Golf Ball Material

Golf ball material crossword clue. 6 letter down. Seen today at the LA Times Crossword April 26 2017.

The answer is BALATA.

The next breakthrough in golf ball development came in 1898. Coburn Haskell of Cleveland, Ohio had driven to nearby Akron, Ohio for a golf date with Bertram Work, the superintendent of the B.F. Goodrich Company. While he waited in the plant for Work, Haskell picked up some rubber thread and wound it into a ball. When he bounced the ball, it flew almost to the ceiling.

Work suggested Haskell put a cover on the creation, and that was the birth of the 20th century wound golf ball that would soon replace the guttie bramble ball. The new design became known as the rubber Haskell golf ball. For decades, the wound rubber ball consisted of a liquid-filled or solid round core that was wound with a layer of rubber thread into a larger round inner core and then covered with a thin outer shell made of balata sap.

The balata is a tree native to Central and South America and the Caribbean. The tree is tapped and the soft, viscous fluid released is a rubber-like material similar to gutta-percha, which was found to make an ideal cover for a golf ball. Balata, however, is relatively soft. If the leading edge of a highly lofted short iron contacts a balata-covered ball in a location other than the bottom of the ball a cut or “smile” will often be the result, rendering the ball unfit for play in most instances.

Things you should be aware of: The numbers listed above are an average of the six shots struck with each ball. Each ball was only hit once. The golf balls, while all pristine and “new” are very different age wise. The balata balls have been waiting in their sleeve for more than twenty years for someone to play with.

The balls had all been stored in an air-conditioned space and were stored together. The weather was a crisp 74 degrees with a slight left to right breeze blowing – lovely for August! Zack used a Titleist D3 9.5 driver with a Diamana ‘ahina X shaft by Titleist.

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