The ball part II.
A week ago we discussed the Polara golf ball and dismissed it as being against the rules, therefore unworthy of your attention.
However, in fairness, we interviewed David Felker, one of the key players in the development of the new Polara ball -- which cures the slice and hook.
Felker noted: "The reason people play golf is to have fun. About 1,000 courses of the 16,000 courses in the country are in or near bankruptcy. Golf courses are averaging fewer than 33,000 rounds a year -- which is usually the break-even point. A large majority of golfers do not have a handicap, do not know the rules and don't care all that much. We play with mulligans, lateral drops from hits out of bounds and allow gimme putts.
"So why not play a golf ball that makes the game more fun, quicker (because you don't spend as much time looking for it), less expensive (don't lose as many balls), and could bring new players to the game and bring former players back?"
The problem with the latest version of Polara -- developed by Felker, who worked in plastics for Dupont and Callaway in research and development -- is that it works.
Golf shows, The New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg have all demonstrated the new ball.
Remember, the USGA does not allow the ball for competition under the dimple symmetry rule. But the USGA also does not allow more than 14 clubs in a bag, two-faced chippers, the follow through of hitting a shot, grounding the club in a hazard, reaching into your pocket and even putting down a towel to hit a shot off your knees.
"We changed the dimple design from the original Polara back in the 1970s, and we understand why it works," Felker said. Shallow dimples on the equator and deeper dimples on the poles produce a specific principle of inertia that, when rotating, creates lower lift and lower drag … a drastically reduced slice or hook. Hit the ball where the arrow points and you get the benefits. Hit the ball with the arrow pointed somewhere else and you get a flight similar to most golf balls.
"Look, statistics show 80 percent of golfers don't have handicaps, score 106 for 18 holes and drive less than 200 yards," Felker said. "We have a ball that is disqualified from USGA competition and we believe in the value of lessons.
"This worked for tennis with oversize rackets. It worked in softball by switching from fast pitch to slow pitch. It even worked in car racing by adding different classes, from rookie to F1."
If you're interested, you can get more information at polaragolf.com.