Better, Faster, Stronger... The six dollar golf ball
Throughout the history of golf the game has changed drastically. Golf has gone from a game played by farmers in the fields to a sport played by millions of people world wide. As the years have passed players have gotten better, clubs are hitting straighter and balls are flying higher and further than ever before. This has little to do with the golfswing, which hasnt changed in 200 years, it has everything to do with the evolution of the golf ball.
The first type of ball used for golf were made of wood. They were mainly used from the 14th to 17th century. The construction of the wooden ball was mostly made from hard woods, such has beech or boxroot. They were crudely rounded into shape with tools. The 2nd type of ball was called the "Feather Ball." It was used as early as the 16th century, upto the early 1850's. It was made by stuffing feathers into a wet leather or bull hide pouch, which was then closed. As the leather dried, it allowed the ball to tighten and become hard. This process was extremely time consuming, which made it one of the most expensive balls on the market at that time. Also, being made of leather golfers would use an average 4 balls per round of golf due to the balls getting damp and splitting.
In 1848 Dr. Robert Paterson invented the Gutta Percha Ball. This ball was made from the sap of a sapodilla tree that was mainly found in Malaysia. The sap was rolled on a board until it hardened and shaped into a ball. Uneven surfaces were cut into the balls to improve aerodynamics. The Gutta Percha is much cheaper to make than the Feathery and also more resistant to moisture. Eventually uniformed dimples were applied to the Gutta Percha and it went onto be referred to as the Bramble Ball.
The rubber ball was created in 1898 by Coburn Haskell in association with the B.F. Goodrich Company. This was the first ball to use...