What to Know About the Anatomy of a Golf Ball

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When it comes to the “rich man’s” sport of golf, small things can make a difference in your game, and it’s outcome. One of those “small things” is the anatomy of a golf ball. With five different construction designs for different compression, which golf ball should you get?

The Anatomy of a Golf Ball

tips on choosing the right golf ball, learn more about the anatomy of a golf ball


1. Dimples

  • Dimples help the golf ball fly by creating a thin layer of air that increases lift and reduces drag.
  • Different shapes, sizes, and patterns of dimples affect distance, stability, and spin rate.s golf balls

Read up to know how many dimples on a golf ball may affect your game.

2. Core

  • The core is the inner part of the anatomy of a golf ball.
  • It determines compression which in turn affects the performance of a golf ball.

3. Outer Casing

  • There are two main types of golf ball covers – Surlyn® and urethane.
  • Surlyn®, is an ionomer resin developed by DuPont™ and are the most durable and have a lower spin off.
  • Urethane covers, are mostly found on higher-end balls and are preferred by more skilled players because they offer a softer feel and greater control.

The advances in today’s technology enable the manufacturer to create a custom-fit golf ball. It would be interesting to know how golf balls are made.

5 Different Types of Golf Balls and Their Ideal Use

Golf balls come in 5 different primary types determined by the number of layers or pieces they have, which in turn, determine the performance and use of the ball.

1. One Piece Golf Balls

  • Don’t travel far because of low compression.
  • They are the least expensive golf ball type to produce


  • The simplest design and construction of a golf ball
  • Made of either a solid sphere of Surlyn with dimples molded in (hence the name “one piece” or a simple rubber core with a hard plastic dimpled outer casing.

Ideal Use

  • For beginners
  • Good for practicing your swing
  • On driving ranges
  • On “crazy” golf courses

2. Two Piece Golf Balls

  • Deliver maximum distance because they spin less than other golf ball types
  • Less feel and control


  • High energy core with a solid plastic outer cover.
  • Size and compression of the inner core can be varied to produce different compression and feel of the ball.

Ideal Use and Performance

  • These are the most popular golf balls among general golfers due to durability and being more economical than the other golf ball types.
  • Because they travel further than other golf balls, they are best suited for beginners, intermediate players, and recreational players who need the extra “push.”

3. Three Piece Golf Balls

Three piece golf balls are designed and constructed to provide extra spin and control of the ball.


  • Three piece golf balls are built with a solid rubber core surrounded by a second layer which is often made of a liquid or very soft rubber.
  • The final layer is made of a soft, thin urethane or Surlyn cover.

Ideal Use and Performance

  • Don’t travel as far as two-piece golf balls.
  • Usually used for shorter range shots were you want better control of the ball.
  • Because of the extra spin, they tend to exaggerate your slicing and hooking issues.

4. Four Piece Golf Balls

These are more of a cross between a two piece and three piece anatomy of a golf ball in turns of performance metrics such as distance, control, and feel.


  • The core is made from a soft rubber, designed to give the golf ball maximum traveling distance,
  • The second layer helps to transfer energy to the core.
  • The third layer is designed to increase driving distance without reducing spin and control.
  • The final layer is a soft urethane cover that as a result, gives an extra feel.

Ideal Use and Performance

  • Four piece balls are designed for the serious golfer who has mastered his swing and ball flight.
  • Maximum compression and, hence, distance – just as a 2 piece.
  • Soft feel and thus great control – just as a three-piece.

5. Five Piece Golf Balls 

These are a relatively new, high-end kind of golf ball designed to optimize the five major shot categories highly skilled golfers require.


  • Most noteworthy is a low compression core for high launch and low spin off (especially off the driver).
  • Soft inner mantle to optimize for speed (especially long iron shots).
  • A semi-firm, fast middle mantle (perfect for mid-irons) is used.
  • The 4th layer is a firm, fast mantle that gives the golf ball optimum spin on short irons.
  • The last layer is a soft urethane cover for extra feel.

Ideal Use and Performance

  • Designed to optimize performance in 5 main areas – driving, long irons, mid irons, short irons and short wedge shots.
  • Mainly used by professionals who have lowered their handicap.

Now that you know about the basic anatomy of a golf ball, your next step should be on how to improve your game by learning how to master your golf swing.


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