Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Night Golf Events – What’s it all about?

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Night Golf Events, thesocialgolfer.com v2From the outside, night golf events or tournaments are run similar to a regular daytime golf event.

However, once you have produced a couple of them it becomes very clear that there are some clear differences that are like night and day!

It is a completely new opportunity for charity fundraisers, event promoters, golf course, and players.

Here, our friends at Premier Glow discuss the new opportunities, in addition to the differences and restrictions that playing night golf can offer…

#FORE!


Night Golf – Advantages of hosting a nocturnal event?

Chance To Access More Potential Players…

Given the fact that 90 per cent of people work, the best time for people to get out and participate in a golf event, night golf league, or golf fundraiser is in the evening.

Most people, whether they are rich or poor cannot take time off of work to participate in a daytime golf event or fundraiser.

Chance To Access A Younger Golfer Demographic…

There are many young golfers, non-golfers and recreational golfers searching for evening sports to participate in.

So you now have an even broader range of recreational athletes that can be reached through sports website registration engines like ezlinks.com, teemasters.com, golfnow.com, and active.com.

They will also enjoy the fun night golf supplies that make night golf so enjoyable.

Increased Revenue For Golf Fundraiser/Course…

Since it takes place in the evening you will discover that night golf can result in a significant increase in beverage and food sales, and that can really help to benefit the bottom line of a golf course or golf charity event.

Get More Golfers To Participate…

When you combine course play along with a cosmetic skills competition or night ‘cosmic’ putting, you can bring in friends and family as well.

This can make a golf event be more than simply a pure pay to play player event.

Cosmic putting, in particular, will bring in families and kids.


Night Golf – Disadvantages of organising a nocturnal event?

Significant Time Constraints…

During the evening many people just want to have a 2-3 hour experience that is fun and social.

One important thing to consider is that it takes about twice as much time to play night golf as it does day golf since players are walking around a lot and it simply takes more time.

This means it can be a good idea to limit on-course play to just 5-7 holes to limit player attention fatigue and overall time.

Another thing you can do is host a creative urban golf event, which we will be discussing below.

There Are Restrictions Associated With Darkness…

In the good old day – like last year – the only thing that we had were ‘glow sticks’, as well as ‘LED golf balls’ that would hit like rocks.

And they didn’t provide enough light to do more than simply braille your way around a golf course.

Yes, it is true that black lighting and mobile light make a big difference.

However, we still are really out in the dark.

That is what makes it difficult on the eyes more compared to playing in the day.

The solution to this is limiting your events to a maximum of 7 holes.

Managing Expectations…

You will have a different crowd at night that are searching for plenty of razzle and dazzle in their night golf events.

So try to think of ways of lighting up their experiences during the event or as they are leaving.

Nighttime is more about enjoying a fun party than it is about playing high precision golf.

It is more about fun. So view your golf course as a night club or event venture more than being just a golf course.

Timing…

There is less time compared to during the day.

A majority of golf events begin at 7 pm and shouldn’t go any later than 11:30 pm.

We have discovered that getting everybody back to the night putting green or clubhouse by around 10:30 is optimal.

That is why implementing a cosmetic putting event as your tie breaker can be highly effective.

It can help to extend the evening, provide another competition as players are being social, and change the pace.

Also, it adds energy rather than simply having players out on the golf course.

Tighten Up Your Event…

People at night don’t like playing an entire 9 holes.

It is simply too much to play golf in the dark that long.

We have discovered that older players will tend to quit after playing about 6 holes, especially when you start after 8 pm.

People need to have their beauty sleep.

That is why we recommend that you limit your night golf events to just 6 or 7 holes.

Add Night Putting…

To add more involvement and a more dynamic event you can incorporate cosmic night putting into your event with 6 to 9 holes.

They are easy to get set up and is an excellent way to bring in kids and families.

Players can now compete in about 2 hours over 6 holes, and then do a quick 9-hole putt off after enjoying a nice cool drink and socialising with their friends.

Night Golf Events, thesocialgolfer.com v3

 

Urban Golf Ideas…

Think about having a modified putting or urban golf even using Glow Tour V2 or Glowgear limited distance night balls.

On-course urban golf events involve bringing just two to three clubs with you and playing each of the holes from 100 yards or closer.

We recommend that you place target lights on the fairway and a cosmic putting track ring.

So now each hole is 100 yards and scoring shots involves players just needing to chip into a circle in order to hole out.

This distance at night is plenty far enough and enables hot shots to truly dial into their game.

And at the same time allows beginners to avoid the long irons and drivers that they have a hard time hitting even during the day.

It also helps to save on lost balls since most players lose night golf balls while hitting them using long irons and drivers.

Golfers can now safely walk around the course and hit their shots without having to search around for lost balls.

Hit And Chip Golf Course Designs…

Another advantage to playing this type of hit and chip target golf is it makes it possible for you to play more than 6 to 9 holes at night if you want to.

Best of all, the course is opened up to an entirely new level of shot-making where you are able to avoid water hazards that have a tendency to eat up night golf balls.

This also provides regular players with an entirely new series of hazards and holes to play against compared to a day course.

You can now have golfers hitting shots that they never dreamed of since you create shots they wouldn’t ever play in the daytime.

Create Events That Are Memorable…

Night golf event photography- and action shots in particular – can really help to make your event memorable.

Using cosmic black lights and GlowGear night golf lighting can allow players to see one another in the tee box.

In addition, on the greens, it helps allow attendees to photograph one another using their mobile phones.

When these photos are combined with your event shots, you will have the photos that you need to post on social media accounts like Facebook to promote upcoming events.

Traditional glow stick night golf events are similar to wandering around in the dark.

This means it can be very hard to capture victorious putts along with all of the antics that can take place whenever you get a crowd of people gathered around a cosmetic putting green.

 


By Cormac Reynolds

Now READ ABOUT WINTER GOLF EVENTS >>

Top tips – which electric golf trolley is for me?

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Which Electric Golf Trolley - Powerkaddy - The Social GolferWhich Electric Golf Trolley?

So, despite saying I would continue to carry my golf bag until I can’t, the recent improvements in design, fold-up size and battery life have forced me to rethink this stance of late.

Now in my early fifties, is this the time to make the change?

However, with so many different options available to choose from, which electric trolley suits my needs and budget? In an attempt, to find out, I did some research…

 


I need an electric golf trolley – The Considerations…

Firstly, as already stated above, there are numbers of factors I found I needed to take into account when selecting an electric golf trolley…

 

1. Budget – While a ‘Push’ trolley can be bought for as little as £50, a good electric golf trolley will start upwards of £400 and can cost as much as £1000

 

2. Design – Unless you have an American RV pick-up truck or state of the art Range Rover, like many, the size your new electric golf trolley packs down to, will be big determining factors when it comes to purchasing.

However, best to measure the space in your boot before committing to your purchase as some items are not as small as you think.

In addition, pay close attention to the carrying handles, as I found one of the more expensive models very difficult to carry and even took the skin off my knuckles on firs test!

 

3. Battery – With some batteries only catering to the 18 holes golfer, it’s worth considering if you want to charge the lithium battery in your cart every time you play.

Or if you sometimes play more than one round in a day, should you upgrade to a Long-Life battery at the time of purchase may only add an additional £50 to your costs

 

4. The Brands – There are so many brands available on the market but right now (July 2019) the market leader are without doubt PowerKaddy and MotoCaddy.

Both PowerKaddy and MotoCaddy are UK based business.

In fact, MotoCaddy was started by ex-PowerKaddy employees.

Which Electric Golf Trolley - MotoCaddy - The Social Golfer

Between them, they hold 95% of the UK market with PowerKaddy being the market leader with a 60% share compared to MotoCaddy’s 35%.

 

5. Warranty – Having spoken with a number of retailers and it would seem some electric carts are more prone to faults that other.

One retailer said, “We do occasionally see PowerKaddy’s trolleys returned but rarely do we see a return from MotoCaddy purchasers”.

However, given this quote came from just one of many hundreds of retailers, I don’t think it would be a fair representation of the brand as a whole.

In addition, having looked at online reviews, MotoCaddy is certainly winning on the testimonial stakes! Google Reviews: PowerKaddy (1 Review) – 1.0 star, MotoCaddy (29 reviews) – 2.9 stars

 

6. Function – Many carts now come with GPS included but I would ask do I need it, given that I have a handheld GPS already?!

 

7. Accessories – As with most golf products there is always an additional gadget or to add to the pot and with an electric golf trolley, this still applies.

Whether you want a dedicated ‘Trolley Bag’, a Waterproof Rain cover or umbrella holder the additional spend can soon mount up.

 

8. Repairs & Servicing – Obviously like all manufacturers, they are procedures to follow depending on whether it’s faulty goods or a warranty issue.

But in my limited research, I found that PowerKaddy were easy to contact, whereas I was told and 2.40pm that the marketing team were out to lunch.

#JustSaying

 

So, while I don’t think I am in a position to tell you, which is the right Electric Golf Trolley for you or if it will improve your golf swing, but hopefully, I’ve given you some additional things to consider before you make your purchase.

 


By Ian Mullins

The Open 2019 – Will American’s continue to dominate…

Begin playing golf – FIVE reasons to start in 2019…

Friday, March 8th, 2019

begin playing golfGolf is one of the oldest sports out there, yet a ton of people have a hard time with it because of the steep learning curve but why should you begin playing golf?

However, you can’t just pick up a set of clubs, head out on the course and shoot ‘Par’ on the day.

But there are some important upsides to the practice of golf.

So, for all of you out there who are looking into doing something different this summer, golf might just be the solution for you.

Here are five reasons why you begin playing golf in 2019:

Begin playing golf – 1. The great outdoors…

One of the major perks of golfing is enjoying the scenery and the sun beaming down on the luscious grass.

This winter was rough on everyone and there is no better way to fully take in the gorgeous weather than going out there.

Even on a bad day on the fairways, you can rejoice in the fact that you are breathing in some fresh air while taking in the best that mother nature has to offer.

You can opt for the fast cart ride to make your round a short and sweet one. But you can also go the healthy way and march the length of the course to admire your surroundings.

Begin playing golf – 2. Perfect for a healthy lifestyle…

But there are more than visual benefits to walking the course.

You also get a great deal of physical activity when you choose to go cartless for your 18 holes.

The average golfer will walk a total of 6 miles (9.6 kilometres!!) when they decide to leave the cart at the clubhouse.

But for our cart friends, do not despair, you can also get a good workout from using your explosive hip movement when striking the ball.

An 18-hole round will take 4-5 hours, but it will also become a great way to get some decent active time for your body and your mind.

begin playing golfBegin playing golf – 3. Fun for the whole family…

When you begin playing golf, one of the greatest perks of golf is that it can be played by everyone.

Golfers of all ages are welcome to most golf clubs allowing for a superb family activity on weekends.

Most of all getting started early is the key to becoming successful in golf. Starting early with the family will ensure a prosperous development through the years.

Best of all, you can find some pre-owned golf clubs in order to set up everyone’s equipment for a reasonable budget.

Begin playing golf – 4. Top of the chain equipment…

Talking about golf equipment, one of the greatest perks of golf is to use the newest and keep up to date with the most revolutionary technologies.

Technologies like adjustment weights twist face and the speed injected face have all revolutionized the sport in the last few years.

These innovations were created with the idea of helping golfers get into the game and make better contact on the ball.

It is the perfect time for you to get into the sport and take advantage of the best clubs in the world.

Begin playing golf – 5. Stay safe…

One of the most underrated advantages of golf is the conservation of the mind and the body.

Most physical team sports will expose the body to head trauma and possible severe physical injuries.

But golf will almost entirely shelter you from those dangers.

Of course, injuries are not entirely avoidable.

But if you make sure to stretch out properly, as you should always do before going out on the field, you will most likely never experience any pain from the sport.

As for head trauma, simply make sure to look out while you are on the course and open your ears to the “FORE!” calls of other golfers.

Finally, the only real enemy you’ll have on the course will be the sun.

Make sure to apply a good amount of sunscreen before heading out for the weekly round.

Begin playing golf – And finally…

Hopefully, this has convinced you to pick up the great sport that is golf.

It is the ultimate sport for the summer as you get to enjoy the beautiful weather.

You can also keep the legs fresh while walking around on the course.

Moreover, it is a great opportunity to bring the whole family together for an afternoon activity.

Finally, you get to benefit from the best engineering in the world while having the peace of mind that you are not slowly grinding your health away.

 

By Ian Mullins

Which Golf Ball is right for me?

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Which golf ball is right for me? Premier Lake Balls - Hard or Soft...Which Golf Ball is right for me?

It’s a pretty simple premise that using the same golf ball in practice as you do in competitions, will help heighten your feel.

It also makes for a more reliable short game but what golf ball will suit your best? And what do you need to consider?

We asked Scott from Premier Lake Balls for his thoughts…


Which golf ball is right for me – Soft or firm? 

A lot of the best golf balls 2018 has to offer come in alternative versions that spin slightly less for players, who prefer a firmer feel or more control off the tee.

Try both types from a range of distances to find your preference. As a guide, the softer the ball, the higher the price tag will be!

Which golf ball is right for me – Cover material?

Urethane covers offer the best spin control and feel but do cost more.

Experiment to see if you notice enough of a difference to validate the extra cost, you may find losing 20 yards off the tee for more spin does not benefit your game.

After all, spinning an 8 iron rather than a wedge is tougher even for the better players.

Which golf ball is right for me – Long game or short game?

With conflicting fitting messages from different brands, consider if your game will benefit most from extra yards off the tee or better feel and control around the greens.

A mid-range ball that offers a bit of length and also a little bit of spin is quite often the best way to go.


Receive 5% discount on all purchases at Premier Lake Balls by click on this link…

For more information on the type of golf ball you should be using… email scott@premierlakeballs.com or visit www.premierlakeballs.com 

Srixon and Prostate Cancer raise £42,999…

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Srixon and Prostate Cancer and Graeme McDowellMany brands talk about helping people but very refreshing to hear that Srixon and Prostate Cancer have worked to together in 2017 to raise an impressive £42,999…

Srixon and Prostate Cancer working together…

The sizeable donation comes on the back of another successful year for the brand in the UK, as demand for its 5th generation, Z-STAR / Z-STAR XVgolf ball continues to grow.

Brand ambassador, Graeme McDowell joined Srixon Europe’s Tour Manager, Iain Steele to pose for the cameras with a cheque showcasing the impressive final donation during a recent European Tour event.

The Ryder Cup star and former U.S. Open champion personally played a key part in the multi-platform promotional campaign that spiked media exposure and drove sales.

The ground-breaking partnership saw Srixon donate £1.50 for every dozen Z-STAR and Z-STAR XV golf balls sold at trade to Prostate Cancer UK, helping to raise funds as well as awareness of the life-threatening male-specific disease.

To enhance awareness of the campaign and give its loyal customers more value, Srixon introduced a limited edition 15 ball ‘Z-STAR/ Z-STAR XV Bonus Pack’.

This included an additional free sleeve of the new Z-STAR / Z-STAR XV, decorated with the iconic Prostate Cancer UK logo.

Srixon and Prostate Cancer

Srixon and Prostate Cancer – What they said…

Commenting on behalf of Srixon Sports Europe, the company’s UK & Ireland President, Leslie Hepsworth said, “2017 has been a fantastic year for the Srixon brand in the UK market and we are really proud that we have been able to raise such a significant amount of money, that we know will be put to great use in fighting such a devastating disease.”

The partnership delivered on all levels and provided the perfect complement to the launch of the latest iteration of Srixon’sperformance-packed Z-STAR / Z-STAR XV golf ball,” he added.

IMPORTANT FACT –  One man dies every hour from prostate cancer!

Astark statistic, given that the average length of a round of golf is five hours. The charity’s aim is simple: to stop men dying from prostate cancer. This will be done by shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support.


For further information on the Srixon and Prostate Cancer and the Z-STAR and all of the brand’s products visit www.srixon.co.uk

Read about TSG Charities…

 

Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day…

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day – The Course…Women & Golf Magazine

The tree-lined golf course at Silvermere is a true test of golf located in the heart of Surrey. The first six holes are sure to get the pulse racing with tight fairways, challenging approaches and great views.

However, the course is probably most renowned for the 17th and 18th holes which are played over Silvermere Lake.

The 18th hole finishes into a semi-island green that has been recently re-built, offering a spectacular finishing hole.

For players, there is the thrill of hitting over the lake onto the island target. For the visitors enjoying the ‘Inn on the Lake’ there is always the hope of watching another ball confined to a watery grave.

The course was designed by Neil Coles and Brian Hugget and opened for play in 1976.
Whilst it is not a long course by modern standards, the combination of tree lined fairways and the succession of water holes makes it a particularly challenging course. Playing to your handicap is a real achievement at Silvermere.

Silvermere, however, really should be better known for its former use as the site where Barnes Wallis tested his famous Dambuster bouncing bomb.

In the film and more recent TV documentaries, you may recall scenes where Barnes Wallis used a huge catapult to fire mini prototypes across a lake to test whether they should use forward or back spin, a spherical or cylindrical shape or a smooth or dimpled surface.

Women & Golf MagazineThese tests were all conducted on Silvermere Lake, so if you stick the ball in the drink on the 17th or 18th just put it down to scientific endeavour and be consoled by the thought that your ball has joined other valuable objects in the water…

Silvermere is also well known for its extensive Golf Store situated at the club.

Want to play in the Women & Golf Magazine PUMA & COBRA – Reader Day?

To book a place, email kim.wild@womenandgolf.com. If you have any queries, please call 0207 434 0995


*Offer available on Thursday 6th July only. Discount excludes the purchase of waterproofs, accessories, headwear, shoes and golf equipment. Excludes sale items.

RolleyGolf showcase their latest Golf Trolley…

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

RolleyGolfThe revolutionary RolleyGolf  ‘hop-on, hop-off’, transformable golf trolley will be on display at all its golf events in 2017…

Owner of RolleyGolf, the Aspiration Group, will host almost 40 exclusive golf days this year at prestigious venues such as the four-time home of the Ryder Cup, the Belfry; Valderrama, home to the 1997 Ryder Cup; Open Championship venue Trump Turnberry; Tour stops Loch Lomond, Forest of Arden, the Grove, Kingsbarns, and Quinta do Lago; and five-star destinations such as Westin La Quinta, Stoke Park, the Renaissance Club, and Monte Rei.

Whether the client is a professional football club, multi-national conglomerate, a charity or an individual – in the case of BBC sports presenter Dan Walker – each of the events will include a ‘beat the pro’ feature with the relevant professional using the innovative RolleyGolf to travel between the tee and green.

What’s more, the Aspiration Group will also be taking orders for the new product at their events….

RolleyGolf – The background…

The original RolleyGolf was the result of five years’ meticulous R&D by the UK company and introduced golfers to a product which offered a choice between walking or riding around the golf course, as the machined movement creates a seamless transition from power-assisted walking trolley to a ride-on machine, all with one pull of a lever.

The ground-breaking Rolley was quickly embraced by top clubs and players alike who were quick to see the potential for a unit which was less damaging to golf courses, while increasing the speed of play – an essential factor for many clubs wishing to increase green-fee revenue.

Enhancements in the 2017 model include the lightest chassis in the range, meticulously machined from British aircraft-grade aluminium for increased strength and mobility; the most efficient and powerful TWINDRIVE system yet to appear on a Rolley – with intelligent braking, to quicker detect gradients, stopping users safely on even the steepest hills; plus environment detection sensors, ensuring excellent traction no matter the weather – and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The introduction of a three-stage, fully adjustable, telescopic steering column, with a new twist-grip allows for one-handed operation, while the extended walk-mode handle, provides improved manoeuvrability on long walks, and the refined silent motor provides a greater power-to-weight ratio, for the ultimate ride.

As well as being the greenkeeper’s friend – it is far less detrimental to turf than many other ‘ride-on’ products – the RolleyGolf’s flexibility to switch from walking to riding allows golfers to play 36 holes in the time it would normally take to walk 18, while also encouraging exercise in those seniors who would otherwise, faced with 18 holes, take a buggy or simply not play at all.

RolleyGolf – What they said…

Ady Wheatcroft, PGA professional and director of golf for the Aspiration Group, said:We were really taken with the Rolley when it was first demonstrated to us and we realised immediately it would add a little something if we used one within our golf days. It also benefits RolleyGolf because it means the product is on show to keen golfers who take their sport very seriously.”

Inventor of the Rolley – and co-founder of RolleyGolf – Arnold du Toit added:RolleyGolf and Aspiration make perfect partners. Aspiration is the market leader. A round on the Rolley is a unique experience. Together, that’s a sure-fire recipe for a truly memorable day.”


For more information call 0044(0) 20 3294 6655 or email info@rolleygolf.com

 

 

G/Fore launch new designer golf bag….

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

G/Fore Golf Bag

We love it when new golf products are launched into the market – so we were very interested to learn more when we heard about the new G/Fore golf bag!

The new ‘Transporter’ G/Fore golf bag features weatherproof matte leather, tonal onyx black logos and quilted patent leather front pockets making it the ultimate luxury stand bag in a sleek, black design.

It is available exclusively on the G/FORE website with international shipping, which will launch by the end of the year (2017).

Priced at around £260 and weighing six pounds (2.7kg), the bag can also be customised with embroidered name or initials on the front pocket for an extra £20.

Manufactured in collaboration with Vessel, it is also brimming with features including a cooler pocket, an inner valuables pocket with two combination lock, magnetic tee pocket, patented Rotator Stand technology allowing maximum stability and a double equilibrium strap.

Having forged its identity on brightly-coloured, high-quality gloves and eye-catching footwear and apparel, the G/FORE brand – created by fashion industry pioneer Mossimo Giannulli in 2011 – has made significant strides in its first few years on the golf scene.

And this latest addition allows golfers to show off even more of their G/FORE style.

G/Fore golf Bag – What they said….

Mossimo Giannulli said: “We are very excited about our new golf bag collaboration with Vessel. Vessel’s innovative golf bags paired with the clean aesthetic of G/FORE makes for the perfect combination.”

To view the brand’s full range of apparel, gloves, shoes and accessories, visit www.gfore.com

By Ian Mullins


 

G/Fore Golf Bag – Company history…

G/FORE logo 9_14– Mossimo Giannulli – who is married to Full House and Summerland actress Lori Loughlin -founded G/FORE in 2011 after becoming frustrated in his search for colourful and functional golf gloves.

– A fashion industry veteran and avid golfer, Giannulli founded the billion-dollar clothing company Mossimo Inc in 1987 and brokered a first-ever designer-exclusive distribution deal with Minneapolis-based Target Stores in 2000.

– G/FORE embodies Giannulli’s expertise in fashion, passion for golf, and dedication to creating products of unmatched performance and unparalleled style.

– G/FORE’s first few years have seen it grow from crafting colourful gloves to also producing premium golf shoes, apparel and accessories for both men and women.

– In just a few short years, the G/FORE brand has been worn by a host of top-level professional golfers, award-winning actors and music industry stars.

– G/FORE golf gloves are worn by professionals every week on the PGA, Champions, European, Japanese and LPGA Tours.

– In spring 2016, Bubba Watson joined G/FORE’s line-up of elite ambassadors.

 

Used Golf Balls – yes or no?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

used-golf-balls-tin-cupIf you’ve played golf long enough, you’ve probably had that “Tin Cup” moment?

It might not have come on a par 5 but on a par 3 but you basically find yourself pumping most of your ball supply into the greenside water, as you stubbornly try to reach the green over a hazard.

But what’s more painful, the nine you made on the hole, or the dozen golf balls you just lost?

If you’re like most regular golfers, it’s the £15-40 a dozen you just drowned.

Of course, if they’re used golf balls, it’s far less painful.

Used Golf Balls – The Prejudice…

Sadly, there’s certainly a stigma associated with playing used golf balls. But why?

If we find a good one (such as a Titleist Pro V1)  in the trees, most of us will feel like we’ve won the lottery but if you buy used golf balls, you may be considered a cheapskate, but what’s the difference?

For some reason buying recycled or used golf balls is beneath many players. Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days or

Yet, it was so long ago – post-recession – that we were all quick to return to the days of ‘Make do and Mend’.

After all, these golf balls are usually harvested from ponds, streams and lakes, but surely the water has to be bad for them, right?

Well, that’s true but probably to a much lesser degree than you think and it used to be truer than it is now.

Used Golf Balls – The Truth…

The golf manufacturers have long made claims that balls recovered from water lose a significant amount of performance yet much of that was before the solid core technology and advanced cover materials used today.

The truth is, golf balls are so well made today that they can spend a few weeks in the water and come out just fine, at least for casual play. (I mean, if you’re playing in the U.S. Open qualifier, by all means break out the new sleeves.)

The good news, today, the companies that sell millions of used golf balls harvest lakes regularly, so they’re not spending much time in the water.

In addition, the used golf balls are sold according to grade, so you get what you pay for.

It also depends on where the golf balls are lost.

Buy the top-graded used golf balls, and it’s almost impossible to tell from new.

In fact, some golfers have been known to buy high-grade used golf balls and put them back in their old sleeves.

used golf ballsUsed Golf Balls – Who supplies them….

One of the UKs largest online retailers of used golf balls www.premierlakeballs.com

The company was started in 2003 by Scott Phillips, a ‘+1 golfer’ who saw the savings used golf balls offered and the business has grown year on year since it started.

The reason being that PEARL grade lake balls offer the exact same performance as a new ball and offer HUGE savings.

“We ship a lot of golf balls across Europe and no doubt they find there way back to us said Phillips

He’s joking to a degree, but it is conceivable that you could actually buy your own golf balls back after you dunk one in a pond.

After all, in 2015 Premier Lakeballs sold between 1.8-2 million golf balls across the EU and UK.

Phillips says “All we ask is try us once and you will never buy a new ball again

 


By Ian Mullins

The History of the Golf Ball…

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Royal and Ancient Golf Club

Which came first – the golf club or the golf ball?

The History of the Golf Ball – Where it began…

In the first four hundred years of golf, there were only four types of golf ball – the Hairy, the Feathery, the Gutty and the Haskell.

The ‘feathery’ or ‘featherie’, which dominated golf for over 200 years, was the making of golf on the links.

However, before the feathery, came the ‘hairy’, inexplicably written out of golf history, due partly to the romance of the feathery, though it was arguably the reason why golf initially developed in Scotland, when many other similar games died out.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Wooden

The use of wooden balls in golf in Scotland is an assumption, but without any definite evidence.

Wooden balls were used extensively in northern continental games such as Colf, Crosse and Mail which share some characteristics of golf.

Examples of these balls have been found and descriptions of wooden balls in golf and the types of wood used are derived from these sources and not from any examples or accounts in Scotland.

The spherical wood balls were smooth and thus not did not have good handling properties. Although they were more hard-wearing, the distance they could be hit was only about 75 metres.

It is unlikely links golfers used these in preference to the hairy colf/golf balls which were available in Scotland from the time golf is first recorded.

Wooden balls may well have been used in the above-ground, target game in Scotland, also termed golf, but this is not golf proper and it is more likely than not that the ‘hairy’ colf ball was the first ball used for golf on the links in Scotland.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Hairy…

The Romans had a small, leather stitched handball filled with hair, called the harpastum, though there is no known connection to colf or golf and it is not believed that they used this ball in any stick and ball game.

The hairy ball was almost certainly one of the balls imported between 1486-1618 from The Netherlands, where it was manufactured in large quantities as a by-product of the Dutch agricultural revolution.

It came into its own on the Scottish Links.

This type of golf ball was being made in Scotland from at least 1554, when there is a reference to a dispute between the cordiners (leather workers/cobblers) of the Cannongate in Edinburgh and the ‘cordiners and gouff ball makers of North Leith’.

Hairy Ball Amersfoort

A Hairy Colf Ball from 16th Century was found in 1984 in Amersfoort, courtesy of Archeologish Centrum Amersfoort, The Netherlands.

The hairy was originally used in colf, particularly in the version played on ice, where it had better handling characteristics than wood.

It is estimated that the ball could be hit 135-150 meters and it was more controllable than wooden colf balls, although it was prone to water damage.

As the weather in the east of Scotland is comparatively drier in the winter and, as the links land dries quickly, ball damage would be mitigated.

The manufacturing technique would have been broadly the same as that outlined below for the ‘feathery’, and other materials such as cow hair or straw were used.

These balls apparently continued in use for decades, referred to as ‘common’ balls at 2 shillings, half the price of the best golf balls, from late 16th century until early 18th century.

There is a record of a dozen ‘goiff balls’ being purchased for £3 for the young Earl of Montrose in the early 17th century, which would be 5 shillings per ball and no small expense.

In 1618, James VI/I granted a 21 year patent to James Melville and William Berwick to make golf balls in Scotland, as the cost of imported balls was becoming exorbitant, but this licence was later successfully challenged and became unenforceable.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Feathery…

The feathery or featherie is the most famous of all golf balls, though it is not definitively known when or where it was developed.

There is a reference in the Edinburgh Testaments (vol xlvii 123b) to ‘fyve scoir twell flok goiff ballis’ (112 flok golf balls) in a will in 1612.

Flok, from the Latin for ‘floccus’ meaning wool, is also used to refer to ‘the down of unfledged birds’ as well ‘a tuft of feathers on the head of young birds’ (OED) and is thus probably an early reference to feathery balls and may explain their origin. The cordiners began by using the sweepings out of bird coops.

The first reference in the Netherlands is in a poem in 1657 (a pennebal) with a Scottish ‘cleek’, so it is possible that it was developed in Scotland and the concept re-exported to the Netherlands.

No written reference to the feathery per se has been found in Scotland before 1724, when Alan Ramsay refers to it in an unpublished draft of a poem, cited in The Chronicles of Golf.

The most famous mention of the feathery in ‘The Goff’ by Thomas Mathison in 1743 – “the feathers harden and the leather swells”.

“..the work of Bobson, who with matchless art, Shapes the firm hide, connecting every part,
Then in a socket sets the well-stiched void. And thro’ the eyelet drives the downy tide;
Crowds urging crowds the forceful brogue impels, The feathers harden and the leather swells.”

Thomas Mathison 1743

Feathers are keratin, a hydrocarbon plastic, found in most animals, forming hair and nails in man.

The ball’s manufacturing process began as three pieces of leather stitched together and turned inside out leaving a ¼ inch slit through which the feathers were pushed with the ‘brogue’ using the chest.

The feathers and leather were wet and, as they dried, the feathers expanded and the leather shrank, creating a two way pressure and a tight ball with characteristics only recently matched by modern balls.

Opinion is divided as to whether the feathers or leather were boiled and there was more than a ‘hat’ full of feathers in each ball.

Afterwards, the balls were painted white for protection and so that they could be found.

Early reports say a ball maker would make 2 to 3 balls per day. The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1838 estimated

The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1838 estimated a expert ball maker could make 50 to 60 balls in a week.

With Tom Morris as his apprentice, Allan Robertson made 1,021 featherie golf balls in 1840, 1,392 in 1841 and 2,456 in 1844.

The work was hard, as shown recently by a review of autopsy reports of golf ball makers. Allan Robertson died at 44. Many of the Gourlay golf ball-makers at Bruntsfield also died young.

Feathery J Goulay

John Gourlay, 18th-century ball maker from Edinburgh with an example of his feathery which sold at Bonhams for £5,000

Top quality featheries could sell for 5/- (5 shillings, called a crown), though there were lesser quality balls costing half that price.

These were known as ‘common’ balls and were probably hairy balls or leather balls with cheaper materials or with course stitching and may have included recycled balls.

Today, featheries from named makers such as Tom Morris, Allan Robertson or his father command thousands of pounds at auction.

Featheries could be packed harder than ‘hairies’ and would thus travel further.

In 1786, a controlled test in Glasgow recorded an average distance of 193 yards and 1 foot from 5 drives by John Gibson, ranging from 182 to 201 yards.

The ‘official’ feathery record was set in 1836 at 361 yards by Samuel Messieux from Hole O’Cross green into Hell Bunker at St Andrews, wind assisted.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Gutty…

From 1848, golf balls made of gutta-percha gum, called ‘gutties’ began to replace featheries. Several claims are made about the origin of the gutty.

The traditional story of their creation, relates that in 1843 Robert Adams Paterson a divinity student at St Andrews, received a package from Singapore of the God Vishnu packed in gutta-percha, which is  dried gum resin from guttiferous trees especially of the Malaysian sapodilla tree.

It was not uncommon to make things from this gutta-percha packaging and Paterson tried heating and molding it to make golf balls.

His early experiments were not successful.

After he graduated and emigrated to America, where he died in 1904, his brother worked on to create an acceptable prototype, which he stamped “Paterson’s Composite – Patented” golf ball.

The patent existed only in his imagination, as none was ever granted.

Gutty Christies 2006

Gutty Golf Ball which sold at Christie’s for £180 in 2006.

Rev John Kerr writing in 1896 does not mention this story but provides three other tales ascribing the origin of gutties to Dr Montgomery in 1842, Campbell of Saddell in North Berwick in 1848, and Mr H T Peter at Innerleven in 1848.

These merely claimed to have discovered gutties, not invented them.

The first gutties were smooth, but it was soon noticed that the ball performed better after it had nicks and blemishes.

It is said that a saddle maker in St Andrews used tools to create regular grooves, which was better than random cutting.

Initial reception to the gutty was mixed, as gutties were not demonstrably better than featheries, merely cheaper and more robust.

In 1848 Admiral W H Maitland Dougall at Blackheath adopted it, while Alan Robertson who saw them at Innerleven initially did not.

John Gourlay at Musselburgh is said to have disposed of all of his featheries to Sir David Baird and then gone into the production of gutties.

However, by 1860, they were good enough and popular enough to replace the feathery and a new era of golf was born.

In 1871, Willie Dunn at Musselburgh created a mould to make gutties, which was a quicker and more consistent method of production.

Gutties were painted white or red for winter play, for the same reason as featheries, as protection and to be able to find them.

The cost of gutties was 1/- one shilling, much cheaper than featheries, and a main factor in bringing golf to the masses. The gutty lasted until 1900.

The History of the Golf Ball – The Haskell…

Haskell Golf Ball, unsold at Mullocks in Jan 2014

Coburn Haskell, an American, developed a wound core ball in 1898.

In 1899, he and Bertram Work, an employee of the Goodrich rubber company in Ohio, patented the Haskell ball, as it came to be known, in 1899 – a solid core wrapped tightly with rubber threads covered with a layer of gutta-percha.

The ball arrived in Britain in 1900, but in 1905 Haskell’s patent in UK was refused onHaskell Mullocks 2014 the grounds of prior existence from 1870.

This means that, for different reasons, none of the golf balls which were the making of golf were patented in the UK.

The hand winding of the rubber threads was soon mechanized.

The outside covering was initially a Bramble pattern, and it would be a dozen years before superior dimples patterns that we know today were developed.

Bobby Jones described this as the most important development in golf, and it certainly was of his lifetime.

Within a few years, the Haskell was outperforming the gutty and superseded it.

In 500 Years of Golf Balls, Chick Evans relates how, when he was a caddy, he witnessed the first use, and loss, and finding of a Haskell golf ball.

Though the first 2-piece ball with solid core and cover, was developed in 1902, it would be decades before the Haskell ball was replaced.

In 1967, Spalding re-devised this construction using Suralyn as cover. Since then, there has been a never-ending explosion of 1, 2 and 3 piece developments of cores with variations of covers and dimples.

The result is golf balls than spin slower off the driver, and hence slice less, but still allow control in short game.

This enables high handicap golfers to play like pros, as we all know!

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The History of the Golf Ball By Scott Phillips at Premier Lake Balls