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The golf ball has undergone many upgrades and enhancements throughout its long life with several distinct stages: Wooden - Used from the mid 15th century the first golf balls were made from hardwoods such as beech. Often used in conjunction with wooden clubs a round of golf would have been a particularly jarring experience. Featherie - In 1618 the Featherie golf ball was invented and was used for nearly 250 years. These balls were made by stuffing wet goose feathers into a hand stitched wet leather ball. As it dried the leather shrunk and the feathers expanded creating a hard and compact ball.
This time consuming process ensured the price was out of reach of the masses often selling for more than the price of a club. Guttie - Rev Dr Robert Adams Paterson created the first golf balls made from Gutta-percha in 1848. The ball was created from the dried sap of the tropical sapodilla tree which was heated up and formed into ball shapes. The improved performance and cheaper costs of the Guttie contributed greatly to the expansion of the game. Hand Hammered Guttie - It was also discovered that improperly smoothed balls often had a truer flight than the smoother versions and the Hand Hammered Guttie Ball with an even pattern hammered on by hand was born.
For the amateur golfers due to the higher spins of these wound balata golf balls we are not able to control these spins because we played with a natural hook or slice spin resulting in reduced accuracy and shorter distance. The short game advantage of the scoring spin is not enough to offset the reduction in accuracy distance and durability. Most amateurs tend to use the more durable surlyn covered 2 piece distance ball which has lower scoring spin with longer distance and is more durable. Todays latest golf balls technology has evolved into multi-layered urethane covered designs. These latest balls provide a balance of the distance of a surlyn covered golf balls with the spin control of a wound balata balls.
They produced low spin on drives to provide straight and long shots and yet provide high scoring spin for control and short game performance. Besides having a balanced performance these balls are also extremely durable. Both amateur players as well as tour professionals will be able to play this type of balls to produce maximum performance. Most of us will see an improvement in our golf scores if we can improve our short game performance. It has been identified that short game performance is the primary area where most golfers will see an improvement in their golf scores if they can improve on it. By using golf balls that performed in and around the greens without sacrificing control and distance will help these golfers improve their scores.