The multiple indentures on a golf ball are called “dimples.” A lot of us may wonder:
– What’s the exact number of dimples on a golf ball?
– How did dimples originate?
– Why are dimples embedded on a golf ball’s cover?
All of these and more are sure to be tackled within this article.
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How many dimples do golf balls have?
Most popular and modern golf balls typically have at least 300 dimples and at most 400 dimples. However, golf balls you may find with over 400 dimples and even reaching 500+ dimples aren’t commonly used by golfers, as they were not proven to execute the best performance.
There is no specific general number of dimples on a golf ball. The more it has indentations, the higher it shoots. But if a golf ball has exceeded the standard dimple count, it will likely have much more air pressure on its front than on its back, causing a motion delay.
Here’s a list of popular golf balls with their total number of dimples:
Titleist Pro V1 – 388 Dimples
Titleist Pro V1x – 348 Dimples
Titleist AVX – 352 Dimples
Titleist Tour Speed – 346 Dimples
Titleist Tour Soft – 342 Dimples
Titleist Velocity – 350 Dimples
Titleist TruFeel – 376 Dimples
Bridgestone Tour B X – 322 Dimples
Bridgestone Tour B XS – 330 Dimples
Srixon Z-Star – 338 Dimples
Snell MTB-X – 360 Dimples
Mizuno RB Tour and Mizuno RB Tour X – 360 Dimples
Mizuno RB 566 and Mizuno RB 566 V – 556 micro-dimples
There are other less-renowned brands of golf balls that are performing likewise as decent as these leading ones (provided the golf balls have a comparable dimple count).
Moreover, golf ball manufacturers are open to the tentativeness of their design. They may apply slight modifications and remodel the prototypes over time. Thus, dimple counts of golf balls earlier in time may vary at present and in the future.
The Origin of Golf Ball Dimples
You may ask yourself, have golf balls always had dimples? That is really where curiosity excites.
It was in the 15th century when golf was invented in Scotland. In the young world of golf, the golfers play with smooth balls. Most golf balls long ago were wooden and hard.
It was later replaced with a hand-sewn leather sack that is crammed with the feathers of goose, clumped as a ball. This was called a “featherie golf ball.”
After the featherie golf ball, in 1884, the Gutta Percha superseded. It was commonly referred to as guttie or gutty. These golf balls were molded from the dried sap of an East Asian sapodilla tree. Dr. Adams Paterson was the inventor behind it. And because of his invention, the production of golf balls became cheaper in this era.
The golfers soon noticed that as their golf balls got nicked over time from usage, the better they performed. Even more functional than smooth ones. Golfers would bring with them a hammer just to eradicate the smooth surfaces of their balls. Eventually, the golf ball makers would purposely create their products with protuberances to texture the surface.
Early in the 1900s, the production of golf balls gradually stopped being hand-made. Instead, manufacturers operated mass production, introducing the dimpled golf balls. Then, after knowing that indentations provide an even higher range, control, and more backspin than protuberances, they began to surface the golf balls with tiny cuplike cavities.
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?
These dimples provide turbulence to the golf balls. The dents tactically oscillate the air around the surface of the ball to reduce drag.
Unlike dimpled golf balls, smooth balls would just drive forward at the same height, since the aerodynamic drag isn’t reduced to optimize lift.
Dimples reduce drag by half compared to a smooth ball. And so, dented golf balls are expected to travel twice as far as smooth balls. (Steve Quintavella, USGA Equipment Standards Operation Manager)
According to Popular Science, if the distance traveled by a dented golf ball is 290 yards, the smooth ball, on the other hand, will only cover 130 yards.
Why is this so? The indentations, as by some scientists called “turbulators,” can make a backspin causing a higher air pressure on the bottom of the ball than the air pressure on the top of the ball. This provides aerodynamic forces that result in reduced drag.
Particularly, these dimples act as pouches that allow air to be closely flown around the ball, raising the turbulence. The propulsion of the golf ball into the air should be easily launched because of this.
Aside from the number of dimples, several aspects of dimples, such as their size, depth, shape, and pattern, can also affect the quantity of spin and the golf ball’s aerodynamical lift.
The Features and Restrictions of a Modern Golf Ball
There is no limit to a golf ball’s total number of dimples. The USGA (United States Golf Association) only requires the dimples to be symmetrical as well as the ball. Golf balls must weigh nothing more than 1.62 ounces and must have a diameter of at least 1.68 inches.
How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball – Conclusion
There is no exact number of dimples on a golf ball. Usually, they can have at least 300 up to 450. This is because the manufacturers are persistent in testing different structural reformations and production methods for golf balls.
This is to achieve better optimization of the ball’s performance. Though there are balls with standard dimple count, it is still up to your preference and skillset.