May 18th, 2018
Callaway launches controversial new golf ball
With graphene infused into the ball
Golf balls. They're just great aren't they, sitting there so mint in their cool packaging. Oh, how they glisten with purity when you take one out of the box. It's like it's winking at you, suggesting you are about to have the round of your life.
Anyway, golf balls have just gone even more space-age, with the news coming out of Callaway HQ in Carlsbad, California that there is a new kid on the block. And this kid has graphene (the world's strongest and thinnest known material) in its make up.
It's the new Callaway Chrome Soft ball, which the company is claiming will literally be a ‘game-changer.
Sergio Garcia used the new ball when he won the Singapore Open last month, and he was 19 yards longer on average than when he won same event in 2017.
Garcia, who moved from TaylorMade to Callaway in January of this year, said of the new ball: 'I love this ball and it allows me to hit a variety of shots while gaining yardage from the tee.
'When I first tried it, I thought 'how can this ball go further than my old one, yet spin more around the green?' From there the switch for me was a no-brainer.'
Graphene was created by Russian chemists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at Manchester University in 2004, and they were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics.
The incredible material is 200 times stronger than steel and one million times thinner than paper!
When graphene is infused into a ball it makes it so strong that the outer core can be made thinner.
This allows for a larger inner core, which enhances the ball's speed and also reduces the amount of spin on long shots, leading to greater distance. So it is a perfect storm in terms of golf ball development.
Alan Hocknall, Callaway's senior vice president of research and development, has defended the controversial new ball: 'The golf ball already has a number of regulations to its performance that have been in place for quite some time.
'For us amateur golfers - most of the people who play golf - there is really quite a lot of improvement still available within the current rules.
'The strength and flexibility of graphene has enabled us to push the boundaries of golf ball performance.
Using graphene as a reinforcing agent in the outer core transforms what we can do.'
He did admit that scientific progress in ball development might result in the need for a split in the game's rules between professional and amateur players: 'A bit of a broader discussion has started recently about whether there should be consideration for slightly different rules for some of the most elite players.'
I could certainly use another 19 yards off the tee. Time to give them a blow.