Not many like history or discovering history. But if you get into something, it just becomes more and more enjoyable. Even I was not too fond of history before I tried it. And if you don’t like history, wouldn’t you want to know about golf balls and how they had a connection with the Roman Empire? Doesn’t this make you more interested in a golf ball?
Knowing about anything from its core makes it more meaningful and close to us. It feels like we have been through a journey together. As if we have experienced the thing being made and how it was thought of.
History is an exciting topic, and the more you get into it, the more you fall for the subject. One thing about every creation is fascinating: it wasn’t made the same it is now. It was made entirely differently. It has changed and turned into what it is now. It is always fascinating to watch how much it has changed since it was made.
It all started with the Roman Empire. You must be thinking how? Let me explain it to you. It all began around 80 B.C. the Roman emperors played a game known as the “Paganica.” In that game, they used a bent stick to drive a feathery ball. This all seems known to you? Or does this seem to be similar to something very known to you? If you are thinking about golf, then you are correct.
Nowadays, this feathery ball is a golf ball. But the game has evolved a lot. It’s nothing like how it started. One of the most significant differences in the golf ball now vs. then is its size. The size of the golf ball has reduced a lot. In the beginning, it wasn’t so small. Now it was double the size. Golf balls were the size of cricket balls. They measured 17 inches. Now, it has reduced up to 10 cm.
Other than this, there aren’t many differences in the golf balls. It has remained pretty much the same. But the size has reduced a lot.
The Scottish control
The Scottish took control took control afterward. The Scottish people’s nation is known for many things. And it is also known for golf. The Scottish people gave the name golf. The Scottish government is known for many things, and a few of them are butter and whiskey.
The Scots dominated golf. Golf balls were made of feathers to play the game. A leather sack containing goose feathers is used to make the golf ball. The processes of making golf balls are not that simple and not that difficult as well. For experts, it is straightforward.
The experts make it easy. They first fill the golf ball with the goose feathers. And then they stitch the sack that they have served with the goose feathers. And after that, they paint the golf sack. And this is how the golf ball is made. This is a simple and easy way of telling how they are made. More complications in the process have remained untold.
Golf balls are extraordinarily soft and expensive. Until recently, only a few people were using them. A few privileged people used them. The golf ball makers used cowhide as well. They used it as cover, and they used the goose feathers as the core. By doing this, the ball became more assertive and could cover more distance. And it would last longer than before, as well. But people were not satisfied with space yet. They were looking for something which would cover way more distance.
The gutty made a significant difference in the golf balls. The golf balls became more muscular and became more long-lasting after the gully. The gutty stands for Gutta Percha, which means hard latex made from the tree. It comes from a tree. It has made the golf ball better than before. The gutta provided the golfers with a chance to hit great shots, covering a long distance. As I’ve told you, the gutty comes from hard latex. And for having that hard latex in the golf ball, the ball has become more assertive and durable. This hard latex has been very beneficial for golfers.
But there was one problem with the golf ball. The golf ball was very smooth. It was nice having a softball, but it didn’t help the golfers to cover the desired distance. It was stopping the golfers from covering more distance. It was very frustrating. So, the problem had to be solved.
They came up with the brilliant idea of creating an irregular pattern on the golf ball. And this helped a lot. They nicked the golf ball with a hammer to create an uneven design on the surface. As a result, the golf balls covered a lot of ground. It was constructive. As a result, golf distances increased significantly. And by making this minor change, you were able to cover more space in a straighter pathway.
Do you feel that you know this pattern? I won’t be surprised to see that you have guessed what design I am talking about. Yes, you are correct. I am talking about the predecessor of the dimples in the golf ball. This was one of the turning points for the golf industry.
From that time, less paint was used to make the golf balls and more patterns. This was proven to be very helpful. By using a metal press, the process of manufacturing golf balls became more comfortable and affordable. It had small bulges on the surface of the ball, which highly resembled brambleberry. And that’s why people used to call the golf ball “the bramble.”
Rubber Core: the modern era of golf balls
Nowadays, golf balls are made of rubber core and plastic. And it wasn’t always made like this. In 1898, this was first started. Coburn Haskell, with the help of BF Goodrich Company, started this trend. The ball structure has a solid rubber core. It had a latex core before, but it has changed into a rubber core, proving very beneficial. And it is wrapped with high tension rubber thread. And the center is covered with plastic or Gutta Percha.
On the market, you can find two- and three-piece balls. There is a choice between the two. An Ionomer resin or a thermoplastic cover covers a rubber core. Among the characteristics of the three-part balls are the body, thread, and plastic coating. You can get either one of them or try both and see which one they like the most.
The dimple and development era
It was 1908 when the dimpled ball first came into the market. As I’ve told you before, it was the modern improvisation of the gutty ball. For having a dimple in your golf ball, the ball had gained more control, less spin, and extensive yardage. The modern dimpled golf ball seemed to be very helpful for the golf industry. By the time of the 1930s, the dimpled golf ball had taken over the golf industry. It was loved and admired by all.
And in 1970, the development of golf balls took a new turn. It was all thanks to the petroleum-based polymer Polybutadiene. It is a highly soft material that makes the golf ball more bouncy. This material gave bounce, which was hardened by zinc, making it more valuable and significant.
The presence of golf balls
There are two types of the golf ball in the market now. The Syrian-covered two-piece ball can be found here. Balata balls are also available. Beginners and amateurs alike love the twp-piece ball covered in Syrian cloth. This type of golf ball lasts longer than the other kind of ball. And other than that, the Syrian covered two-piece golf ball covers more distance.
And on the other hand, the pro golfers love the soft Balata ball. All the expert golfers love these golf balls to control distance, spin, and softness. By using this golf ball, you will be able to maintain the space more, and this type of golf ball are livelier than solid balls.
There is a history to golf balls. There is still more to the story. Technology regarding golf balls is still advancing. So, you never know, you might get an advanced history of golf balls in the future, including in the coming time.