The application of hi-tech science and technology has lead to the high-performance golf ball and the game of golf we play today.
Golf Ball Design
The business of golf balls is not open ended, the characteristics of golf balls are strictly governed by rules. These rules determine such things as:
• Golf ball weight
• Golf ball size
• Maximum initial velocity
• Spherical integrity and symmetry
• Combined carry and roll of the ball
These and other characteristics make up the framework that today's golf ball manufacturers work within as they vie technologically for sales and market share. The expression "a golf ball is a golf ball is a golf ball", simply does not apply. What appears to be just a small round object is in fact the product of many current leading-edge technologies.
Learn more about the USGA Golf Ball Rules and Standards of Design. LINK
Golf Ball Structure
Golf ball structures break down broadly into two basic categories: wound golf balls, which are the all too familiar conventional golf ball structure we all grew up with, and the solid golf ball which made its appearance in the 1980s. Ever since Bridgestone introduced the popular two-piece Altus golf ball back in Japan back in 1982, solid balls have achieved rapid penetration. Solid golf ball structure is now at the peak of its popularity, accounting for 95 percent of all golf balls sold in the Japanese market.
Wound golf ball structure is a direct descendant of the Hasket ball, invented in 1898. Solid golf ball structure on the other hand, has evolved from the one-piece golf ball that was first invented in 1966. Until recently, the general opinion among golfers has been that solid balls produced a hard feel upon impact, and that they offered poor spin control and over all performance. However, with the development of golf balls made of urethane resins, the ratio of professionals using solid balls at the 2000 US Open reached a striking 30 percent.
As such examples indicate, golf balls have evolved and are being improved in ways that increasingly meet golfers' needs. Learn more about the Evolution of Golf Ball Construction.
Golf Balls, Golf Balls and more Golf Balls
There are more than 1,500 different kinds of golf balls that have been approved by the R&A and USGA. In addition, there are a large number of unproved golf balls available on the market as well. A typical golfer today can easily find a golf ball that has made the kind of progress expressed above.
The real message is that golfers should take the intuitive to try new golf balls, rather than staying with the same old golf ball experience. Today's golf balls are different, no doubt about it, so take advantage of the technologies that are available to improve your golf game. By this -- is meant simply that by experimenting with some of the many different golf balls available today, one may discover golf balls that more closely fit the style of your golf play.
The R&A and the USGA...
The R&A is golf's world rules and development body and organizer of The Open Championship. It operates with the consent of more than 125 national and international, amateur and professional organizations, from over 110 countries and on behalf of an estimated 28 million golfers in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas (outside the USA and Mexico).
The United States Golf Association (USGA) is the game's governing body in the United States and Mexico.
Golf Ball Rules
Yes, when it comes to the game of golf, the golf ball rules! However, that's not quite what we mean when we say Golf Balls Rules.
With the rapid advancement of golf ball technology, there must be a limit to how technologically advanced one can make a golf ball. The USGA has set several guidelines regulating the construction and design of golf balls. To be recognized and approved by the USGA, a golf ball must meet the following standards: