balls have come a long way from the days of the "feathery"
– a ball used beginning before the 1600s that was actually
made with goose or chicken feathers. The process used to make
the feathery surprisingly produced a very hard ball that was essentially
hammered into roundness and covered with several coats of paint.
The time and effort needed to make these golf balls made them
Gutta-percha golf balls appeared in 1848 and,
despite grumblings from golfing purists, supplanted the feathery
as the game's favorite. Sometime after the Gutta made its appearance,
golfers realized that a ball with nicks and scrapes actually performed
better than one with a smooth surface. That was the prelude to
the introduction of the modern golf ball, which also prompted
the USGA and the Royal and Ancient to adopt specific design criteria
for golf balls. They wanted to make sure everybody played a ball
that wasn't juiced or altered for more superior performance.
Nowadays there are literally dozens of golf ball
brands to choose from. Some promise more distance, others claim
to perform soft-shoe routines when they hit the green. There really
isn't too much to separate one brand from another. A few years
back, tests were done to find how far various brands of balls
could travel. Using "Iron Mike," a robotic golf-swinging
machine, the testers fired a couple dozen brands of balls down
range. There wasn't much difference in any of them. All the testers
could find was that some balls do perform better when hitting
the greens on approach shots.
choice of golf ball can be determined by how you play the game.
Beginners shouldn't spend a lot of money on golf balls. Consider
how many shots wind up in hazards, including the wet kind, and
it doesn't make sense to spend more than is necessary for those
with minimal playing ability.
Deciding which golf ball best suits your game
can mimic your climb up the performance ladder. When you no longer
lose three or four balls a round, move up to a ball that has less
spin, thereby helping you to avoid some of the slices and duck
hooks that plague novice golfers. Opt for the two-piece ball that
professes to deliver more distance – if nothing else, that
will give you a feeling of power over the game as a whole.
Your golfing ability continues to grow; so, try
using a two-piece performance ball. These balls promise a larger
core for more distance but don't quite have the feel around the
greens like a multilayered ball. And that's where you come to
the end of the line. Multilayered balls are constructed to provide
distance, while also creating more spin on short shots, the key
to good scoring. They can be quite a bit more expensive, but by
the time your proficiency has reached this level you shouldn't
be concerned about losing balls.