Visiting the golf course or the driving range on a beautiful spring day is a common occurrence for most. The golf past time is a great and energizing way to enjoy the outdoors. Playing golf allows the golfer to pick up the rules of the game. The rules can include choosing the right club, gripping the club correctly, determining the correct stance. The fact that the golf ball has dimples is expected and not talked about as much. When the avid golfer sets out to enjoy a game of golf the fact that the current golf ball has approximately 300 to 500 dimples in it goes unnoticed.

The Actual Golf Ball
The actual golf ball did not always have dimples. In the early 1900s, it was determined that golf balls performed better with dimples. Early golfers came to the conclusion that golf balls with nicks and cuts traveled farther than smooth balls. The dimples in golf balls cut down on the cuts that would appear on the balls due to the impact of the club strike. Striking a golf ball with a golf club can cause the ball to be damaged and not have the same flight. The dimples took the place of the nicks and cuts that would start to show on the original smooth golf ball.

The Flow
The golf game is at its core a study of aerodynamics. The properties of moving air and the interaction between the air and solid bodies moving through it. In this instance, the solid body moving through the air is the golf ball after its hit. Quite plainly the dimples are there to reduce wind resistance, when wind resistance is reduced the ball can travel a lot farther. Even though the dimples took the place of cuts in the golf ball it also allowed for air to flow over the ball differently. The dimples in the golf ball can also be thought of as turbulence. The secondary motion caused by the dimples makes the ball travel almost twice as far as a ball without dimples.


Golf is an $84.1 billion industry that has an impact on nearly two million jobs. Turning the game into a science was inevitable. Scientists determining how and why a golf ball travels the way that it does is valuable information to hobbyists and enthusiasts. The dimples being added to a golf ball seemed to have been a necessary addition but, looking at it at this day and age it would be interesting to see how far these power hitters could actually hit a smooth ball. The Guinness Book of World Records accredits Mike Austin with the longest drive in a completion after hitting a golf ball 475 yards off of the tee. If Mike had hit a smooth ball the record would probably not be his right now.

If you have ever wondered why there are dimples on a golf ball, now you know why and what they are for.

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