Is the word history making you little uncomfortable? At least it makes me recall my History 101 classes. I was not good in remembering dates. Therefore, it was obvious history will not be the topic I like. Nevertheless, you will love to know what are Golf Balls made of, aren’t you?
However, the history of Golf and its accessories will definitely ignite the spark. I felt the same when I found the History of the Golf Ball has a connection with Roman Empires. Throughout this long lifespan, the Golf Ball went through numerous enhancements and upgrades.
The Rolling Started From The Romans
Around 80 B.C., the Roman Emperors (info), used to play a game name Paganica. They used a bent stick to drive a feathery ball. The diameter of the ball was around 17.5 cm. Much bigger than present day Golf Ball.
In the mediaeval age, the ball diameter squeezed to 10 cm. However, the clubs were unchanged. Furthermore, the game was not restricted to the emperors only.
The Scottish took the control afterwards
You know the Island nation for its Butter, Whiskey, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Nevertheless, Scotland developed the modern day game Golf in the early 18th Century. Therefore, add Golf in your list of best from the Scotland.
Scottish named the game Golfie. They invented the feathery ball for the game. The ball was a leather sack filled with boiled Goose feather. Expert makers stitched the sack, and painted them for a smooth finish. These balls were expensive and soft. Only a handful of privileged can participate in the game. The Scottish golf enthusiasts developed a new type of feathery ball to increase durability.
The ball makers used Dried Goose Feather as the core and seasoned Cow Hide as cover. Now the ball was more hardened and could cover more distance. However, people were looking for far greater distances.
“Gutty” comes in the Golf
Gutty definitely added Guts among golfers to go for great shots. The Gutty stands for Gutta Percha, hard latex from tree. This material made the ball hard and provided durability. However, the super-smooth surface was making the ball duck than cover distance.
The golfers of that time came with an innovative idea. They nicked the new Gutty ball with hammer to create irregular pattern on the surface. Surprisingly, this nicked pattern helped the balls to cover extensive distance in a straighter pathway. Can you recognize this pattern? Yes, they were predecessor of the golf ball dimples.
During the later time, the manufactures used less paint on the surface and consistent dimple patterns. Metal press made the manufacturing process easy and affordable. Small bulges on the surface resembles with Brambleberry. Thus, people used to call the ball “The Bramble.”
The Modern Era of Golf Ball Started With Rubber Core
Currently, the Golf Balls made with plastic and rubber core. This trend started at 1898 by Coburn Haskell with the help of BF Goodrich Company. The ball structure has a solid rubber core wrapped with high-tension rubber thread. Plastic or Gutta Percha covers the core.
Both two and three-piece balls are available in the market. The two-piece ball has a solid rubber core and a coat of durable thermoplastic or Inonomer resin. Like the Coburn’s design, three-piece balls still has the core, thread and plastic coating.
Dive Into The Dimple And Development Era
Dimpled ball first came to the market in 1908. It was the modern improvisation of nicked Gutty Ball. The dimple provided more control, less spin, and extensive yardage. By 1930, the dimpled ball dominated the market.
The development of the golf balls took a new turn in 1970. Thanks to the introduction of petroleum based polymer Polybutadien. This soft material produced more bounce. The golfers loved the bounce while the material was hardened using Zinc.
Current Evolution And Trend In Golf Ball
Two types of ball now dominate the market. Armature golfers love the solid Syrilin covered two-piece ball. This type is more durable than the soft Balata ball. Moreover, Syrilin balls provide longer and straighter distance covering.
On the contrary, Pro golfers prefer soft Balata. This type is livelier than solid balls. Golfers can control the distance and spin because of its softness.
Leading Golf Ball manufacturers like Nike, Callaway, Pinnacle, and Titleist spend billion dollars on research and development of Golf Ball technology. These companies integrating modern technology to produce high-performance golf balls.
The Future of Golf Ball is Flying in The Air, However…
Introduction of modern technology and manufacturing techniques make Golf Ball go beyond their limit every day. Now the balls can cover more distance and stay steadier in the air. One of the leading producer already claimed that their future product would drive more than 400-yeards.
However, golfers do not like that much interference of technology in the game. They prefer a balance between skill and technology. Therefore, they are demanding a 10% reduction in yardage. Although the reduction will be around 25-yards however, it will trim down some of the technology dependency.
Some Golf specialist believes there nothing more to do with Golf Balls. They already reached their limit. Nevertheless, space technology is now showing some new ways. The futures lies in the composite materials and mathematical model based dimple pattern.
The Roll Started From Rome and Still Rolling On
The journey begins in the field of Paganica. After that, the Golf Balls covers a long journey through both history and golf courses. The colorful history of golf ball includes inspiration and innovation. Modern Technology reshaped the ball along with the pace of the game.
The list of what are Golf Balls made of may not be that long. However, it represents how human innovation excelled to go beyond limits. This will be a great inspiration for starting your journey with this highly modernized ancient game.
I am sure the history of Golf ball was not that scary. Then why you are waiting? Get your favorite Golf kits and go for the green. Have a great time there!