Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?



There are many questions in life that don't get asked on a regular basis, and one of them is, "Why do golf balls have dimples?" The reason why golf balls have dimples is a story of natural selection. Originally, they were smooth, but golfers noticed that older balls that were beat up with nicks, bumps and slices in the cover seemed to fly farther. Golfers being golfers naturally gravitate toward anything that gives them an advantage on the golf course, so  the old, beat-up balls became standard issue. At some point, an aerodynamics expert must have looked at this problem and realized that the nicks and cuts were acting as "turbulators" — inducing turbulence in the layer of air next to the ball. In some situations, a turbulent boundary layer reduces drag, making the golf ball go further. So, in the end, dimples on a golf ball are simply a formal, symmetrical way of creating the same turbulence in the boundary layer that nicks and cuts do.......with a little more dignity.