How Are Golf Balls Made?

Alyssa Mertes

Promo Expert

Published: July 23rd, 2020

A golf ball may seem simple at first glance, but there's more to making one than you may think! Each dent and groove is thought out to ensure precision on the course.

Do you love playing golf? Are you interested in learning more about the sport? Impress your fellow golfers by knowing how the balls are made!

The many different types of golf ball exist for a reason: to offer golfers, whatever their preference, a ball that suits the way they play their game.

– Steve Newell, author of The Golf Book

What is a Golf Ball Made Of?

What is a Golf Ball Made Of?

At its core, a golf ball is made from rubber. It is then covered with either plastic, a thermoplastic resin called Surlyn, or urethane, which is an artificial crystalline compound that's also used in pesticides.

What is a Golf Ball Made Of?

Ultimately, the golf ball's design will vary. It depends on the manufacturer and how many pieces are used in the construction.

What Are the Different Types of Golf Balls?

Every golf ball is made differently and is constructed from anywhere between one to five-pieces. This is a fancy way of saying some balls have more layers than others.

Here's a breakdown of the different types of golf balls:

One Piece

One Piece

This is the perfect golf ball for beginners. The dimples are molded directly into the Surlyn.

Two-Piece

Two-Piece

Most golfers play with a two-piece ball. The rubber interior is enclosed with a second piece, usually made from plastic.

Three-Piece

Three-Piece

Three-piece golf balls have a solid rubber core, which is then covered with a soft plastic. A layer of liquid rubber is in between the core and the cover.

Four-Piece

Four-Piece

The first three layers are all rubber and then the entire thing is covered with urethane, giving this type of ball a super soft feel.

Five-Piece

Five-Piece

Five-piece golf balls are relatively new and were first created by a company called TaylorMade. There are multiple layers of rubber inside the balls for high launch, while the entire thing is covered with urethane for a softer feel.

The more pieces on the golf ball, the more backspin. If you have a slower club speed, it's recommended that you stick with a one, two, or three-piece construction. The faster your swing, the more layers you should have on the ball.

Which Golf Ball Goes the Farthest?

Which Golf Ball Goes the Farthest?

Your swing will ultimately determine how far the ball will travel in golf, but the ball's construction may also influence the distance. The softer golf balls, like four or five-pieces, tend to go a bit further, but it's usually a margin of about five yards.

Did you know?

Golf balls made from lobster shells were created in 2011. These were designed to be biodegradable and better for the environment.

How Are Golf Balls Made?

A golf ball starts as a solid piece of rubber that is eventually shaped and inserted into a dimpled ball made from urethane or plastic. The entire manufacturing process includes:

This is how golf balls are made step by step:

  • Step One: A solid piece of rubber is formed into a rounded shape.
  • Step Two: The rubber is injection or compression molded into urethane or plastic covers. The signature dimples are also added at this stage.
  • Step Three: The covers are polished and painted in the desired color. This is typically a shiny white.
  • Step Four: Each ball is pad printed with the desired logo or text, such as the manufacturer's name.
  • Step Five: The golf balls are packaged, shipped, and ready for purchase!
  1. Step 1
    Step 1

    Forming the Center

    The core of the ball, which is a solid piece of rubber, is molded into a circular shape. This involves a bit of chemistry as the rubber is altered from its original state.

  2. Step 2
    Step 2

    Injection or Compression Molding

    Injection or compression molding is used to form the covers and dimples on the ball. Both processes involve a combination of heat and pressure. The heat can be up to 300°F, while the pressure can be up to one ton.

    It's worth noting that the number of pieces influence how long the ball takes to be completed. For instance, two-piece balls can be completed in a day, whereas three-piece balls sometimes take as long as a month to be finished.

  3. Step 3
    Step 3

    Polishing & Painting

    Any scuffs or rough spots are smoothed out and two coats of paint (usually white) are applied to each ball. The ball sits on posts that rotate so the paint is applied evenly.

  4. Step 4
    Step 4

    Pad Printing

    Almost every golf ball has some kind of logo or design printed on the outside, such as a company name or logo. This design is applied via pad printing, which is a process that involves a giant stamp getting covered in ink and then applying it to a surface. The ball is then covered with polyurethane to seal the design and protect it from any damage.

  5. Step 5
    Step 5

    Packaging

    The golf ball is ready to be put into a pretty package and shipped to a retailer or ecommerce company! The most popular brands include Titleist and Callaway.

A lot of care and attention goes into creating golf balls. After all, some of these end up part of PGA Tours and other serious competitions. Be sure to give the manufacturers a big round of applause (not just a golf clap) for all their hard work!

Tired of reading?
Watch this short video on how golf balls are made instead!

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Dimples can make any smile a bit cuter, but they have a more practical purpose when it comes to golf balls. These little indents help the ball travel faster and further than a perfectly smooth ball.

The dimples reduce what is referred to as the lift and drag. If you fell asleep during high school physics, these are aerodynamic forces that cause an object to stay in motion while airborne. Airflow enters and exits the dimples on the golf ball, ultimately reducing the drag, or the backward pull on the ball. As a result, the ball travels higher and at a further distance than if it was completely rounded.

Do Golf Balls Go Bad?

Do Golf Balls Go Bad?

Do Golf Balls Go Bad?

Golf balls won't go bad, but just like a baseball bat wears out its pop and a basketball loses air at some point, the golf balls may lose some of their freshness over time.

The main reason you need to replace your golf balls is because they get lost all the time! In fact, roughly 300 million golf balls go missing on the course every year. They're found in water, bushes, and all over the fairway!

A good rule of thumb is to buy your golf balls in bulk and to keep them out of extreme temperatures. You can then use the same balls for years to come.

Why is Golf Ball Design Important?

Why is Golf Ball Design Important?

Why is Golf Ball Design Important?

Every player works differently on a golf course, which is why there is such a variety in golf ball styles. Some golf balls work for a slower swing, while others are better suited for fast clubs.

Ultimately, it depends on the golfer. Golf is a game that requires precision and skill. The ball you choose is all about what works best for you on the course!

Stats for Success

About 850 million golf balls are made every year.

A golf ball must be 1.68 inches in diameter and weigh 1.62 ounces according to the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Over 250 years ago, golf balls were stuffed with goose or chicken feathers and referred to as “featheries.”

The Bottom Line

Next time your shot slices a bit too much, blame faulty golf ball design instead of a lack of skills. You can also talk someone's ear off on the course about how golf balls are made and maybe they won't notice if you've gone over par!

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a super cool Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. She's a fan of diving into the history of some of the earliest promos on the planet. If you need her, you'll find her buried in research, in the middle of a phone interview, or singing way off-tune in her office.

References

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