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Golf Ball Dimples Explained by Scientist

9 November 2011

The golf equipment industry is driven by marketing - not technology - that’s the opinion of renowned golf scientist, Dr Alastair Cochran, who will be giving a lecture at the University of Ulster today.

He will also explain that for most people it doesn’t matter what ball you use, “but like a true scientist I’d want to qualify all such bald statements,” said Dr Cochran.

The physicist and golf consultant’s lecture will cover the latest advances in swing technology and more simple topics like ‘why do golf balls have dimples’. 

Dr Cochran also believes that “the increased distances tour pros hit the ball compared with 20 years ago is mainly due to improvements in the players rather than in balls and clubs”.

He has been involved in the study of golf science for over 40 years and was the technical advisor to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews for 15 years and is highly regarded as a leading consultant on golf science and technology.

Professor Eric Wallace, Director of the Sport & Exercise Sciences Research Institute, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Cochran to the University for what promises to be a lively and informative discussion.

“He will draw upon some of his vast experience in golf science and will provide an opportunity for a question and answer session on how golf technologies have developed and their effects on the game.

“The University of Ulster has a specialist state-of-the-art golf biomechanics research lab where we carry out research directed at understanding the performance relationship between the golfers and their equipment.”

Dr Cochran served as director of the first comprehensive study of golf, held in the early 1960’s and was co-writer of the seminal book, The Search for the Perfect Swing.

He was the editor of Golf Science I and Golf the Scientific Way, and was also co-editor of Science and Golf II, as well as author of a number of scientific papers and articles.


Notes to Editors: The lecture will take place between 12.30pm and 1.30pm today. Any journalist wishing to attend, please contact Press Officer, Sinead Johnson, on 028 90368390.