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Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Smooth ball: Air flows smoothly around the ball and quickly detaches, so increasing drag Dimpled ball: Dimples on the surface manipulate the airflow so it stays attached and creates less dragA golf ball makes use of the same principle of bumps on its surface to reduce drag. Originally smooth, manufacturers began making dimpled balls in the late 19th century after golfers noticed that balls with nicks and dents in them travelled farther. Like the whale fin, the bumps create a turbulent layer of air that clings to the ball, decreasing the size of its wake, and therefore the drag.

Smooth ball: Air flows smoothly around the ball and quickly detaches, so increasing drag

Dimpled ball: Dimples on the surface manipulate the airflow so it stays attached and creates less drag

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