In history, hard wooden round balls with smooth surface were the first golf balls used; however golfers realized that beat up balls with bumps tend to travel farther than newer ones. Just like other inventions, the discovery of golf ball dimples is accidental. Research shows that the dimples in the balls created for golf can produce turbulence, which, if done right, will help reduce drag. The dimples are also designed to help in scooping up air and eventually moving it back to the ball’s rear as it spins.
So it’s no wonder that golfers will do everything they can to make the ball go farther, so old, beat-up balls became standard issue and new golf balls were modified accordingly. Before, people thought that if a ball has more than the required or standard number of dimples, then it is capable of traveling more distance. Some experts, however, disprove the theory. Still, this did not prevent golf product manufacturers from making different kinds of balls with dimples.
The dimples typically added into a golf ball can be shallow, small, large or deep. There are also certain variations of the ball that have varying sizes of dimples. It should also be noted that the dimples integrated into a golf ball are available in various shapes. These include teardrops, ovals and circles.
Dimples have a huge effect on the ball that small alterations to them can create huge differences on how it travels into the air. For example, a ball with shallow dimples will travel much higher, while that with deep dimples will travel lower. This gives players the option of changing dimple patterns based on the situation of a shot.
The purpose of the dimples is to slightly increase drag and aid in giving the ball more lift. Without the dimples, the ball would be hitting the ground sooner than expected. As for the number of dimples a golf ball needs to have, there are no specific rules yet. Most balls used in golf have around three hundred to five hundred dimples – depending on the company which created the design. Companies that manufacture golf products, specifically balls, are even capable of producing and designing golf ball variations that perfectly fit the swing of different golfers. This means that the ball currently used by Tiger Woods is designed differently from the other golfers.
After reading this article and knowing that the purpose of the dimples used in golf balls is to increase drag and give more lift, we arrive to the next question some people might have in mind. Why not use it in airplanes? If the average people think that it would have the same effect it does to the ball in flight, then you might be surprised when you find out the consequences of having dimples on the wings of an airplane. After further research, it is known that having dimples on the surface or wings of an airplane is a big no no.
Sure, it will provide the expected drag but since accidents can’t be stopped or predicted, it is safer to leave the planning of the airplane structure to the aeronautical engineers. Also, if it were to be placed on the wings of an airplane and the airplane happens to turn upside down, it would most likely “help” the airplane crash faster and would make it slightly harder to turn right side up again.
As for the reason why golf balls need to have dimples designed on them, the answer would be to let them fly higher and at an even farther distance. Golfers will surely try to find ways on how to be the best among the rest by using the perfect ball with the exact number of dimples that will fit their abilities. In other words, every golfer wants to play the sport using the best ball he can find.
As of today, manufacturers of golf balls from different parts of the world invest millions of dollars each year to create the best types. They also try to create enough variety to perfectly fit the game play of each individual who would like to play the sport.
The dimples typically added into a golf ball can be shallow, small, large or deep. It should also be noted that the dimples integrated into a golf ball are available in various shapes. Another nice source of information for varying sizes of dimples is available on Rockbottomgolf.