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Urethane Matters

Urethane Matters

Improve your game and ‘Play Better Rounds’ – The Secret of the Golf Ball

It’s time we talked a bit about how you can really improve your game, and improve it quickly. Of course there are hundreds of ways you can do that; go for lessons, practice, buy better clubs, go to the gym, get yourself flexible, have better coordination etc.  All of them work, but can be a bit hard on your pocket, and even harder on your family life. See, you are expected to spend some time with your family after all. 

And then the more detailed tips: don’t hit the ball, swing through, keep your head down, shift your weight, anchor yourself... in reality an endless flow of tips. Again some of them work, some don’t, and some of them contradictory - you run the risk of getting yourself confused, and overcorrected.

But there is a real secret that you can work on, to support some of the essentials of good golfIT IS THE BALL. OK, you have got a reasonable swing now, technique is more or less OK, but have you ever given thought as to how you play with different balls. Have you in your mind analysed, why you had a good round today, and not so good yesterday. Have you done that in relation to the ball you played with? We bet not. You link your performance to all kinds of things (particularly the last words you had with your partner as you left home in the morning!!), but hardly ever the ball. This is the secret we want to share with you. Focus a bit more on the ball and see what happens.

Most of us are now aware of the history of the golf ball, and how the covering/outer layer of the golf ball has evolved.  In the recent period, it has changed from the balata layer, to Surlyn and to Urethane, the latest. What does Urethane do, compared particularly to the hard Surlyn cover? 

Urethane is a softer plastic than Surlyn, without compromising too much on the durability aspect. It is technically even softer than the balata covered premium balls of the past, but yet more durable and less prone to cuts and scrapes. Urethane covered balls are a good compromise between softness and durability. The layer of Urethane is also rather thin, enabling the club to apply its force to the ball itself rather than to a slippery thick plastic shell.  

All this clearly leads to good contact, imparting spin and accuracy at the same time, with a great feel. This helps in a number of ways. 

You save shots around the green. Have you noticed that your ball drops on the green and runs away from the hole, even when you hit a good shot? Have you noticed that you are frequently losing a shot because the ball has rolled away? That’s when the Urethane cover comes into play. Even if your swing is not particularly good at generating back spin, it gives you a helping hand to generate that all important spin and to get the ball to stop on the green, where you want it to be. 

You save shots on the fairway. The improved accuracy enables you to play controlled fades and draws. So once you get your basics right, and begin to hit the ball relatively straight, switching to a Urethane covered ball gets you to the next level of play with good control, and make the ball stay on the fairway. Those wild slices are then a thing of the past!

You save green stuff. Your improved accuracy not only improves performance, but you lose less balls too. Don’t know about you exactly, but an average player can lose about 5 to 6 balls a round, depending on the course itself. We know of some, where on the 19th, your buddies don’t ask you what your score is, but how many balls you lost. This can be an expensive affair. But not anymore. You no longer need to buy second hand balls to save money. You can now get the real stuff for less dollars, brand new Urethane balls. 

That is the role of new start-ups like ours.  Exploiting the high degree of know-how and technology available with today’s manufacturers (ball suppliers) to meet our specifications, to provide you with a cost-effective beautiful functional Urethane covered ball.That is exactly what we have done. 

You too need to experiment a bit though. True, if you go for a top brand you cannot go wrong, but at a cost. Experimenting with brands like ours will give you the opportunity to have great rounds at affordable costs. And the savings? Well, you could always put it to good use on the 19th!

July 18, 2016 by Francois Hebert
The History of The Golf Ball

The History of The Golf Ball

Early Days Wooden golf ball
Not quite an established fact, but the possibility is that wooden balls were used in the early days of golf. It was wooden sticks and wooden balls then. Hardly any aerodynamic or bouncy characteristics, but would have served the purpose. Isn’t it strange that one documented reference available is that of a ‘John Daly’ playing with a wooden ball in 1550? 

 

Year 1608 + Feathery or Featherie
It’s actually made of goose feathers and leather. A sewn-up leather cover was inverted and tightly filled with goose feathers when wet. As it dried out, feathers expanded and leather shrank, creating a quite a hardened ball. This handcrafted ball was the standard for a long time. They were pretty expensive though as a skilled ball maker would only
make 2-3 balls per day, and there were people pf repute who were in demand, just like the brands of today.  Quality clearly varied according to the skill of the craftsman. The balls from the reputed were sometimes more expensive than the clubs. 

 

Year 1848 + Gutta Percha or  Guttie
The next revolution came in the form of the Guttie. It’s made from the rubber like sap of the Gutta tree found in the tropics. It could be heated and shaped and a particular advantage was that when damaged or deformed it could be reshaped back. This invention is credited to Rev Adam Paterson of St. Andrews who received a gift of a statue packed in Gutta sap from Singapore, which led to the experimentation. Initially Gutties had a smooth surface which meant that they didn't travel as far as the Featheries.  In fact they found that the nicks on the ball made it behave better, leading the manufacturers to intentionally the create indents on the surface.  It was this ball that turned out to be a more affordable ball, leading to the game being played more widely.

 

Year 1880 + Guttie with pattern
The patterns of raised spherical indentations introduced were known as ‘brambles’ as opposed to today’s ‘dimples’. This was an attempt to reproduce the distance characteristics of a scored Featherie. Another technological advance was the move to making these balls in moulds and a move to mass-production, including Dunlop at this point, further reducing costs and also killing off the handcrafted ball business. More consistency and quality was also achieved at this point. 

 

Year 1898 +Haskell
The evolution continued, and Cobun Haskell is credited with the serendipitous invention of a ball with a rubber core, wound tightly with rubber thread to form a bigger core, and finally covered in a layer of Balata sap.  These balls proved very effective in the 1901 British and US Opens, and from then on widely adopted. It is said that these balls gave the average golfer around a 20 yard advantage. Haskell balls were also mass produced and gave a cost advantage.

 

Year 1905 + Haskell with Taylor Dimples
But the breakthrough came when William Taylor introduced the ‘dimple’ pattern to the Haskell ball. They found that these patterns increases lift, while reducing drag, giving the golfer a number of advantages, including improved spin. This was really the birth of the modern golf ball. Use of these dimpled Balata covered balls continued till late 20th century, and some of you might even recall playing with these.

 

Year 1972 Spalding
Experimentation continued on various aspects of this ball, particularly the core – with a range of materials such as metal, mercury, cork and even compressed air (pneumatic ball by Goodrich). There were no real breakthroughs until Spalding introduced the first two piece ball, based on a resin developed by them with a solid resin core. This continues to be widely used.

 

June 27, 2016 by Francois Hebert