Golf Ball Construction
Knetgolf is the world's largest internet retailer of premium used and recycled golf-balls, selling over 200 different types of golf balls and satisfying over 200,000 customers annually. In order to help you better understand the golf ball, Knetgolf has written an in-depth article answering some of the questions about golf-ball construction.
What's inside a golf ball?
If you are like most of the rest of us, then you've thought at some point of another about what's inside a golf ball. There was a time when it was an easy question to answer, for golf ball construction was relatively simple..
Evolution of Golf Ball Construction
With the first recognizable form of the game of golf being played in Scotland in the early 1400's, the common golf ball has had nearly 600 years to evolve. Golf ball construction has been through many upgrades and enhancements throughout the history of the game.
Golf Balls Throughout the Ages
There are four distinct stages in the evolution of the golf ball.
Wooden Golf Balls...
With the game of golf getting its roots on the East Coast of Scotland, the first golf balls were made of wood. Wooden clubs were also often used in conjunction with these balls.
Wooden golf balls were used from the mid fifteenth century until the seventeenth century, when the feathery ball was invented.
Feather Stuffed Leather Covered Golf Balls...
In 1618 a new type of golf ball was created by handcrafting a cowhide sphere stuffed with goose feathers. The 'Featherie' golf balls were manufactured while the leather and feathers were wet.
The time-consuming processes involved in creating a Feathery golf ball ensured that the price was out of reach of the masses. Though expensive, this type of ball had great flight characteristics and made the wooden ball virtually obsolete. For over three centuries the Featherie was the standard, only to be replaced with the advent of the Gutta Percha ball.
Gutta Percha (Gutty) Golf Balls...
In 1848 Dr. Robert Adams began creating golf balls out of Gutta Percha "Gutty". The Gutty golf ball was derived from the dried sap of the Sapodilla tree. It had a rubber-like feel and was formed into ball shapes by heating it up and shaping it while hot.
Almost by accident, it was discovered that golf balls with improperly smoothed surfaces often flew straighter and further than their smooth counterpart. This gave birth to the hand Hammered Gutta Ball. These golf balls were hammered with a consistent pattern throughout with a sharp edged hammer.
Rubber Core Golf Balls...
The advent of the rubber core golf ball changed the face of the game of golf as we knew it. This new design was invented in 1898 by Coburn Haskell in association with the BF Goodrich Company. This new and unique golf ball construction and design featured a solid rubber core, high tension rubber thread wrapped around the core, and a Gutta Percha cover.
This new breed of golf ball also featured a much larger variety of outer designs for improved airflow. The mesh, reverse mesh and Bramble designs gave way to the dimple pattern first used in 1908.
Modern Golf Ball Construction
The first automatic winding machine was patented in 1900 by John Gammeter. This allowed the rubber core golf ball to be economically mass produced. From the original wooden ball to the modern rubber-cored , the evolution of the golf ball has changed the way we play the game of golf.