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One commonly asked question by golfers is how many dimples are on a golf ball? Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner learning the ropes, there’s a high chance you’ve asked yourself this question before.
It may not seem like a very important question to know the answer to, but the golf ball dimples are actually quite important. They play a big part in the lift, trajectory, and air resistance of our shots.
These factors along with the fact there is no universal size to fit all golfers are why we need to understand everything about golf ball dimples including how many there are.
If you want to know how many dimples a ball has or simply want to develop an understanding of what they do, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we will tell you everything there is to know about golf ball dimples and how they affect your game.
Let’s dive right in shall we!
How Many Dimples Does A Golf Ball Have?
When it comes to how many dimples a golf ball has, the truth of the matter is that there isn’t one single answer. The number of dimples a golf ball has varies depending on the manufacturer and model of the ball.
However, more often than not golf balls have approximately 300 to 500 dimples. Examples of the number of dimples changing can be seen in the Titleist golf balls. Some models of Titleist ball have 352 dimples while others only have 328.
Amazingly one golf ball manufacturer once made a ball with over 1,000 dimples on it. This still unsurprisingly holds the record for the golf ball with the most dimples, with the final total reaching 1,070.
What Are The Dimples, And Why Are They Important?
Despite what most people may think, the inclusion of dimples on our golf balls has absolutely nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with performance. Real science has gone into the common dimple patterns we see on our golf balls.
For those that aren’t sure, golf ball dimples are tiny cup-like indentations that sit on the surface of the ball. They have a similar appearance to a dent or cut, but unlike dents are strategically placed to help us play better golf, which is why they are so important.
When the ball is in flight, the air surrounding the dimples is shaken up to reduce drag. This helps the ball move quicker, which in turn gives us more distance and much smoother shots.
As a result of this performance boost, dimples are sometimes also referred to as “turbulators”.
The dimples on the ball give golfers so much control over the ball that if the golf ball didn’t have dimples it would only travel half the distance, whilst also flying wildly and unpredictably.
We can also expect a golf ball with dimples to lift a lot higher than one without.
Almost 50% of a golf ball’s lift is created by a backward spinning motion. As the ball spins backward, air pressure under the ball is much greater than that above so the ball starts to rise up into the air. Dimples increase this effect. In fact, they contribute nearly 50% of total lift.
When Were Golf Balls First Made With Dimples?
How golf ball dimples were invented is quite an interesting story as it was completely accidental. In the 1800s golfers used balls known by the name gutties. Gutties were first produced by Robert Adams Paterson who made the balls from molded tree sap.
When golfers used these balls they started to notice a common theme. After they had dinged the balls up, they noticed that the damaged ball had a much more consistent ball flight than the brand-new gutty.
After this discovery, things began to change. Golf ball makers started etching protrusions into their balls before in the 1900s another inventor discovered that indentations offered better performance.
In 1905 William Taylor patented the idea of golf ball dimples. It didn’t take long after this for almost every golf ball to feature the dimple design we are all familiar with today.
As technology has progressed, so too has the dimple design. Even in golfs, modern era patterns are still thoroughly tested to see how the balls can be optimized in relation to distance, speed, and control.
How Big Are Golf Ball Dimples?
Though the number of dimples a golf ball has varies from model to model, dimples are usually the same size. The size of the dimples is measured using their depth and circumference.
Typically, an average-sized golf ball will have dimples with a depth of approximately 0.010 inches.
In terms of the circumference of golf ball dimples, this also varies depending on the model of the ball. Most dimples have a spherical shape, but they aren’t required to.
Some golf balls, like the Callaway HX ball, have dimples that are hexagon-shaped.
The shape of the dimples may not matter, but there are tight restrictions when it comes to the symmetrical arrangement of the dimples.
Golf ball dimples have to have a symmetrical arrangement, while also fitting the required range of depth and radius.
Which Golf Ball Dimple Pattern Suits You?
Since golf balls are designed in a variety of different ways in terms of the depth and radius of their dimples, it’s not unusual for people to wonder which style of dimple suits their style of play.
The dimple size and pattern are specific to every model or series of balls, so finding the right one can be hard.
The best thing to do is to focus on the performance of the ball and what you need. For example, you can use the longest golf balls to add extra yards to your game.
These balls are infused with a unique pattern that makes the ball more aerodynamic.
Another great option is to choose between low-launch and high-launch balls. Alternatively, you could look at low-spin or high-spin balls. All of these characteristics are defined by the overall size of the dimples and their pattern.
Instead of worrying about what the dimple pattern is all about, focus more on the performance characteristics and specific ball movements. This will make things easier and prevent you from heading down a rabbit hole.
The tiny indentations we know as dimples help determine how the golf ball will travel. Using a golf ball with dimples helps the ball travel smoother, higher, and further, giving us more control over our round of golf.
Usually, a golf ball will have at least 300 dimples. This number can range from 300 to 500, with some golf manufacturers pushing it even further by including 1,000 dimples.
Luckily for us, manufacturers always include the total number of dimples, so we don’t need to count. Sometimes they even print the number on the golf ball.
Now you’ve read our blog, we hope you have a much clearer understanding of how many dimples golf balls have and why they are important.
With technologies progressing every day, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw further developments in this area in the future, but that’s an entirely different story.
For now, why not consider how different golf balls with varying dimples can help you improve your game.