It is technology taken for granted but in this piece we aim to explain why golf balls have dimples.
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?
The dimples on a golf ball seem like a peculiar design but believe it or not they have a huge impact on how a golf ball performs whether it be in terms of size, shape, depth, and whether they are there in the first place.
In this piece we have looked to explain why they are so important.
Dimples on a golf ball are so important because they help create turbulence in the layer of air around the ball which reduces drag and therefore makes the ball fly further.
It is widely believed that a golf ball without dimples would fly about half the distance of a golf ball with dimples because of this technology. This is because dimpled balls create about half the drag of a smooth ball.
Related: What Is Inside A Golf Ball?
Many golf ball manufacturers research dimple technology because any slight change to the design of dimples has a huge impact on the performance characteristics of a ball.
For example the lift and drag forces on a golf ball are very sensitive to dimple depth. Some research has shown that a depth change of 0.001 inch can produce a radical change to the ball’s trajectory and the overall distance it can fly.
This also explains why brands try out different dimple shapes like spheres, circles, or even hexagons.
Additionally brands experiment with how many dimples they put on golf balls to see if there are any advantages in having more or less of them. Usually the best performing balls have between 300 and 400 dimples.
So dimples take a variety of different forms on golf balls but what is clear is how important they are to modern golf especially in terms of distance.
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