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Time for a Colored Golf Ball!


Time for a Colored Golf Ball!


It used to be that you used an orange ball in the fall to make sure it would not get lost in the leaves.

As the golfing population gets older colored golf balls are being used more extensively, not just with seasonal changes. Current statistics note that golfers are over 47% likely to use a colored golf ball, up substantially from just 21% two years ago. Jerry Pate had his famous win at TPC Sawgrass using an orange golf ball in 1982.

Face it, golf needs a fun factor, and colored golf balls add a little visual zip. And likely, you do not have to mark it to differentiate yours from golf friends. Think of the marker savings! Volvik has emerged as the leader in colored golf balls with over 41 worldwide patents for their technology. They are the first to combine tour quality performance and innovation with the entire spectrum of color. A rainbow might be a little bland compared to the color concoctions Volvik developed.

What was a novelty for women just five years ago has mutated into a serious players' ball with stellar performance. Tennis went through the same thing, allowing a yellow/green tennis ball in 1972, and that was a big deal then, but well received due to the enhanced visual recognition.

One of the most compelling reasons to play a colored golf ball is the enhanced optics, especially if you are over 40 or play in low-light conditions. Get older and the muscles that control pupil size and reaction to light lose strength. The result is less response to various light conditions. If you are over 60, this first affects your reading. Also, this has another effect of going from dim to bright light having to make too big an adjustment for the eyes. Photochromic lenses that change with light brightness can help, but only so much.

Aging also causes a normal loss of peripheral vision, with the size of our visual field decreasing by two degrees for every decade. So, you do not pick up the golf ball from this visual field as easy as you did when you were 30. Once you get to 70, your swing may be great, but it is likely you lost almost 25 degrees of peripheral vision. Another reason you do not pick up moving objects as fast as before.

Another way you pick up moving objects is to track their particular color against the background color and pattern. However, when you get older, the retina cells that recognize a color decrease in ability. Interesting enough, blue colors are reported to fade more than others. The result is you used to be able to see the white golf ball against the blue sky, but now it is less bright, and the contrast between the ball and the sky is diminished. The result is you might not pick up the flight of the golf ball, and probably cannot see it as well when it lands.

The case is pretty strong that a colored golf ball will help you track and find the ball, but what about performance?

Well, it appears that was the first task for a company like Volvik. It if a product looks cool but does not perform, golfers will find something else in a hurry. Volvik started making golf balls in 1980, so they are not the new kid on the block. Volvik is very technically sophisticated as they have 15 worldwide patents on their 492, 432, 446, 392 and 350 dimple pattern technologies, more active dimple patterns than any ball manufacturer.

Volvik broke out on the LPGA tour with Laura Diaz using the ball. As the technology advanced for higher swing speed balls for the PGA and Senior PGA tours, players including Larry Nelson, Craig Stadler, and Tim Petrovic started using Volvik. Five of the top 30 players on the LPGA Tour now use Volvik color golf balls. Volvik finished #2 last season in prize money on the LPGA, all with color golf balls.

If you are a female or senior golfer, the Crystal, designed for 60-90 mph swing speeds is probably the ideal colored golf ball. It has an extra durable cover that has super-man scuff resistance properties and comes in six different colors. It goes long, is Uber findable, and putts soft.

If you swing a little faster, Volvik did something interesting with their 4-piece performance balls, the Vista iV (distance) and theVista iS (feel). Each version has a swing speed range of 90-125 mph, which probably makes it the most versatile premium ball for a variety of swing speeds. A good ball that also may be more durable than the competition while definitely more easy to see.

Volvik also decided the white golf ball could use a little color tweaking, with the result the White Color S3. A Golf Digest hot list award winner, the three-piece ball features a "bismuth" metal compound in the core that expands by 3.5 percent when compressed, so more zing with every shot. Exceptional performance with a unique colored that is a blend of white and pearlescent blue. The result is a white golf ball that is easier to find in low light.

Sometimes, it is good to modify tradition, especially if it helps people enjoy their favorite pastime. In golf, seeing the golf ball is important, and Volvik made so you can see it after you hit it a mile.