Why do Golf Balls have Dimples

The relation between a golf club and a golf ball is really important. But when playing golf, there is another thing that also matters the most. Dimples. Yes, you have read it right. Dimples play a very important role in a golf ball’s performance. Now, if you are wondering why do golf balls have dimples?. Let me simplify it for you.

Back in the day, golf balls were simple and smooth. They Did not have any imprints. But eventually, over time, Golfers noticed one thing after using the same golf ball again and again. There was something different. With usage, golf balls developed pits and cuts.

It was clear that bumpy golf balls were helping the golfers in winning their game. So after some research and some consideration from physicists. It became necessary to put dimples on golf balls as the aerodynamics was about to change in the golf ball. So was the performance in the coming days. Scientists and engineers are always looking for ways to improve the performance of golf balls.
To accomplish adequate results. And now here we are. Every golf ball in the industry has dimples. The number of dimples varies in each of them. We will get into it later. This is all a game of turbulence and physics. Let’s take a look at every aspect of it.

Effect Of Dimples On Golf Balls Performance

When a golfer hits the ball with his clubface, the ball moves forward. Spins around in the air and hits the spot. It all happens in seconds. But when you study the impact of this action. Many things come to knowledge about the ball’s velocity, stability, and trajectory.

All of these things are achieved through aerodynamics, which ensures that the dimple pattern plays a vital role in the development of a golf ball. When the ball faces a hit, it travels with hit and drag force. The dimples in the ball help it create friction. Hence, resulting in the ball flying for farther distances.
As we all know that the depth of the dimple in a golf ball is about 0.001 inches. What seems just a tiny amount of dimple, Can result in a great flight of the ball. These tiny dimples create turbulence on the surface of the golf ball. That’s why when you hit the ball, it faces air pressure on its front side.

Which makes the ball roll and turn. This action provides every dimple on the ball full exposure to the air, which helps in maintaining the velocity. Thus, the ball travels half the distance than the smooth ball.

Also check out: How Long does it take to Golf 9 holes

Difference Of A Smooth Ball And A Dimpled Ball.

Dimpled Balls

Dimples ensure two things about the ball. Its lift and the distance it travels. As a result, when a ball is hit, it is exposed in the open air. Allowing the air to have complete turbulence and force on the ball. So that the ball can travel smoothly for longer distances, alter the depth of a dimple, and you can see the difference.

It will have a negative impact on the ball’s performance. The ball travels half with its smooth turbulence. The other half depends entirely on the dimples.

Smooth Balls

The lift of a smooth ball depends entirely on the backspin. This backspin creates air pressure on the ball. The pressure is higher on the lower side of the ball. And it is lower on the top side of the ball.
Smooth balls travel half the size of a dimpled ball. And the reason is obvious as given above. The turbulence and drag that a dimple creates help the ball travel farther. However, a smooth ball cannot do so on its own.

Why do Golf Balls have Dimples?

The tiny indentures on the ball are there for some reason. And if you remove them, you can notice the difference. As mentioned earlier. Smooth balls and dimpled balls are entirely different in terms of their flight and performance.

The dimples are there to determine the rate of launch, drag, and flight of the ball. If you change the depth of dimples or remove them completely, there will be nothing left that will help the ball’s performance.


Now you know that “Why do Golf Balls have Dimples.” A golf ball has dimples not to make it look cute. But for the sake of its better performance. So when this difference was seen between a smooth and dimpled ball, it was made sure to change the ball’s structure entirely.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many dimples does a golf ball have?

There is no specific standard regarding the number of dimples on a golf ball. But still, the answer to how many dimples on a golf ball will be, An average golf ball has 300 to 500 dimples.

Dimples vary according to the model and maker of the ball. However, the depth of each dimple is 0.001 inches. Enough to change the overall performance of the ball. Regarding its flight and distance.

If you alter this depth even by half an inch. This will cause a change in the golf ball’s performance. It will have a negative impact on the flight of the golf ball.

How do Dimples affect a golf ball’s performance? 

Dimples on a golf ball create turbulence. Allowing them to travel farther than the smooth one. Dimples play an important role in the drag and lift of the ball.

The spinning of the ball half depends on the lift, and the other half depends upon the dimples. These dimples are important.

What is the difference between a dimpled and smooth golf ball? 

At first, the golf balls were smooth. Everything was fine. However, a dimpled golf ball travels double the distance than a smooth golf ball. When this difference was prominent, then it was made sure that every golf ball must have dimples.

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Lisa Ryan
By Lisa Ryan

Lisa Ryan is the founder of Golfpeek and an avid golfer. She’s not quite a pro but has over 12+ years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. My mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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