What Are Golf Balls Made Of: Inside The Ball
The game of golf has many components that make the game interesting but challenging. One significant element is the golf ball. On the outside, it looks like plastic with small dents all around, but some wonder what are golf balls made of?
In short, they are made with a variety of different rubber materials. The aspect is quite interesting since the type of rubber used plays an important role in how the ball moves. The outside cover of the ball is made with resins and other unique forms of rubber.
Overview and History
Golf balls date back to the 15th century in the Netherlands. They were made with other materials such as wood, feathers, and bull hide. Another design for the golf ball came later during the 17th century in Scotland featuring painted bull hide and goose feathers.
During earlier times the golf ball was shaped like a croquet ball. The golf ball design and material went through drastic changes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Gutta perch gum was heated and shaped into balls, but later, rubber and resin became standard materials used.
Golf Ball Types
To understand what golf balls are made of, you have to consider the layers found inside. A golf ball can be made with a two-, three-, four-, or five-piece material mix. The pieces refer to layers inside the ball. The layers in the ball help determine performance and how it moves on the green.
Two-piece balls offer low spin movement and are prime for slow speed swinging golfers. Three- and four-piece balls are for high swing speeds and low handicap players. Three- and four-piece balls feature a thinner layer of rubber beneath the urethane.
Going Inside the Ball
Most balls have compression in the middle or core, but the amount varies from one type of ball to another. The core of the ball may feature liquid or rubber. Compression is based in the middle of the ball and measured using number 80, 90, and 100. Each number represents play level.
The 80 is a ball used by seniors, women, and juniors. The 90 is used by recreational or average golfers. The 100 is seasoned or advanced. The higher the number the tighter ball compression is found in the core.
The outer hard cover is made with rubber or hard resin. Rubber covers can give the ball good movement and feel. Hard resin covers offer the same but more durability. To get a better idea of how a ball is made it helps to look directly inside a golf ball.
Different rubbers are used to fill the ball. Ball makers have a preference depending on the result they are trying to achieve. A variety of soft rubber elements, thermoplastic urethane, water-infused polybutadiene, and polymer blends are a few types found in top golf ball brands such as Bridgestone and Wilson.
Buying the Right Ball
Golfers know there are different types of golf balls, but the question is which one is right for you? With a variety to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Since you have learned more about what they are made of such details can make it a little easier to narrow options.
Professional golfers play with different balls based on ball performance. If you play the short game well it could be worth the investment to pay for a good quality ball. Experts suggest balls with urethane covers are best since they play well off the tee and have a good spin.
Choosing the right golf ball to buy depends on skill level and how the ball will be played on the green. Select a ball you can afford to buy and work your way up to better quality balls that may cost more. You will know the right ball based on how it plays on the green. You can practice short game with different balls to learn more about which is best for you.
Golf Ball Summary
So, what are golf balls made of? Since the 15th-century, golf balls were made with materials such as feathers and wood. Later, rubber and resin were adopted. Most golf balls look the same but differ depending on manufacture and materials used. Selecting the right ball to play with depends on:
- Understanding different types
- Personal skills level
- The amount players are willing to spend
- Play and performance on the green
What is your favorite golf ball to play with and what results do you like about it the most?