Golf balls have indentations on their surface, i.e. dimples. But you must be wondering exactly how many tiny dimples or indentations are on golf balls?
Well, golf balls usually have between 300 and 500 dimples. This variation is due to the model and make of golf balls. Within this wide range, a narrower band of about 320 to 420 dimples exists. Most golf balls generally fit into this narrower range and a high percentage of golf balls nowadays have a dimple count in the 300s.
In the past, most golf brands prominently touted the number of dimples on their golf balls, but now this practice is not too prevalent. However, there are many companies who inform golfers about the dimple count on golf balls. Often the number is printed on the golf ball itself, or it may be mentioned in an advertisement or on the company’s website.
What Determines the Number of Dimples?
Consider it in this manner: there is only a small amount of space on a golf ball’s surface. According to rules, a golf ball has a diameter of just 1.68 inches. This is the minimum size. However, on occasions a golf ball of a larger size may be produced, but it is only fractionally larger, so don’t expect it to be too big. Therefore, we can conclude that almost all balls have a 1.68-inch diameter.
Given the small size, how many dimples can you actually fit on a typical golf ball? The answer generally depends on the size of individual dimples. Dimple size is an important consideration when designing golf balls. Or, in other words, the design of the dimples is a vital step in the design of a golf ball.
The actual dimple count on a golf ball depends on:
- The surface area and size of the golf ball
- The exact size of individual dimples themselves
- The arrangement of dimples on the golf ball, which is also known as the dimple pattern
A golf ball manufacturer that uses either large dimples or greater space between dimples, will, end up producing golf balls that have fewer dimples. This is in comparison to golf balls which have tinier or tightly packed dimples.
So, the number of dimples on a golf ball is absolutely not a matter of chance or coincidence, but ball manufacturers do not usually design golf balls with a dimple count in mind. The number of dimples is simply the result of various design choices during the production process.
Does Dimple Count Affect Performance or Quality?
The number of dimples on a golf ball tells little, or nothing, about the performance or quality of that ball. Also, it does not reflect the price tag. However, it often indicates something else. Nowadays, a majority of golf balls targeted toward better golf players have a lower dimple count, which is close to 300. While most golf balls that target higher-handicappers, which means balls that try to maximize distance, have a higher dimple count (usually in the 400s).