How Many Dimples are Found on a Golf Ball?

Once you look at a golf ball, you can tell that it is very different from the rest of the balls used in various other sports.  A baseball is smooth with some seams on it.  A football is leather in an oblong shape.  A Basketball is fully round, with but texture on it for grip and some rubber guide lines.  All three of these sports have regulation sized balls, and they have to meet certain standards in order to be the same kind of ball played in every game.

With a golf ball, what makes it stand out is that they ball has various number of dimples on the ball.  However, do you know what the dimples are for?  And did you know that there is a variation with the number of dimples on a golf ball?

Why are there Dimples on a Golf Ball?

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When the game of golf was first invented, the golf ball was actually one smooth and round ball.  However, over time, golfers started realizing that when there were dents or nicks on the golf ball, that the ball ended up actually flying further compared to their normal slick golf ball.  When this was the case, golfers would intentionally dent their golf balls so they could get the best performance out to them.

The reason for this is that the dents, or now dimples, provide a way to help break up the aerodynamic process, which allow the ball to travel higher up into the air.  By breaking up the normal process, the ball tends to spin faster, which helps lift the ball into the air.

This is why it is important to now know the amount of dimples on a golf ball.  The typical golf ball will have a large variation of the number of dimples on it, which ranges anywhere from 300 up to 500 dimples.  There are two different numbers of dimples which are the most common, which are 336 and 392.  The number of dimples needs to be even among all sides of the golf ball, otherwise the ball will be lopsided, and the ball will not perform nearly as you want it to in flight.

The more dimples a golf ball has, the higher it will fly into the air.  However, if you have too many dimples in a golf ball, it will continue to fly higher, but will not go as long.  The ball will fly in a higher arc, which is great for when you need the ball to land in a certain spot, but will not suffice when you need to drive the ball longer.  And since, within a round of golf you cannot change golf balls when you go from one hole to another, you need to find the right number of dimples on a golf ball which will give you the right amount of arc and distance needed to compete on the golf course.

Types of Dimples

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Just like each golf ball can have a different number of dimples, the depth of the dimples can also be different.  Not only this, but the dimples can be a different depth on the same golf ball!  You might have a golf ball which has a low number of dimples as well as very shallow dimples, which will mean the ball will not fly very high, and is very good for those who want to hit line drive shots.  Similarly, if you want a very high arcing shot, then you will want a golf ball which has a higher amount of dimples and deeper dimples.  The golf ball needs to be designed in a way where the dimples which are directly across from each other are of the same depth, otherwise the ball will not perform the way you want it to and will tend to fly either more left, right, up or down.  If you notice your golf ball is flying in a weird direction or doesn’t seem to be flying fluidly, then you will know that one or more of the dimples has been nicked or dented in even further, and the ball will need to be switched out.

The reason there are different depths within any golf ball is to ensure you have the right mixture to allow you to have an arcing and long shot.   There are certain combinations which work best for your golf shot, and the only way to know which one is best is to go to a simulator at a golf pro shop, and test out different golf balls.  Having the right golf ball can reduce the number of shots you take per round, and it is a very easy thing to change out.  Just because you might like a particular brand of golf ball doesn’t mean that it will perform best for you on the golf course.  Knowing there is a variation in the number of dimples, as well as the types of dimples on a golf ball, will give you some extra knowledge in taking your golf game to the next level.

Conclusion

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Knowing that each manufacturer of golf balls has a different number of dimples on their golf balls, as well as different depths along their golf balls, should help aid you in finding the right golf ball for your game. Unlike other sports where there every ball is basically the same, this variation with the golf ball gives you much more freedom and range concerning which kind of ball you can use on the golf course.  The only way to fully determine the best golf ball for you is to swing at a few that have different properties, and see which one agrees with your swing the best.  Finding the right golf ball will help reduce the number of strokes per game, as well as allow you to shape each shot as needed.  We wish you good luck in your search for the right golf ball, and once you do, please let us know which golf ball you went with and how it performs for you on the golf course.