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Everything You Need to Known About Golf Balls

Aug 27, 2008
Believe it or not, but the first golf balls in the early 1800s were called "featheries" and were actually made of a leather pouch that was rolled tight and packed with wet feathers then dried into a hard and solid ball. The average drive on "feathery" was about 150-175 yards. Today's standards are very different, aren't they?

We have come a long way from those days and experience has tough us that a rough ball flew a bit better than a smooth one bringing us to the current dimpled features of a modern golf ball. Why does a golf ball have dimples? A smooth ball is effected by the drag of atmosphere both on air flow behind the ball as well as separation of the air around it. The dimples on the ball allow for these two types of drag to count act granting the ball a more free flight through the air.

So, what makes a ball a golf ball? According the United States Golf Association (USGA), a ball must fall within these specific requirements to be officially recognized as a golf ball, which generally means that:

1. The weight of the ball cannot be greater than 1.620 ounces or 45.93 gm.
2. The diameter of the ball cannot be greater than 1.680 inches or 42.67 mm.
3. The ball must be round and cannot be designed or intentionally changed to have properties different than a round, symmetrical object.
4. The speed, initial velocity, roll and carry of the ball must meet and not exceed USGA test standards.

For a full list of conforming golf balls, please refer to the United States Golf Association (USGA) official website for more specific information on rules guidelines and testing standards.

A full variety of speciality golf balls are available and many tout extra qualities such as longer drive, higher accuracy or a design especially for men/women. While some design changes in dimple patterns and core density may effect the travel of the ball, it is best to try out a few brands before making your final decision on a good fit for you. After all, it will takes years of practice and dedication to develop your own personal accuracy level and, at that point, you will notice more finite changes in specific golf balls.

Can you reuse and recycle golf balls? Of course, a found golf ball that is not too scuffed or discolored is probably fair game for the average golfer. But, there has been some research to indicate that golf balls recovered from a significant amount of time in the water (noted by the discoloration) have absorbed too much moisture to launch properly from impact with the club head. So, think about the time, wear and tear on those golf balls before plucking them out of the pond. Or, if you are considering buying reclaimed golf balls from an industrious caddy that has been digging in the swamp.
About the Author
Author is an avid golfer and offers discount golf balls and used golf balls for sale on his website.
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