How Many Golf Balls Actually Fit In A 5-Gallon Bucket? (From Experience)

Ollie Neave By Ollie Neave | April 20, 2024

As a golf coach who’s seen more than my fair share of swings, misses, and miraculous hole-in-ones, I’ve stumbled upon a question that seems as divisive as the “Is it a sport or a game?” debate. 

That question is: “How many golf balls fit in a 5-gallon bucket?”

Now, before you chuckle and think, “Why on earth does that matter?” let me tell you, in the world of golf and beyond, it’s the quirky questions that keep us swinging.

The Great Debate – Why Can’t We Just Agree?

It turns out that counting golf balls in a bucket is not as straightforward as counting sheep. 

Several factors contribute to the varying answers:

Golf Ball Size: Standard golf balls have a diameter of about 1.68 inches. However, slight variations in size or design can affect how they pack together.

Bucket Shape: Not all 5-gallon buckets are created equal. Some have a slightly tapered design, affecting how snugly the balls can fit together.

Packing Method: How you place the balls into the bucket—randomly tossed or meticulously layered—can significantly impact the total count.

My Very Scientific Experiment

Using the above variables and a healthy dose of Aussie curiosity and determination, I embarked on a personal quest to unravel this mystery. 

With a standard 5-gallon bucket in hand—your typical, sturdy kind that’s seen more than a few rounds on the golf course—and a sizable collection of golf balls, I was ready to tackle the challenge head-on. 

The process wasn’t without its hiccups, of course.

A few golf balls made a daring escape, rolling under the couch and into the most obscure corners of my living room, turning my scientific inquiry into an impromptu cleaning session (or I guess you could say “treasure hunt” for my kids).

Still, as any good golfer knows, it’s all about how you handle the unexpected shots.

After several attempts, each varying slightly in technique—from carefully layering the balls in a structured manner to a more haphazard approach reminiscent of tossing them in after a long day on the course—I began to notice a pattern. 

The total count of golf balls that could fit snugly within the confines of the bucket ranged significantly, from as few as 340 to upwards of 400. 

This variance can be attributed to a few critical factors: 

The exact size and design of the golf balls

The packing method used

How tightly packed the balls were

What struck me most was not just the variability in the number of golf balls that could fit but the realization that such a simple question could open up a world of exploration and experimentation. 

It underscored the beauty of golf and, indeed, any passion: there’s always something new to discover, always a different angle to consider, and always room for a bit of fun amidst the seriousness.

Why It Matters (Or Does It?)

At first glance, the question of how many golf balls fit in a bucket might seem like a trivial pursuit, a curiosity more suited to filling quiet moments than any practical application. 

For some, though,  understanding the capacity of a bucket can be about ensuring they’re getting their money’s worth when purchasing a bucket of balls at the driving range.

It’s a valid consideration, especially for those who meticulously measure value in every aspect of their lives, including their hobbies and passions.

Yet, here’s a playful yet earnest piece of advice from someone who’s spent countless hours on the green and seen just as many spent at the driving range: while it’s natural to seek value in our purchases, the pursuit of golf is as much about the experience as it is about the specifics.

Yes, you might start with a full bucket, each ball representing an opportunity for practice, improvement, or just the simple joy of hitting.

But let’s be real—by the time you’ve worked your way through, whether it’s 300 or 400 balls, you’re going to be tired. 

Arms weary, shoulders aching, you’ll likely find that the exact number matters less than the satisfaction of the practice itself, the improvement in your swing, or the sheer enjoyment of the game.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Does the brand of golf ball make a difference in how many can fit?

Surprisingly, yes. Different brands may have slight variations in size or dimple pattern, which can affect how they pack together. However, the difference is usually minimal.

How many golf balls should I hit during practice?

I usually recommend that my clients hit no fewer than 50 balls per practice session. 


In conclusion, while the question of how many golf balls fit in a 5-gallon bucket might not be as critical as mastering your swing, it’s a delightful diversion that celebrates the lighter side of the sport. 

So, next time you’re out on the green or perhaps staring at a bucket and a pile of golf balls, give it a go. Maybe the closest to the actual number pays for the bucket?

Ollie Neave

Professional Golf Player and Coach

Ollie Neave

AKA Aussie Beef Golf, One of Australia’s Busiest Golf Coaches.