Golf Balls: Types and Constructions

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Golf Balls Major BrandsOne item that many golfers don’t think too much about is golf balls. These all look the same so they are all the same? Wrong! There is a huge difference between golf balls. You’ve probably seen the dedicated driving range golf balls and the golf balls they sell in your local golf shop. There are many types of balls, materials used and construction methods. Read all the interesting information about golf balls, the types and constructions, here and know which you should play with next time!

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Different Types of Golf Balls

Modern products are typically composed of a firm resin or rubber interior with covers ranging from materials like balata, surlyn or polyurethane. Surlyn material provides a moderately harder impression while the polyurethane golf ball provides a suppler feel with better control. The inside can also include a liquid encased within a membrane plus extra layers and inner covers for a more enhanced performance, better flight and velocity.

Golf ball types 2-piece 3-piece 4-piece construction

There are 3 fundamental types of golf balls and they are the following:

  • 2-Piece Golf Balls

The bulk of golf balls being sold in the market today are dominated by this type of product. It has a big, firm rubber interior that is hemmed in by a urethane or plastic covering. Designers can change a finished product’s performance by altering the interior’s size, its compression and the cover’s suppleness.

This kind is often utilized in improving someone’s game or as a distance ball. The bigger core offers plenty of speed once the golf club hits it. They have a lower spin thus it is capable of flying in a ship-shape manner.

This kind also suits individuals with swing speeds of 85 mph.

  • 3-Piece hybrid Golf Balls

The 3-piece hybrid model features a firm middle enclosed by a mantle layer. A supple urethane or plastic rubber covering subsequently hems in this 2-piece structure. It has an improved spin control and performance because of its three-layered structure.

  • 3-4 Piece Golf Balls

Golfers with higher swing speeds require a product with a low first spin for distance and a higher iron spin for accuracy. This type fits this need due to its distinctive dual core pattern or structure. It is composed of 4 layers, with the 2-piece interior encased by a lean mantle layer followed by a dimpled urethane covering.

Reason Behind the Dimpled Pattern

Back then, the golfers of old thought that smoother spheres are capable of flying through the air because a smoother surface means the item will produce less wind endurance but eventually this theory was debunked.

A sphere with this kind of pattern was discovered to fly nearly twice as far than a product with a smoother surface. The dimple pattern was in fact capable of reducing the drag that often draws or slows a ball down. This pattern also assists in raising the sphere by shoving the airflow down which then forces the ball aloft.

There are no restrictions on the amount of dimples the product has to include. Majority of products have around 300-500 dimples, the most regular being 392. The product can feature patterns that are deep set, big, tiny or shallow.

Several models feature a variety of dimple sizes on the same sphere. The dimple pattern also comes in a range of shapes from teardrops, ovals, the common circle or even hexagonal shapes.

Golf Ball Shelf Life

The durability of the product depends on what kind of item it is. Firm, rubberized plastic spheres which one can find on driving ranges or miniature gold places can last for a good 5 years or over because of its lower density.

The older balata type’s interior features a rubber orb filled with liquid, which lets the product operate. It has plenty of rubber threads that are tightly looped around the interior to provide bounce and density, and then covered with a durable covering with the dimple pattern. The balata kind’s threads will eventually lose tightness and solidity over 2 to 3 years of use.

The 3-piece types like the older balata have a shorter shelf life because of its elastic lacing. Using this kind of product several times can eventually reduce its springiness and tautness, which then results into significant yardage deficiency. The ball’s outer covering is also vulnerable to cuts and nicks while at play.

Modern substitutes for the dated, 3-piece balata model features an approximated 5-8 years of shelf life, which will also rely on correct storage and regularity of use. A firm rubber product has since outmoded the liquid-filled kinds and today’s models make use of sophisticated plastic and rubber material that provides similar tightness and density but without the short shelf life. To make those items last longer, the product should be put away at room temperature conditions.

Once a ball shows signs of wear, it is best that golfers should replace them with newer ones. A product that is damaged can also impair club heads and replacement for this particular gear can be more expensive as compared with buying replacement golf balls. Many golfers have quite a few spare golf balls in their golf bag or in a pocket in their golf cart.

Illegal Golf Balls

Plenty of golfing associations control the utilization of the product when it comes to competitions. The USGA or United States Golf Association in the US decides on these stipulations. The product that does not follow the specifications is termed as illegal golf balls but they can still be employed for recreational use only. One can buy them at stores selling sporting goods.

The USGA necessitates that the balls employed in competitions should be at least 4.27 centimeters in diameter while the maximum weight for the product should be at 45.93 grams. The illegal kinds are usually smaller in size but are weightier than tournament-level models.

The product should not also possess a speed of more than 76.25 per second, its speed usually dependent on its size, weight and construction. The illegal golf balls feature a higher speed as compared with the approved golf balls.

Golfers who make use of the illegal type will discover that they are capable of hitting the ball from 20-25 yards further than if they made use of USGA models. It is due to the balls being built to travel higher than usual, which sequentially increases distance. Players always find it hard to position the product into the hole as soon as it is on the green since it is challenging to rotate this kind.

They are not used by pros but as mentioned before, they can be bought on sporting goods stores and employed for recreational means. They are promoted as products that will provide additional distance and because of this reason; a lot of individuals who purchase this do not know that the product is barred by the USGA.

The product looks a lot like those USGA-standard models and are typically white but they also come in a range of bright hues. Instructors who teach golf usually tell their students and clients not to make use of the illegal kind since they give false impressions on a golfer’s skill. Individuals who are not certain if they’re using USGA-authorized products should ask help from a professional first so they can select the right product for the sport.

Golf Balls: A Short History

Plenty of us are curious of what makes a golf ball. At this time, there is a wider variety of golf balls available that will readily fit the needs and requirements of different players. There are products that can take the brunt of iron shots while some are capable of going beyond the tee.

Back in the day though, in Scotland during the 1550s, the product was made from wood and were hit with clubs featuring wooden heads. 1618 saw the launch of the featherie, a sewn cow or horse hide sphere packed with goose feathers but it was a long, taxing process and the hide shriveled whenever it came into contact with water. Thus the leather and feather ball was scrapped.

Next came a better innovation, which was called the guttie or Gutta Percha ball in 1848. It was crafted from the elastic sap of a tropical tree species, which once heated, can be molded into an orb. It was more cost-effective than the featherie and to make it fly better, a certain hammer was employed to stamp a design on it.

The gutties were then produced in molds, which made it more affordable until it was provided with the Bramble design, a series of round bumps that dotted its surface. The enhanced longevity of the guttie encouraged golfers to make use of their iron-headed clubs even more.

By 1898, a man called Coburn Haskell launched a product crafted from a firm rubber interior with a rubber thread enveloped over it and covered with a material called gutta percha. They were a hit since it supplemented a good 20 yards to majority of players’ shots.

A machine was then created to start the mass manufacture of the Haskell’s creation and later, the dimpled design that can be seen today was added in 1905 to enhance flight. By 1972, Spalding created the 2-piece ball, making it the sole important enhancement in Haskell’s creation.