Tools of the Trade
Newland, North Carolina is a small town near the mountains and we don’t know how folks outside of our area do things, but we like to imagine most golfing communities are quite the same. When a discussion arises, it seems that every player has their own way of doing things and each individual believes their method is the best…whether their scores reflect that or not! Now there’s nothing wrong with having your own way of doing things and we’re pretty big advocates for doing what works for you. However, quite often a conversation will segue from method, into equipment and no matter how you do things in your game, there’s always someone, somewhere, who has that new gadget or club that’s going to reinvent the game and get their score to untouchable lows. We’re not saying the push for new technology is unjustified, we love the drive for perfection as good as the next player, but often times the fuss is made over the newest flavor of the week product and lovers of the game forget about the foundation of the game itself. New materials for clubs and doo-dads of the month get all the daily attention, but without the golf ball itself those products are pointless. When’s the last time you considered changing golf balls in an effort to improve your overall game?
The answer may vary slightly depending on who you ask, but the general consensus is that the first golf balls were made from wood, (usually birch or elm). Without anything even close to present day aerodynamics, it wasn’t long before these wooden balls evolved into the “feathery”. Basically, the feathery was just wet feathers tightly stuffed into a leather pouch, that upon drying, (the dry feathers would expand while the dry leather would shrink), and made for quite a pleasant change from the wood. The feathery would then evolve, later, into the “gutty”, named for the Gutta Percha gum the balls were made from (an early form of rubber), that was soft when boiled but rock hard when dry. With the evolution of the gutty, it basically paved the way for the modern day ball we have now. Generally speaking the modern ball isn’t much different from the gutty to now, other than materials and method of production. Again, speaking “generally”, modern balls are just rubber cores with a hard outer shell, but that’s where the “general” comparisons stop with present day balls. Now the differences can be extremely miniscule.
In regards to present day golf balls, materials and technology advances have made obvious leaps from the earlier versions from so long ago. With guidelines and rules in place as far as size and weight, the modern golf ball can still vary from one to the next. The differences can be as simple as cost, method of production and intended use, i.e.- drive or distance vs control, etc. We won’t get into the details of each brand/style of ball, as everyone is going to have their own preference. Instead, the goal here is to simply educate players that there are options out there. As mentioned earlier, the emphasis often gets put on a hot new product or doo-hickey when the most obvious change has, quite literally, been at a golfer’s feet the entire time. If you want a quick rundown of where to start, we found this article from the folks over at The Top 5 Best.net to be helpful: www.top5best.net/5-best-golf-balls . Of course, you can do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what works best for you. Judging from the various aspects of each ball and how they improve a player’s game, we know it’s going to be different for everyone. The main focus here at Mountain Glen Golf Course is we just want everyone to have fun. However, if you can have a low score here in the “High Country”….well, that’s fun that just can’t be beat.