How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball?

You may not realize that dimples are an important part of the design of a golf ball. The number, size and shape are all carefully planned to produce a ball that performs in a certain way. Modern golf balls usually have between 300 and 500 dimples although most models tend to have around 320-350.

Golf ball manufacturers spend a lot of time perfecting their dimple patterns and looking at different dimple designs in order to improve the performance of their products.

Interestingly all the Callaway golf balls on the current conforming list have 332! They are clearly happy with their dimple pattern design!

How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Golf balls have dimples in order to make them more aerodynamic. Having dimples gives the ball more lift, allowing it to fly further than it would with a plain cover.

A spherical object is actually not very aerodynamic. The dimples greatly improve how the air flows around the ball.

Early on golfers realized that a ball that had been used and scuffed up tended to fly better than a brand-new smooth one. When mechanical methods of production began balls had patterns printed on the surface. One of the earliest and most successful was the bramble pattern printed onto gutta-percha balls at the end of the 19th century. Gutties were made from the sap of the Malaysian sapodilla tree. The rubber-like sap could be heated and molded allowing balls to be produced much more cheaply than the handmade featheries they replaced.

William Taylor registered a patent for dimple design in 1905. He had found that dimples rather than raised protrusions produced much better results.

Having indentations on the surface of the ball improves the airflow around the ball as it flies. The dimples create a turbulent boundary layer around the surface which reduces the drag on the golf ball and makes a dimpled ball go almost twice as far as a smooth one. The reduced drag also creates additional lift due to Bernouli’s principle.

USGA Science Of Dimples

What Would Happen If A Golf Ball Didn’t Have Any Dimples?

The ball would not fly as high or as far. According to Scientific American, a professional using a ball without any dimples would only be able to hit it around half the distance they could hit a standard dimpled golf ball.

Do All Golf Balls Have The Same Number Of Dimples?

No, different models of golf balls will have different numbers of dimples. This is because manufacturers want to tailor the flight of the ball to suit different types of players. For example, a ball aimed at accomplished players might actually be designed to fly lower since they would not generally need any help getting the ball airborne. Conversely, a ball aimed at beginners or high handicappers might have a dimple pattern that increases lift to help get the ball in the air. The size, shape and pattern of dimples can be used to affect the ball flight.

Bridgestone B RXS338
Bridgestone B X330
Callaway Chrome Soft (all models)332
Mizuno JPX566
Snell MTB X360
Srixon Z-Star (and XV)338
TaylorMade TP5 (and TP5x)322
Titleist Pro V1352
Titleist Pro V1x328
Vice Pro318
Vice Pro Plus336
Examples of dimple counts for different ball models

Is It Better To Have More Or Less Dimples On A Golf Ball?

The number of dimples is not particularly important. Designers alter the depth, size and shape in order to adjust the flight characteristics for a particular model of golf ball. According to Dean Snell, making dimples slightly deeper will help keep the flight down or higher spinning balls. If you are producing a lower spinning ball then you keep the dimples fairly shallow to make the ball fly higher and stay airborne longer.

How Many Dimples Are There On A Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball?

A Titleist Pro V1 has 352 dimples while a Pro V1x has 328 dimples. In the past, certain Titleist models have had 332 or 392 dimples.

Are All Golf Ball Dimples The Same?

While there has been much experimentation down the years it seems that the majority of dimples these days are circular. A couple of manufacturers use hexagonal-shaped dimples, Callaway for example.

Where manufacturers tend to differ is in the size of the dimples and the pattern used to distribute them across the surface of the ball. Some use the same size dimples across the whole of the ball while other models might employ different sized dimples for different effects.

The depth of dimples is typically around 0.01 inches.

Are All Golf Ball Dimples Circular?

Generally speaking, most dimples are circular. Callaway and Bridgestone have both produced models with hexagonal dimples and if you were to look at models that don’t conform to the USGA ball specifications then I’m sure you could find other types of dimples.

Indeed the USGA also stipulates that the dimple pattern has to be symmetrical. If not then the ball is considered non-conforming and can’t be used in competitions or for handicap purposes.

The advantage of hexagonal dimples is they cover a greater surface area of the ball compared to circular ones.

How Many Dimples Are On A Golf Ball: Conclusion

As with most areas of golf, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the importance of golf ball dimples. In reality, just let the designer work out what the dimple pattern needs to be. You should just pick a ball that claims to do what you needed to do. Whether that’s a higher or lower flight to suit your golf swing.

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