A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GOLF BALL

Golf is popular with millions of people, young and old, expert and beginners.  And like most popular sports, golf has a history.

Before the present-day, white, dimpled golf ball, they used various and in some cases strange substitutes for golf balls.  Early golf balls were made of cowhide, while later examples were constructed from feathers and sap.  Then along came rubber and golf balls really began to change.  Nowadays, golf balls are made from urethane blends.

In the very beginning, golf balls were made from wood.  These wooden examples date back to the 1400s.  The clubs were made from wood, too.  The balls were handmade as were the clubs.  And since technology wasn’t even really a word then, the balls weren’t very round and the clubs were less than efficient.

It was during the 17th century that the ‘featherie’ ball replaced the man-made wooden golf ball.  Featherie balls were composed of goose or chicken feathers jam-packed into a small leather pouch.  First the feathers were boiled, then they were stuffed into the pouch, which had been soaked in warm water.  As the pouch dried and cooled the feathers would expand.  The result, hopefully, was a hard, compact golf ball.

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