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Why do golf balls have dimples?
Around the Academy:

My friend and I were wondering why golf balls have dimples? Can you put us out of our misery?

Mark, 16


Coach replies:

Mark.

The dimples create turbulence in the air around the ball. This turbulent air somehow sticks closer to the dimpled ball.

If the ball were smooth, then the air would simply just slip off the ball half way around its circumference.

Because the air around a dimpled ball doesn't slip off as much there is less of a vacuum at the back of the ball.

This means the pressure at the back of the ball is almost as great as the pressure at the front.

With a smooth ball there is high pressure at the front of the ball but very low pressure at the back so the ball is constantly being forced backwards into the space behind.

Complicated? You bet!

Dave Robinson, Training Manager, PGA National Training Academy.




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