Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?
So you’ve just started playing golf. One question that you have is why are there funny marks all over the surface of the ball. Well hopefully without getting too technical I’m going to give you the answer to that question and several more about the reasons for a golf ball to have dimples.
They have dimples because they improve the aerodynamic performance of the ball. A spherical object is not particularly aerodynamic so needs all the help it can get.
Dimples create a layer of turbulent air around the ball that allows the air to flow more smoothly over the surface of the ball. This turbulence reduces drag on the ball and allows the ball to travel almost twice as far as a smooth golf ball.
This video from the USGA should explain it much better than I can.
Another reason dimples are added is to stabilize the ball’s flight. A flat object would travel in an irregular manner through the air so adding dimples alters the airflow and produces a much more stable flight that the golfer has a chance of controlling.
Covering the ball with dimples also increases the amount of lift. When the ball is struck it starts spinning backward which creates greater air pressure below the ball than above it. This difference in air pressure causes the ball to fly higher and they increase this effect.
Scientific American magazine ran an experiment and found that a professional would only be able to hit around half as far if the golf ball were smooth.
When Did Golf Balls Get Dimples?
Golf balls have been around for centuries in one form or another, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that manufacturers began to experiment with dimples. Robert Adams Paterson developed the guttie ball in the mid 1800’s. Players found that the ball would perform better after it had been used for a while and the cover had developed scuffs and abrasions.
As mechanical manufacturing processes began to take over at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th-century marks were added to the golf ball in an effort to allow players to hit the ball further and have greater control.
One of the most successful examples was the “bramble” pattern. This was added to gutta-percha balls manufactured in the late 1800s.
One of the first patents was taken out by William Taylor who had discovered that dimples produced better results than the raised markings that formed the “bramble” pattern.
Today, they are an essential part of a golf ball’s design, and they help to give players the distance and control they need to improve their game.
Golf ball manufacturers alter the size and depth of the dimples to affect the flight characteristics of the ball
Are Dimples Always Round?
For the most part, manufacturers have tended to stick with circular dimples. Callaway is the only major one to break ranks by using hexagonal dimples. They contend that this allows them to cover more of the ball’s surface with them. The golfing public has tended not to look too kindly at balls that had different shaped dimples.
How Big Are Dimples on Golf Balls?
Every manufacturer has its own methodology when it comes to dimple design but the typical depth of a golf ball dimple is 0.010 inches. Different models will have different-sized dimples. The depth will vary in order to adjust the flight higher or lower.
How Do I Know Which Golf Ball Dimple Patters Are Right for Me?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as the ideal pattern for a given golfer may vary depending on factors such as swing speed, club head speed, and personal preference.
Do you need help in achieving more height on your shots? If so then look for balls that promote a higher flight.
If you tend to hit the ball too high or play a lot in windy places then you might prefer a ball that is designed to fly lower.
What Would Happen If A Golf Ball Didn’t Have Dimples on It?
If a golf ball didn’t have dimples on it, the ball would not be able to travel as far. The dimples on a golf ball help to create lift, which helps the ball to go further. If the ball was smooth, it would not be able to generate the same lift force, and would not travel as far when hit by a golf club.
The turbulent boundary layer created by the dimples is all-important to improving the performance when compared with a smooth ball.
How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball?
Golf balls generally have between 300 and 500 dimples. Looking at the list of conforming balls it would appear in a large percentage tend to have around 330 to 350 dimples.
Some golfers believe that having more dimples on a golf ball can help them to hit the ball further. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
The ball with the most dimples had 1070!
What Year Did Golf Balls Get Dimples?
Golf balls with dimples were first introduced in the early 1900s, and they have been used on golf balls ever since. William Taylor registered a patent for dimpled golf balls in 1905. Prior to this most balls had raised markings that were added during the moulding process.
Which Golf Balls Have Dimples?
All of them! I doubt a golf ball without dimples has been produced in more than 100 years unless it has been purely for testing purposes to show how much better a dimpled ball performs.
A smooth golf ball would not fly consistently and it would travel shorter distances than a dimpled ball. There is no reason for a player to want to play with an undimpled ball.
When Did Golf Balls Have Square Dimples?
The first golf balls with square dimples were created in the early 1900s. These balls were designed to help improve the aerodynamics of the ball, which would in turn help increase the distance that the ball could travel. Square dimples quickly became popular among golfers, as they were able to see a noticeable difference in their game. Over time the round dimples became more popular as they allowed a larger portion of the surface to be covered by the dimples.
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples: Conclusion
Hopefully that’s cleared up any confusion you may have had regarding dimples! They are actually very important.