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The MeshThe Mesh
During the latter part of the first decade in the twentieth century, golf ball manufacturers were springing up all over the country, and each company was experimenting with rubber core mesh balls. It was at the beginning of this period that the modern day golf ball as we know it know came about. Early dimple balls created during the early 1900.s were proving to offer players greater spin and feel and an Englishman called William Taylor patented the dimple method in 1905.

Spalding USA immediately purchased the rights for this patent and began to manufacturer dimple balls as early as 1909. Until the patent expired in the 1920.s every company attempted to obtain an advantage over their competitors by designing unique mesh type patterns on golf balls. There was the Rifled Ball - a ball designed like the barrel of a gun . which according to adverts would fly like a bullet. It did, but only if you hit it 100% straight . otherwise it was off . spinning here there and everywhere. Shortly after this products launch, these balls were withdrawn from the market making it a highly sought after ball with a value in excess of 10,000.

There were raised banana shapes, donut dimples, Stars, Circles, and Hexagons you name it they tried it! All manufactured in an attempt to create the winning formula.

One by one these balls eventually were superceded by another new pattern, and then another, until eventually the square mesh ball became standard. More and more of the small golf ball manufacturers were squeezed out of the market by the larger corporations such as Spalding, Dunlop, Slazenger, Wilson etc, and by the end of 1940.s the market was dominated by the same leading golf manufacturers of today.s market. With the exception of a Scottish firm called St Mungo manufacturing who in 1935 dominated the UK market, along with Spalding, and at their peak produced some 900 dozen balls per day.

With the development of golf balls progressing at an alarming rate the U.S.G.A, fearful of the skill level required to play golf being continually compromised by the golf ball manufacturers, decided to standardize the weight and size of golf balls. In 1931 the U.S.G.A ruled that no ball played in their championships could weigh more than 1.55 oz, or was smaller than 1.68. in diameter. These new sizes were not popular with the British golfers, as the windswept links of yesteryear required different flight characteristics in a ball.

In January 1932 the Royal & Ancient Golf Association and the U.S.G.A reached a partial compromise on weight and size with the maximum weight being 1.62 oz and a minimum of 1.62. in diameter. The U.S.G.A accepted the new weight but maintained 1.68. as the diameter.

With technology constantly improving the driving distance of new balls, the U.S.G.A developed a machine to test the velocity of golf balls in 1941 and in 1942 set the velocity limit at 250 feet. Eventually by 1940 more or less all balls manufactured were the dimple style and the manufacturers turned their research to improving the golf ball within the rules of the game.

With the exception of the one-piece rubber balls, which were introduced in the 1960.s .this was the last major period of change in golf balls until today.s multi-layer golf balls were introduced.

Mesh golf ball values greatly depending on condition and the pattern on the balls. For example a standard Dunlop England square mesh golf ball would fetch approximately 15-30.00 dependent on condition. Whilst the more unusual patterned balls such as the Star Challenger with a star mesh pattern can fetch in excess of 500.00 dependent on condition. The more unusual the pattern the more the ball is worth.


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