What Are Golf Balls Made Of – History Of Golf Balls

Among the many questions that may be going through the mind of a golfer, wondering what are golf balls made of might be the most mysterious one. In order to be a great player, it is important to know the composition of the equipment you use is.

The composition of golf balls has evolved drastically throughout time. Simple wooden spheres were utilized at first. However, by the 15th century, they had been replaced with feathery balls. These leather balls were painted white and stuffed with feathers. There were various flaws with these handcrafted leather golf balls.

Water and moisture absorbed by the balls caused them to alter density during the round. Furthermore, since hand-sewn leather balls aren’t completely round, ball flight was significantly more erratic than it is now. The golf ball would change shape once again in the nineteenth century. With approximately 850 million golf balls created and distributed each year, the golf ball business is now worth over $550 million in yearly sales. Balls are now produced in two or three sections.

Check out our detailed guide on the best golf balls suited to your game and budget.

Golf Balls Through the Years

Around five or six hundred years ago, Dutchmen put feathers into a 1.5 in (3.75 cm) leather pouch to create the first golf ball of comparable dimensions to today. This particular ball survived around 450 years. The ballmaker creates a fluffy. The golf ball’s dimple design results in excellent Right performance. The more dimples a ball has, the better it flies, as long as the dimples are about 0.15 in (0.38 cm) in diameter. The pod was carefully flipped inside out, leaving a tiny space for goose or chicken feathers to be inserted into. The ballmaker used a leather cup as a primitive mold to maintain a spherical form. The hole was sewn up, the ball was dried, hammered into a spherical form, and oil and chalk rubbed on it.

Feathers were finished in a variety of diameters and weights and were rated based on their weight (measured in drams). By altering the lengths and thickness of the leather used for the cover, ballmakers were able to regulate the size and weight of each ball. Typically, 20-29 drams were used to make feathery balls. The feathery was originally assigned a number based on their size, then a number based on their diameter rather than their weight. This method of numbering has survived into the twentieth century.

When a much cheaper ball made of gutta-percha, a natural gum from Southeast Asia, was invented in Italy about 1850, the feathery was substituted. A slice of resin rope that had been pre-mixed with a stabilizer was heated to make it malleable and then molded into a spherical to form a gutta-percha ball or gutty. Despite being rounder and smoother than the feathery, the performance of this ball was worse.


Modern Era

The new ball’s affordability (dozens could be created every day instead of just a few) allowed the working class to participate in the sport in great numbers, and it remained popular until about 1910. Machined iron molds with regular patterns etched on the interior were produced by the end of the 1870s.

The brambleberry pattern with raised dimples was one of the most popular. These molds produced a consistent pattern on the surface, avoiding the need for manual hammering. This development ushered in a new era in golf ball aerodynamic design. The pace of production increased considerably further.

Materials Used in a Golf Ball

The majority of a golf ball’s materials are plastic and rubber. A two-piece ball has a solid rubber core and a long-lasting thermoplastic (ionomer resin) shell. To make a spherical, the rubber begins as a hard block that must be heated and compacted. A smaller solid rubber or liquid-filled core with rubber thread coiled around it under tension, and an ionomer or balata rubber cover make up the three-piece ball. Thanks to a substance called polybutadiene, a petroleum-based polymer, the inside of the ball improved even further in the 1970s. This material had more bounce, but it was also overly soft. Zinc was discovered to strengthen the material during research. The remainder of the manufacturers quickly adopted this reinforced polybutadiene.


The core of a golf ball is usually constructed of rubber; however, some balls include a liquid center. Three numerals are crushed from the ball: 80, 90, and 100. For juniors, ladies, and seniors, eighty is the lowest compression level. The compression is 90, which is considered typical for recreational golfers. For expert golfers, the 100-compression ball has a harder, tighter core.

Liquid cores have mostly been replaced with synthetic rubber materials, with polybutadiene – a polymer that combines flexibility with the capacity to rebound fast – being a common option. A modern Nike golf ball has an extremely lightweight resin core that reduces spin on drives while retaining control with short iron shots, narrowing the distance vs. control difference.

Types of Balls

Two-piece, three-piece, and five-piece balls are available. Because of the huge, compressed core, two-piece balls may boost your distance. They have a reduced spin rate and might cause your ball to slice or hook. Golfers with slower swing speeds can benefit from the two-piece balls.

Low-handicap golfers with fast swing speeds should use three-piece or four-piece balls. Under the urethane cover, three- and four-piece balls have a thinner mantle layer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials are golf balls made of?

A golf ball is a custom-made item for golfers of different skill levels. Dimples increase spin and resistance to the wind. The resin or rubber cover provides distance or control, while the core and compression are tailored to each player, from tour pros to beginners.

What makes a good golf ball?

Beginners, high-handicappers, and players with slower swing speeds frequently favor two-piece golf balls. The two layers are made up of a huge core and a thin cover. This design increases the amount of energy transferred from the club to the ball, propelling your strokes further.

Do golf balls absorb water?

The golf ball prevents water from entering the ball core quickly, but it does not completely prevent it. It denotes the fact that a golf ball is not waterproof. Water passes through the fillers on its way to the core, somewhat like a motorway. The core of a golf ball is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture.

Last Thoughts

Golf balls will be able to go considerably farther as aerodynamic design improves.  Some experts, on the other hand, say that golf balls have hit their distance limit and will not advance in this area during the next 20 years. Golf ball producers will be pushed to attain flawless consistency from one ball to the next, design balls that feel softer and stop quicker on the greens, improve ball durability, and invent the ideal dimple pattern.

Metal matrix composites based on titanium, which are being investigated as space-age materials, may be able to meet some of these aims. In addition, golf ball manufacturers will be required to provide additional balls for various types of players. Four or five distinct sorts of trajectories, for example, may become accessible. Whatever the case may be, over the years we have seen the evolution in what exactly the golf balls are made of and the technology is expected to improve more as time passes.





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