Why do golf balls have dimples?

The dimples ensure the air follows a little more around the back of a ball in flight than it would if the ball had no dimples. This reduces the size of the 'wake' behind the ball and the ball goes further.

The science behind the dimples.

A golf ball with dimples will travel through the air approximately twice as far as a totally smooth golf ball.

What’s the science behind it?

  • Air presents a barrier as a golf ball moves forward. This barrier is what ultimately slows the ball and, with gravity doing its job, brings the ball to ground. 
  • Dimples help the air attach or ‘stick to’ the ball a little more and because the air is sticking to the back part of the ball as it flies through the air the drag on the ball is reduced.

You’ll hit your longest drives on golf courses in high altitude locations. That’s because the air is thinner and the drag is reduced even more. So, go find yourself a high altitude golf course and test it out!


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