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Golf Equipment: Golf Balls

September 25th, 2013 9:45 am

There has been a wide variety of materials used in golf balls, going all the way back to the invention of golf in Scotland. Today, golf balls are commonly seen and are composed of plastic, but they used to be made from wood.

By 1618, the golf ball had changed significantly; they were instead made with feathers and leather that needed to be dried out. Unlike today, golf balls were made at very different qualities and they had to be crafted with care.

This process was used until an invention by Guttie, or Gutta Percha. A guttie today is worth a lot of money so you might want to hold onto it. Instead of feathers and leather, sap from the special gutta tree was used. This sap was easily formed into a ball after being heated and molded. It was also cheap and simple to produce.

The expensive golf ball that may have needed repairing was no more; the guttie could be melted and reformed if broken. They also were much more aerodynamic than their predecessors. This process evolved even further when patterns were used, such as today’s dimples. By the time Queen Victoria had power in England, golf balls were being made with haste, but companies started to develop and kill the small business owner.

In 1898 Coburn Haskell changed everything by creating a one-piece rubber ball. These balls allowed for up to twenty extra yards because they were made from rubber wrapped in threads; they were the only balls used in the US and British Opens.

This was the second to last step to the golf ball we know today. We still use Haskell’s ideas, but we have changed the form of the golf ball, by adding dimples that stimulate better lift. These old golf balls do not go to waste; they are often collected. Some people may just throw away an old golf ball, but they do not know that an old golf ball might be worth a lot of money.

Golf – More Than Just a Game

September 25th, 2013 9:40 am

Golf has gained in popularity because it allows players to get outside, spend time with friends and colleagues in a relaxed environment, get a complete workout and is a complex game that you can strive to perfect. Your improvement will be reflected by your scorecard, which keeps you coming back. For someone who is new to the game, here are some golf basics.

Golf uses a course with eighteen holes, and every hole has a “par”, which is the number of shots used to reach the hole; these consist of fairway shots, tee shots (or drives), chips (short hits near the green), and putts. The distance and difficulty of each hole determines the par number. These usually are between 3 and 6. If you match the par number with your shots, you’ve “made par”, but if you take one less shot, it’s called a “birdie”, and if you take an extra shot, it’s called a “bogey”.

All of the holes usually feature “hazards”. These can be sand traps, trees, and water, which are cleverly arranged to make each hole more difficult. New golfers should find easier courses with minimal hazards. Each player marks down their own score, adding their shots at each hole. Ultimately, once everyone totals their score, the lowest number wins.

Golf takes a lot of practice, so try not to take yourself too seriously in the beginning. Beginners can take a few lessons to learn about grip, swing and stance.

Don’t forget : it’s a game, it’s fun, and it sure beats being inside at work.