If you’ve ever noticed a golf ball carefully, you must have noticed that it has hundreds of tiny dimples all around the surface. You might think that the dimples add an interesting look to the golf balls making them look better. Although one might argue that dimpled golf balls look cooler than smooth golf balls, the reason behind the dimpled structure of golf balls is far beyond mere looks.
The dimples on a golf ball are strategically created in order to create lift and aerodynamic assistance for the ball to fly farther and travel longer distances. It ultimately optimises the overall efficiency of the game.
How many dimples are on an average golf ball?
The average golf ball is sized at 1.68 inches in diameter and according to the USGA rules of golf, strictly no less than that. Such a golf ball can have around 300-500 dimples around the surface. The difference between the number of dimples may depend on the type of ball, play or manufacturer of the ball.
Is it better to have dimples on a golf ball?
Once upon a time, golf balls did not have any dimples. They had smooth white shells that would often look beat up with nicks, slices, irregularities just after a couple of shots in the game.
Does having dimples on a golf ball make me a better player?
The presence of dimples on a golf ball is a result of rigorous testing, research and development that optimises the overall game and skill of the player by inducing turbulence in the layer of air next to the ball while the ball is in motion. Such a layer of air reduces drag making the golf ball travel longer, more controlled distances so that the golfer is able to score more strategically.
Dimples and aerodynamics
The dimples on a golf ball act as ‘natural accelerators’ to a golf ball that has been launched into the air by creating turbulence next to the ball surface thus reducing the drag. Imagine a closed pocket of air that is not affected by winds, friction or any other factors but only functions efficiently on the existing momentum on the object (the golf ball). The ball, due to the dimples on its surface then travels safely within the pocket of air in a smooth projectile due to less resistance and drag.
Getting back to the basics of physics, reduction of drag allows the ball to travel faster and more efficiently through the air, thus, improving the efficiency of the sport and optimisation of the golfer.
We hope that this article was able to help you understand the impact of aerodynamics and the importance of dimples on the surface of a golf ball.
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