Is A Golf Ball Hollow Or Solid?

They are so easy to lose and can be so difficult to get into the hole. When playing golf you may have wondered ”is a golf ball hollow or solid?”

It may come as no surprise to many of you that golf balls are in fact solid. Modern golf balls are usually made of multiple layers of different compounds in an attempt to produce certain playing characteristics such as more distance or more spin.

In the past, some golf balls had rubber thread wound around a solid or liquid core but these have long since ceased manufacture.

Is A Golf Ball Hollow Or Solid
DanielPenfield, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Brief History Of Golf Balls

Golf has been played in Scotland since at least 1457 when it was banned for fear it was affecting military training! That’s almost 600 years of golf during which time a number of different types of golf balls have been used.

Wooden Golf Balls

There is some debate as to whether wooden golf balls were ever used in Scotland. Although popular games on the continent similar to golf seemed to use them there doesn’t appear to be much evidence to show that wooden balls were used by early Scottish golfers.

Hairy And Feathery Golf Balls

The ball of choice up until the mid-1800s. A leather cover was stitched together and then stuffed either with hair or goose feathers to produce a ball that you can use to play golf. It was a time-consuming process which meant that golf balls of the day were quite expensive.

Gutta-Percha Or Guttie Golf Balls

The first mass-produced golf ball was made using gutta-percha gum. These could be molded en masse which meant they were cheaper to produce and could be created on a greater scale. The reduced cost made the game of golf more affordable for a wider range of people.

Haskell Golf Balls

Coburn Haskell developed the first wound ball at the end of the 19th century. It still featured a gutta-percha cover but inside the ball, rubber threads had been wrapped around a central rubber core.

Wound Golf Balls

Essentially the same fundamental design as the Haskell but with more modern covers such as surlyn or balata. These balls were still in use on professional golf tours up until the release of the Titleist Pro V1.

Peter Finch visits TaylorMade Ball Lab

Solid Construction Golf Balls

Although solid-construction golf balls existed prior to the Pro V1 it was this ball that precipitated the changeover by players who made their living in the game.

These days golf balls are all solid construction although the complexity and materials used might differ from model to model.

Golf balls are constructed with between one and five layers. The most common types of balls would be 2-piece and 3-piece balls.

Typically 2-piece balls are cheaper distance-type balls consisting of a large core with a cheaper surlyn cover.

3-piece balls cover a range of possibilities from tour-level to ones designed for amateurs. The cover would be surlyn or for more expensive models where more spin was required urethane would be used. They would have an inner-core and outer core or mantle layer. The two layers would be tuned for performance benefits.

4 and 5-piece balls are aimed at tour-level and elite golfers and are usually designed to work best with faster swings.

For a more in-depth look at golf balls, I have compiled my ultimate guide.

Is A Golf Ball Hollow Or Solid: Conclusion

So in answer to the question, is a golf ball hollow or solid? These days all golf balls are solid and even in the past were either solid or stuffed with some inner material to make them playable as golf balls.

Mygolfspy likes to slice open the golf balls they test so you can see what the inside looks like.

Do you currently play the Pro V1? Looking for a more economical alternative? Check out this post.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Why Are Golf Balls Bumpy?

The bumps on a golf ball are called dimples and they make the ball more aerodynamic. A ball with dimples will fly a lot farther than one without.

Are golf balls hollow?

Modern golf balls are solid construction made up of between 1 and 5 layers of different materials to give the performance the manufacturer is trying to achieve.

Do golf balls have rubber bands in them?

For many years top quality golf balls had an elastic band wrapped round the core with a cover to keep it all together. These were known as wound balls. These have been superseded by modern solid-construction golf balls.

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