Ball Pattern-Making Press

On display in: Mid-19th Century Golf

Date: Around 1890

Made by: W. Wilson, St Andrews

A new type of golf ball came into use around 1848 which revolutionised golf’s popularity and playing equipment. Made from gutta percha, the sap of Malaysian trees, it was harder than the feather ball, more durable and much cheaper. The balls were originally smooth, but it was soon discovered that they flew further when marked or nicked. Ballmakers started to hammer markings onto the balls. Soon moulds and machines were designed for this purpose. Experimentation with different designs led to the dimples found on balls today.