Why Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Do you know that a smooth golf ball without dimples will only travel 50% distance of what a golf ball with dimples does?

The reason being when air flows around the golf ball, small air turbulence is created on the dimples which sucks the air to the golf ball. As a result, the air separates later for dimpled balls. This ultimately reduces air turbulence behind the ball and air drag.

The picture shows a simulation of air flow around the golf ball.

Therefore, it is not surprising to find that the dimple’s depth, arrangement and shape will all affect ball flight.

Many golf brand boasts of its special dimple pattern and shapes. For example, The Callaway HX golf ball uses hexagon dimple shape and titleist has 318 dimples arranged in a triangular dipyramid shape.

The interesting fact is that in olden days, golf ball does not have dimples originally. It was found by accident that used golf ball with scratches and cuts help to make the golf ball fly further and straighter. It was only then golfers start to play golf balls with dimple pattern. 

The picture below shows the evolution of golf ball.

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