of the golf ball. The shell of the ball picks up dirt more frequently than other sports balls, and the dimples make convenient crevices for dirt to accumulate. With a golf ball landing on dirt, sand, grass, and water sometimes over 100 times a round, the ball washer is a quick tool to keep the ball clean. A cleaner golf ball results in a more natural flight through the air, and less dirt will allow for a lighter weight and a longer distance.
The ball washer is generally made up of a small box-like case used for washing, which is usually elevated on a pole to about stomach or chest level. The washer contains the soapy water and bristled brushes, and is topped by the plastic arm that holds the ball during washing. The arm rests inside of the box when not in use, and is generally capped by a ball-shaped handle that stays just outside of the box. Below the handle is the curved arm, usually shaped like a helix, a spring, or a screw. The arm has a hole inside of it to rest the golf ball when using the ball washer.
To wash a golf ball, grab the handle of the ball washer arm by the top and lift. With the handle lifted and the arm exposed, place the ball into the opening on the screw-shaped arm. Then lower the ball into the box where it meets with the soap and the bristles lining the inside of the box. The handle is then lifted back up, where the ball remains on the opening of the arm, cleaned and wet. The process is repeated to satisfaction, though it usually only takes three or four light strokes. The wet ball will emerge clean and can be dried with the towels that usually hang from the side of the ball washer. The golfer is then ready to hit the tee box with a cleaner ball.