Golf Balls It is commonly believed that hard wooden, round balls were the first balls used for golf between the 14th through the 17th centuries.
Though they were no doubt used for other similar contemporary stick and ball games, made from hardwoods such as beech and box trees, there is no definite evidence that they were used in golf in Scotland.
It is equally, if not more likely, that leather balls filled with cows’ hair were used, imported from the Netherlands from at least 1486 onward. Then or later, the featherie ball was developed and introduced. A featherie, or feathery, is a hand-sewn round leather pouch stuffed with chicken or goose feathers and coated with paint, usually white in color. The volume measurement for the feathers was a gentleman’s top hat full of feathers. The feathers were boiled and softened before they were stuffed into the leather pouch. Making a featherie was a tedious and time-consuming process. An experienced ball maker could only make a few balls in one day, and so they were expensive. A single ball would cost 2–5 shillings, which is equivalent to US$10–20 today.
In 1848, the Rev. Dr. Robert Adams Paterson (sometimes spelled Patterson) invented the gutta-percha ball (or guttie, gutty). The guttie was made from dried sap of the Malaysian sapodilla tree. The sap had a rubber-like feel and could be made spherical by heating and shaping it in a mold. Because gutties were cheaper to produce, could be re-formed if they became out-of-round or damaged, and had improved aerodynamic qualities, they soon became the preferred ball for use.Accidentally, it was discovered that nicks in the guttie from normal use actually provided a ball with a more consistent ball flight than a guttie with a perfectly smooth surface. Thus, makers began intentionally making indentations into the surface of new balls using either a knife or hammer and chisel, giving the guttie a textured surface. Many patterns were tried and used. These new gutties, with protruding nubs left by carving patterned paths across the ball’s surface, became known as “brambles” due to their resemblance to bramble fruit.
Golf Ball Buying Guide
Golf balls are on the front lines of the economic and ethical equipment battles. Some golfers fear that advances in equipment may render some of the game’s most storied courses obsolete (although you won’t hear them complain about the extra yards off the tee). All we can say is it hasn’t happened yet. St. Andrews continues to entertain and challenge golfers as it has for centuries. After all, whether the ball is stuffed with feathers or liquid or rubber, golf remains a game of accuracy and consistency, not merely distance. Because golf balls fly farther doesn’t mean they necessarily fly straighter.
As golf technology and developments into golf clubs advance rapidly, many believe the advancements in the golf ball are slower and less common. The truth is golf ball technology has advanced immensely in recent years and now finding the right ball for your game can be as advantageous as picking the right clubs.
While many people are brand-loyal when it comes to balls, there are many different specifications that you should consider when choosing the right ball for you. In this guide, we will explain different terms that you will have heard relating to golf balls, but perhaps never really understood.
Resource: Golf Balls
Golf Balls Construction
The construction of a golf ball is vitally important to the way it will react to contact with a club. Manufacturers are constantly pushing the limits of golf ball construction. Below are the most common constructions.
One-Piece Golf Balls
A one-piece golf ball is the most basic, and least expensive to produce, ball and is designed primarily for beginners, driving ranges and crazy-golf courses. It is seldom used as a playing ball.
Typically, one-piece balls are made from a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples moulded in. It is an inexpensive, soft and very durable golf ball, but does not give you the distance when hit because of its lower compression.
A two-piece golf ball is used by most ordinary everyday golfers because it combines durability with maximum distance.The balls are made with a single solid core, usually a hard plastic, enclosed in the ball’s cover.