Hard, round but soft inside
Holding a golf ball in one’s hand, it is not remote to wonder what could be inside.It cannot be air like basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs and other sport balls, but why does it bounce? If there is no air, why doesn’t it break with how golfers strike it? One must have had this question in one’s mind at one time or another. Whenever it has been passed on by golfing parents to their children, or just picked up at a place near a golf course, it is one of the first things in one’s mind.
Wonder no more.
There are approximately 800 different designs and models of golf balls that conform to the standards set by the USGA (United States Golf Association) rules. But even if they have different designs and models, most of the balls are composed by the same things. Though weight, size and velocity matter, the composition of these balls are also as important.
Golf balls are composed of different kinds of rubber. The innermost layer is soft black rubber which is bound by lengths of rubber band. This composes the second inner layer of the ball. This is then armored by another layer of soft black rubber, before its actual outer plastic core, the bedimpled shell.
Since the ball shave different construction, they classify themselves into two-piece, three-piece, four-piece and even five-piece construction. This is based on the number of layers constructed within the ball. But this is done with the same materials. Thus, a four-piece golf-ball can have two alternating layers of soft black rubber and the rubber thread, and so on and so forth.
These days, golf balls are made with either 2 or 3 sections. For beginners, it is recommended that they use 2-piece balls. These kinds of balls generally last longer and are usually easier to play with, perfect for the casual golfer. And thus, because it is cheap and takes longer to wear out (unless one loses them in the course), it has become economical for the beginner golfer. Approximately seventy percent of all golf balls produced is two-piece balls.
Three piece golf balls on the other hand are preferred by scratch golfers. These are made with a plastic surface, the windings are made of rubber thread, and has either a solid core or a shell that contains a viscous liquid.
Opening ball scan be difficult. A hacksaw and a vice are needed to open these balls. Trying to pry them open with a knife can lead to accidents like stabbing one’s own hand, so better quench your curiosity with the contents of this essay.
It is now more common to just have a soft rubbery inside and the plastic cover, which we can call the one-piece golf ball. This was manufactured with lower costs, thus, one can buy a set of 12 for a relatively-cheaper price than the two-piece or three-piece balls.
Golf balls can indeed be interesting to some children, especially when they are passed on by their golfing parents. They have become usual toys for some children, and some of them, collect these balls to be converted and recycled to function in other ways. Some collect just for the sake of collecting.
But some people can be more inquisitive about golf balls and what they are composed of. One famous photographer, James Friedman, who collected balls, tried to cut up the balls to create his own series of photographs, which he aptly labeled Interior Design. And what appeared were different kinds of rubber colors that when photographed came out like photographs of planets. Beautifully-created and now on display, Friedman said thathe found surprising beauty in the most unlikeliest of places, and that the inside of the golf balls actually moved him to be more enthusiastic about his abstract style.
This particular series on golf balls and Friedman’s other works can be seen in his official website.