Spectacled boffins at an American research facility reckon they could have devised a way of making your next golf ball fly further than you ever though possible.
Working with automobile and aircraft aerodynamic experts the group at Arizona State University and the University of Maryland have been studying the effects of drag on current golf balls and they reckon they've come up with a way of making them fly much, much further! Adding an estimated 50 yards to a 250 yard drive!!!
They are using supercomputers to map, in minute detail, the effect dimple patterns have on golf balls and how air flows over and around the golf ball during flight. Their goal is to make a longer golf ball by creating the ultimate dimple pattern.
"For a golf ball, drag reduction means that the ball flies farther," says researcher Clinton Smith, 'It's no secret that dimples improve the flight of a golf ball. Once in flight, a golf ball experiences aerodynamic forces generated from the surrounding air flow as well as gravity. The latter constantly pulls it towards the ground, while the aerodynamic force in the direction of motion, or drag force, dictates the distance it travels.'
Dimples act to reduce this drag, although the researchers claim that the current level of dimple design is more 'art' than 'science', suggesting that there is still a long, long way to go in the advancement of golf ball dimple patterns.
The news is made even more exciting by the fact that dimple design is not something regulated at present, unlike things like the size and weight of a golf ball, and that means golf ball companies could put his new technology into production. Just don't expect to see it for a few years yet though!
Check out this video capturing their first attempts to model the drag around a golf ball using current dimple technology:
To find out why golf balls have dimples click on the video below for an explanation: