All posts by Joseph Kelly

The Science Behind Modern Golf Balls

Learning how golf balls work might seem like unnecessary homework for most people. It does take a bit of time and effort to get an idea of how these balls work, but in the end it’ll all have been worth it.

Knowing how a ball works will give a player the idea of what to expect. Some balls are made for distance, others control and so much more. Understanding how all of that can affect a shot goes a long way in helping to improve a golfer’s game.

Golf ballsThere used to be a time when people didn’t really care much about how the ball worked. It wasn’t until the feather ball that people began to value the ball itself. The great thing about studying how these balls work is that it won’t take too much of a person’s time. Below are some of the basics that will give people an overview of how modern golf balls work.

A look at the dimples

Dimples are those tiny little dents that most people see on a golf ball. The dents that populate the surface of the ball is a characteristic of the ball that most people are familiar with.

What most people think is that these dimples are just design gimmicks. Things that add flavor to the ball and add no real function. In other words, the dimples are there for rhyme and not reason.

The reason why dimples are scattered across the surface goes all the way back to the early days. During the old days of golf, golfers made use of a ball that was made from leather and feathers. The ball was known as the feathery. The funny thing about featheriness is that they had a tendency to fly farther when they became old and worn. The newer balls actually flew a shorter distance.

The difference in performance was due to the imperfections on the old feathery that allowed it to fly farther. Manufacturers then realized just how important that was and began to find a way to emulate the effect with mass produced balls. The end result was the dimple. And the rest as they say is history.

The ball piece

Golf balls are packed in a box that indicates the kind of balls that they contain based on their piece. The piece refers to the ball’s construction and the number and kinds of layers that it has.

The balls that most beginners usually use are single layer balls. These balls are the least expensive of all the different types. The single layer balls, as its name implies, is constructed from a single solid piece.

Casual golfers often prefer two-piece balls. These two-piece balls provide extreme durability and helps golfers achieve maximum distance.

Three-piece balls are often the most expensive. These balls are used by people who prioritize control over anything else. A lot of pros who prefer precision over power choose this particular kind of ball.

Compression and the ball

Compression is a term that was initially used to refer to the value of the rubber used inside the ball. Rubber often serves as the core of the ball. Compression was the unit of measurement that people used to identify the quality. It seeks to measure the degree of change in a ball’s shape under compressive load.

There was this belief back then that balls performed better the tighter they were wound up. Recently developed heating techniques have shown that the theory was false. Compression is still rated today because it can give golfers an idea of the feel. Golfers need to get a proper fitting to find out which golf balls suit their liking.