The origin of Golf goes back all the way to 14th Century in Scotland.The game of Golf was regarded as the game for the rich which was much to do with the equipment and playing area of the game. The hitting stick , golf ball and the green land with sand and water were not easily affordable.
Now lets shift our focus towards the golf ball. Since 14th century till today the golf ball has seen lot of transitions.
Transitions of Golf Ball:
Initially it was wooden ball which was used from 14th century to 17th century. Then came the change in 17th century when the leather balls were used. These leather balls were made of three pieces sewn together and the stuffed with feathers of chicken. As the feathers dried, they expanded and gave round shape to the leather ball. These were also known as “featherie“. Leather balls had better flight as compared to wooden balls but did not last long as the leather was easily damaged.
19th century witnessed the better and much improved version of golf ball which was rubber golf balls. The rubber balls had high flight , better control and longer air time. Initially when the rubber were made it was noticed that smooth balls were not able to go as far as the ball with indentations. This brought the concept of forming dimples on the golf ball.
The modern golf balls used today are mix of rubber and plastic. Today,usually two types of balls are used , two-piece ball and three-piece ball. Two-piece ball has core made of hard rubber which is coated with the sheet of plastic. A three-piece ball consists of a plastic cover, winding of rubber thread, and a core that contains a gel or liquid.
Making of Modern Golf ball:
- The sheet of bouncy rubber is mixed with chemical to form a hot batter and then is rolled like a pie crust. It is then left for cooling.
- Once cooled, this sheet is run into a machine called Extruder which presses the sheet and cuts it into
separate round shaped pieces.
- These pieces of rubber are sent to the molding chamber where they are baked at 167 degree Celsius for half an hour which hardens the rubber. Once baked, these hard rubber pieces are cooled down with water.
- These pieces of rubber are sent through the vacuum tube which peels of the extra rubber and imparts perfect round ball shape to them.
- Compression Molding gives the plastic cover and dimples to the golf ball. The rubber balls are kept within a mold cavity and molten thermoplastic is injected into the dimpled cavity surrounding the core.
Effect of dimples on ball:
Dimples effect the flight of the ball. The balls with small dimples stays at lower trajectory and has good control in wind. While the ones with large dimples scale to higher trajectory and stays in air for longer duration.
The makers of the golf balls have to follow certain standard guidelines which are established by United States Golf Association. As per the guidelines, the weight of the ball cannot be greater than 45.93 gm. The velocity shall not be greater than 250 feet (75 m) per second. The overall distance standard states that the ball shall not cover an average distance in carry and roll exceeding 280 yards (84 m).