Golf Ball Technology
If you are an avid player or fan of golf, have you ever picked up a golf ball and wondered why it looks the way it does? Why do virtually all golf balls have dimples?
This and many other characteristics of the golf ball have a lot to do with advances in golf ball technology.
Of course there are a number of aspects of the golf ball that are due to predefined standards set by professional golf associations.
The golf ball has undergone remarkable transformation over the years with the content of the ball's core ranging from feathers, liquid, windings and rubber, and the exterior moving from a smooth one to the dimpled surface that we are all so familiar with.
Previously, most of the focus around improving the equipment used in the game of golf was on golf clubs. But it became clear that the quality of the ball too mattered in helping golfers achieve their best shot. Golf ball technology has seen tremendous growth in recent years to the extent where choosing the right ball to play your game is just as important as the choice on which clubs to use.
And make no mistake-there is no one ball that comes be said to be the best golf ball for everyone.
This is important to take note of because one of the biggest mistakes many new golfers make is to go for top brand and expensive golf clubs simply because the same brand of ball is used by a top professional golf player. In fact a number of studies have shown that up to half of all golfers playing today use the wrong ball-wrong in the sense that it does not fit their personal golfing dynamics.
Golf is still a game that relies on technique, accuracy and consistency and your ability to play well in the context of these three aspects will differ from one type of ball to another and will not necessarily be the same as another player. In other words, the golf ball technology that works for you might not work for the next golfer and vice versa.
The Professional Golfers Association has set the minimum size of a golf ball to 1.68 inch in diameter. A large sized golf ball is allowed but virtually all golf ball brands are of this size; and for obvious reasons-the smaller the ball the better for the golfer.
The days of a liquid core for a golf ball are long gone.
The latest approach to constructing golf balls is the use of a multi-layered and solid core. Even then it is important to know the different types of balls available in the market so that you know which is best for you.
Golf balls can be classified in a number of ways. For instance, the following is a classification of golf balls based on the number of cores that the ball has:
- The one-piece - This is probably the most basic golf ball technology available today and is designed for golf beginners. It is often made from a single solid piece of Surlyn (a special plastic) with the usual golf ball dimples. It has no core. The light weight of the ball means it is rarely used to play an actual game-just for practice. The fact that it is cheap and durable is great for the beginner because they do not have to be overly worried when they lose a ball, something that is bound to happen when someone is starting out in golf. The design of the ball means it travels a shorter distance than other types of golf balls due to the soft impact and deformation that takes place when you strike it.
- The two-piece - The golf ball technology used on a two-piece ball combines resilience and distance. It is the most frequently used golf ball among the average golf players. It has a single solid core (usually hard plastic) covered by the regular dimpled surlyn exterior shell. The presence of a core means that you can hit the two-piece golf ball further than the one-piece. However, its direction is more difficult to control than the softer one-piece ball.
- The three-piece -
moves a step further than the two-piece and now has a rubber or liquid
centre, a thin layer of rubber or a suitable liquid and then the outer
dimpled layer. They provide more spin and give greater control for the
intermediate and advanced golfer. The high spin rate can be leveraged
to provide better control as well as higher speed. Each of the three
layers has a purpose. The inner core caters for distance, the second is
meant to deliver the energy from the golf club to the core while the
third and outermost layer is the shell of the ball.
Nowadays there is even a four-piece golf ball although it is not as widely used but could grow in significance in future. But golf balls can also be classified on the basis of that important aspect of golf-spin. Different balls produce different levels and quality of spin.
- The lower spin balls enable the ball to take a more straight path in the air. If you find difficulty hitting the ball far, then the lower spin ball is the best alternative for you.
- Mid spin balls have a relatively higher spin than lower spin golf balls. Golfers that have moved up into an intermediate level of golf or an advanced beginner phase will be able to use this ball relatively comfortably. Mid spin golf ball technology is the most commonly used golf ball today.
- Then there is the high spin golf ball - If you ever get stuck in the greens, this is the ball you would want to be using as it allows you to get out of the bushes easier.