s cover. Balata rubber soon replaced gutta percha,
s after being soaked in water?Independent Variable: My three different brands of golf balls.
Dependent Variable: Will water seep in or not and if it seeps in will it have an
effect on the golf balls distance.
Control: My unsoaked golf balls.
Reasearch: Per information sent to me by Titleist: Exposing a golf ball to water
has a negative effect on the golf balls performance. On average, after one week
submerged in water, a two piece golf ball will lose 6 yards off a drive. The loss of
performance for wound construction is even more significant, averaging a loss of
distance of up to 9 yards.
The History of the Golf Ball: The first ever golf ball was called the Feathery and
introduced in the 1400s it was a stitched leather pouch soaked and then stuffed
with goose feathers. Upon drying, the feathers expanded and the leather
contracted, forming an extremely hard mass. This was hammered round and
painted white. The feathery sometimes flew over 300 yards and was durable – until
it got wet. Then it would split open. The Gutta percha was introduced in 1850 and
was made of a rubberlike sap from the Malaysian sapdilla tree. The material was
heated to soften it and then hand-formed into a solid, one piece ball.Gutta percha
was black, so the early balls were painted white. Easier to make, less expensive,
and more durable, the gutta revolutionized golf. When golfers discovered that
balls and nicks flew longer and straighter then new ones, manufactures began to
give them a textured, even pattern surface. The most popular early pattern was the
bramble, which featured raised round bumps in concentric circles. the first wound
rubber ball was introduced in 1898. the three-piece Haskell was the first ball to
mix distance and control. Cleveland entrepreneur Coburn Haskell, with Akron
BFGoodrich engineer Bertram Work, wound continuous rubber thread under
extreme tension around a small, solid rubber core, and wrapped the result in a
gutta percha cover. Balata rubber soon replaced gutta percha, and dimples first
appeared in 1909. The first two piece golf ball was introduced in 1968 by Robert
Molitor a Spalding researcher who developed a ball consisting of a solid center
with a tough thermoplastic cover. The two-piece ball sacrificed control for
distance but has improved so much that today it represents 70% of all golf ball
Interesting facts about dimples: Through my research I have found that even the
slightest change in a dimple pattern could cause you to lose many yards off of your
shot. By adding 0.001 inch to a dimples depth could boost a drive length by 15
yards. Hitting a shot 250 yards without dimples could only go about 125 yards.
Shallow dimples allow the ball to fly higher but without much roll at the end.
Deeper dimples create more turbulence and flatten the arc of the golf balls drive.
Dimples disrupt the flow of air around the ball, thereby decreasing drag, or the
airs resistance to the balls movement through it. The dimples enhance lift as the
balls spin increases the air velocity over the ball and reduces it below the ball.
Air pressure thus is created underneath and a vacuumlike condition above, similar
to the lift generated by the wings of a plane in flight.More important than the
number of dimples is their coverage – the amount of a balls surface that is dimpled
and how they are distributed. The goal is more uniform dimple coverage. About
70 to 80% of the golf ball is covered in dimples. The majority of dimple designs
today are based on the icosahedralpattern which Titleist introduced in 1973. This
pattern divided the cover into 20 identical triangular faces. Titleist experiments
with some 50 to 100 dimple patterns a year and has eight in current production.
In 1909 spalding invented the first ball with dimples and now make three basic
dimple patterns. Even the shape of dimples have changed over the years. No
longer are they all round. Wilsons truncated cone dimple design features a flat
bottom and sidewalls, for reduced drag. Bullet and Aero which I used in my
project have new dimple designs. On Bullets new ball one third of the dimples are
square for increased backspin and Aero a brand new ball made by Top Flight has
round and tear drop dimples. Aeros tear drop shaped dimple design reduces
inefficient areas of the dimple which cause drag. Less drag equals more distance.
Until 1983 most golf balls had 324 or 336 dimples. The introduction of Titleist 384
led to a dimple race among manufactures. It reached a peak when Excalibur Golf
Co. introduced a golf ball with 812 dimples the most ever on a golf ball. The
important factor is coverage, not count. There is no magic number it is how they
are put on the golf ball. 812 did not mean a golf ball would go any farther you
could get sop many that you are back to a smooth ball. The most efficient number
of dimples is 320 to 420. The average amount of dimples today is about 400.
Some companies now are using software to design there dimple patterns.
Aerodynamics: It was nearly the turn of the century before anyone realized the
tremendous significance of aerodynamic forces for golf ball performance. A
person who could drive the ball 200 yards in the air under normal circumstances
would be hard pressed to beat 140 on the moon where there is no air. This is in
spite of the fact that the latter case eliminates all the deleterious effects of wind
resistance, known to aerodynamicists as drag. Unfortunately, it also eliminates
the vast beneficial effects of lift, the same aerodynamic force that keeps airplanes
in the air. A properly designed golf ball uses these two forces in concert to
produce a remarkable degree of air worthiness, considering the less the sleek
profile of a typical golf ball.
Hypothesis: I predict that unsoaked golf balls will reach further distances than the
soaked balls because of my extensive research on this topic.
Experiment: Built apparatus to strike golf balls at consistent speeds. Soaked three
different brands of golf balls in water for three weeks. Took three soaked balls and
three matching unsoaked balls and conducted my study. After hitting each ball
with my apparatus four times I measured the distance each ball traveled to the
quarter inch. After hitting each ball I marked it with a piece of masking tape and
documented each onto a separate sheet of graph paper.
Material List: 2×4 wood
Soaked Golf Balls
Unsoaked Golf Ball
2 Hose Fasteners
Results: Through my research I have found some very interesting results. I have
found that Areo went the furthest of the three balls that I tested. Aeros unsoaked
golf balls went 96 5 after averaging the four tests, and its soaked golf ball went
94 4 a difference of 2 1. After averaging Titleists unsoaked golf balls I came
up with the figure 95 4 and its soaked golf balls came out to 93 even, a
difference of 1 8. After testing the third and final golf balls, Bullet, I came up
with the totals being rather consistent with the others. The unsoaked Bullet golf
balls went further once more with a distance of 95 3and its matching soaked
golf balls went a shorter distance again with a distance of 92 5and its difference
came out to be 2 8. According to my research my findings are very consistent
with the information that I have received from the Titliest Corporation. A two
piece golf ball will lose 6 yards off of a average drive after just one week
submerged in water.
Conclusion: Through my reasearch I have concluded that unsoaked golf balls will
travel further distances then golf balls that have been soaked in water. I have also
found that an unsoaked golf ball will travel about 2.3% more then a soaked golf
ball. Ill tell you one thing, this project was an awsome learning experience,
another way to beat my golf buddys on the course, every advantage helps in this
1. All This For A Golf Ball, Dimples Create Engineering Challenge, Evolution Of The Golf Ball,
The Effect Of Altitude, Temperature, and Humidity On The Flight Of A Golf Ball, 11/3/97,
Titliest And Foot-Joy Wordwide pg.3-5-7-9.
2. Aerodynamic Basic, The Dimple Patterns, New Trends In Golf Balls, 11/9/97, Wilson Sporting
Goods, Co. Golf Division, pg.2-9.
3. Spalding Firsts, Spalding Fact Golf Book, 11/7/97, Spalding Co., pg.4-5.
4.The effect that water has on an golf balls distance, Julie Haek, Precept, Bridge Stone,
5. Titliest,11/12/97 on America Online, http://www.Titliest.com.
6.Dimple Designs, Bill Richards, Dimple Designer, Titliest And Foot-Joy Worldwide, 11/11