New golf ball that helps putt better?

December 16, 2008

(ChattahBox) — There may be a new golf ball on the market soon to help with your putting.  A new patent application will be replacing dimples with grooves will make for fewer missed putts.  A ball’s dimples help the ball fly further by providing a cloak of air to reduce turbulence and drag. They also magnify the effect of lift created by backspin.

But according to Hae Cheon Choi and colleagues at Seoul National University in Korea, the trouble with dimples, is that striking one of the indentations off center can send the putted ball in the wrong direction.

The solution they say is to design a golf ball with grooves rather than dimples on its surface, arranged in such a way as to divide the ball’s surface into triangles. The grooves disrupt airflow in a similar way to dimples, so the ball still carries roughly the same distance, while covering a smaller surface area.

That makes it much less likely that a putter might strike them in a way that sends the ball off at an odd angle. The end result is fewer putting errors, they claim.

The new ball should be permitted by both of the governing bodies that regulate golf – the USGA that covers the US and Mexico and the R&A that covers the rest of the world as neither organization’s rules explicitly mention surface pattern. Rules instead specifying the ball’s weight, diameter, symmetry and initial velocity when struck with a club. The pattern on a ball’s surface must be symmetrical, though, precluding arrangements that cause a ball to “self right” into a particular position to ensure a straighter flight.  So there goes my hope for correcting that hook with a ball that flies straighter.


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