What Are Golf Balls Made Of?

Nowadays, golf balls are characterized as 2-piece, 3-piece, etc in reference to the varying layers of rubber materials that make up the core of the ball. The covers are typically made of either urethane or surlyn.

One of the age old questions, along with “are we alone in the universe?” and “what happens after life?” is “what is inside a golf ball?”. What secrets hide within that white exterior? Is it made of chocolate pudding or maybe vanilla? I can say that as disheartening as it is, the inside of a golf ball is not a tasty treat.

Titleist Pro V1x Urethane Cover. Click HERE for Source

Well if golf balls are not filled with pudding, then what is it? Golf ball composition has changed dramatically throughout history. Originally, simple wooden spheres were used. However, these were replaced with featherie balls sometime within the 15th century. These balls were made of leather, filled with feathers, and painted white. These handmade leather golf balls had some drawbacks. The balls absorbed water and moisture, making them change density throughout a round. Additionally, hand sewn leather balls are far from perfectly circular, so ball flight was much more irregular than it is today. In the 19th century, the golf ball would once again change form.

The gutta percha ball, or often referred to as “guttie”, replaced the featherie ball. This ball was made out of the widely popular natural latex from palaquium gutta trees. Unlike the featherie balls, guttie balls did not have another material for their core. This allowed for the balls to be considerably cheaper than previous golf balls because they could be formed in molds. They also were much more uniform in shape and did not absorb water. Guttie balls were eventually found to have more stable flight characteristics when scratched. This led to them being produced with the first textured surface called “brambles”. However at the turn of the 20th century, gutta percha balls would see a serious development.


Titleist Pro V1x Ionomeric Casing. Click HERE for Source

Coburn Haskell and an employee from Goodrich Rubber Company, found that by winding rubber strands around a solid core, and then coating the ball with gutta percha, they were able to produce a golf ball that traveled much further. These balls became known as Haskell balls. While originally featuring the same bramble surface as the guttie balls, the Haskell balls would become the first to feature the dimples we know today. This ball was by far the most popular ball for much of the 20th century. In 1967 it was modified slightly by replacing the outside cover with surlyn, a new resin material. Around the same time, the technology was developed to eliminate the need for a layered rubber core. This led to the common and inexpensive 2-piece ball that many people play today.

Titleist Pro V1x Dual Core. Click HERE for Source

Nowadays, golf balls are characterized as 2-piece, 3-piece, 4-piece, etc. This designation refers to the varying layers of rubber materials that make up the cores of the ball. The cover of a golf ball is typically made of either urethane or surlyn. The number of cores and their exact composition are engineered for varying performance advantages. Interestingly, the number of cores does not equate directly to a more premium ball. Titleist Pro V1’s for example, are only a 3-piece ball. While a relatively average core count, the premium materials used are what makes these balls a premium option. All the developments in golf ball design throughout history have worked to make balls travel further than ever, and have more control near the green. Yet, we all know we will still blame the ball here and there for those bad shots.

Authored by Taylor Morton

What are Tour-Level Golf Balls?

Today golfers face so many choices when it comes to what ball to play. On Morton Golf Sales alone, there are over 90 different golf balls for sale. These balls come in a wide array of prices. The most expensive balls are typically advertised as tour-level balls. What does this mean though? Today we will cover what a tour-level ball is and whether it is right for you.

Layers:

Titleist Pro V1x Golf Ball Layers

This is the defining characteristic of a tour-level ball. Tour-level balls are made of multiple layers. This makes them expensive to produce. However, the different cores allow for increased spin and feel for golfers.

Cover:

Titleist Pro V1x Urethane Covers Being Molded

Tour-level balls usually feature urethane covers. Urethane is a more expensive shell to produce than surlyn. Like the multi-layers, a urethane cover improves feel and spin. It is especially useful around the green. For Tour players, this is where they want the most improvement.

Performance:

Like previously mentioned, the main benefit of a tour-level ball is short game performance. If you’re looking for pure forgiveness off the tee then a distance-oriented ball is probably better for you. Likewise, slower swing speed players usually benefit most from low compression balls. Therefore, tour-level are usually reserved for mid to low scoring players. It’s for the players that don’t need low compression and already is achieving the distance they want. Hope this sheds some light on what these tour-level balls are built for and why they are so expensive.

Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls Have Launched

New Pro V1 and Pro V1x’s are now available to order

Faster from core to cover, the new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have been designed to leave the clubface with more ball speed and lower long game spin for more distance while providing the best short game control to help golfers shoot lower scores.

MORE OF WHAT’S FAST, LESS OF WHAT’S NOT.
More ball speed and less spin in the long game with the best Drop-and-Stop short game control.

17% THINNER COVER
A More Efficient Design. The proprietary cast thermoset urethane elastomer cover system provides the best scoring control. While great for generating high spin on approach shots and short game shots, the cover does not contribute speed. By reducing the cover thickness, we have added speed while retaining the spin and control.

NEW, LARGER CASING LAYER
More of What’s Fast. The casing layer is the speed enhancing, spin optimizing layer that helps power Pro V1 and Pro V1x for exceptional distance in the long game. The new 2019 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls have larger casing layers, adding more fast material to their respective designs.

NEW, FAST CORE
More Speed. Less Spin. Same Feel. The combination of the most advanced formulation and processing capabilities deliver powerful engines to Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. The new cores have more speed and less spin while maintaining their feel characteristics and compression.

NEW PRO V1
For golfers looking to shoot their best scores, the Titleist® Pro V1® golf ball provides total performance from tee to green with penetrating flight and very soft feel.

What Golf Balls do the Pros Use?

What balls are the PGA Tour Professionals using out on tour? We have compiled a list of the top 50 ranked PGA players and their golf balls (as of 2018)

As this list was compiled, I found it interesting that there were only nine golf ball models used among the top fifty players in 2018. There were five brands played, Bridgestone, Callaway, Srixon, TaylorMade and Titleist. Even among the nine models, there wasn’t much difference in the golf ball models being used. For Titleist, the #1 ball used among the top 50 players, the only balls being used were the Pro V1x or Pro V1. Tour players using TaylorMade were only using the TP5 or TP5x, Callaway was represented by the Chrome Soft X or Chrome Soft and Bridgestone made the list with their Tour BX and Tour BXS golf ball. Basically, there may be many golf balls in the retail stores, but the top players on the PGA Tour are not going to be playing much variety.

1: Brooks Koepka
Titleist Pro V1x

2: Justin Rose
TaylorMade TP5

3: Dustin Johnson
TaylorMade TP5 X

4: Justin Thomas
Titleist Pro V1x

5: Bryson DeChambeau
Bridgestone Tour B X

6: Jon Rahm
TaylorMade TP5 X

7: Francesco Molinari
Titleist Pro V1x

8: Rory Mcilroy
TaylorMade TP5 X

9: Rickie Fowler
Titleist Pro V1

10: Tony Finau
Titleist Pro V1

11: Xander Schauffele
Callaway Chrome Soft X

12: Tommy Fleetwood
Titleist Pro V1x

13: Tiger Woods
Bridgestone Tour B XS

14: Jason Day
TaylorMade TP5 X

15: Patrick Reed
Titleist Pro V1

16: Jordan Spieth
Titleist Pro V1x

17: Bubba Watson
Titleist Pro V1x

18: Patrick Cantlay
Titleist Pro V1x

19: Alex Noren
Callaway Chrome Soft X

20: Marc Leishman
Callaway Chrome Soft X

21: Webb Simpson
Titleist Pro V1

22: Paul Casey
Titleist Pro V1

23: Sergio Garcia
Callaway Chrome Soft

24: Tyrrell Hatton
Titleist Pro V1x

25: Henrik Stenson
Titleist Pro V1

26: Louis Oosthuizen
Titleist Pro V1x

27: Hideki Matsuyama
Srixon Z-Star XV

28: Cameron Smith
Titleist Pro V1x

29: Rafa Cabrera Bello
Titleist Pro V1x

30: Keegan Bradley
Srixon Z-Star XV

31: Gary Woodland
Bridgestone Tour B X

32: Phil Mickelson
Callaway Chrome Soft X

33: Kyle Stanley
Titleist Pro V1

34: Matt Kuchar
Bridgestone Tour B X

35: Eddie Pepperell
Titleist Pro V1

36: Billy Horschel
Titleist Pro V1x

37: Kevin Kisner
Titleist Pro V1

38: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Callaway Chrome Soft X

39: Ian Poulter
Titleist Pro V1x

40: Matthew Fitzpatrick
Titleist Pro V1x

41: Adam Scott
Titleist Pro V1

42: Haotong Li
Titleist Pro V1

43: Thorbjorn Olesen
Titleist Pro V1x

44: Matt Wallace
Titleist Pro V1

45: Lucas Bjerregaard
Titleist Pro V1

46: Kevin Na
Titleist Pro V1x

47: Satoshi Kodaira
Titleist Pro V1x

48: Emiliano Grillo
Callaway Chrome Soft

49: Branden Grace
Titleist Pro V1x

50: Brandt Snedeker
Bridgestone Tour B X