For geeky reasons that I don’t quite grok, Thing One, my nineteen year old, likes to order obscure bits of electronics and computer parts from AliExpress and other Chinese e-commerce sites. Recently, along with his latest mysterious package of electronic bits and bobs, he bought me a box of Chinese golf balls.
Here’s are the technical specs:
- Brand: PGM precision weapons
- Description: three layers of golf ball
- Performance: 75% elasticity, hardness of 75
- Specifications: diameter 42.6MM
- Weight 45G, 392 wind tunnel
- Material: synthetic rubber forest
- Shell: titanium containing sarin material has better resistance to play
- Middle: it is single-layer soft design,collocation of high-energy elastic core, strengthen the speed
- Center: high elastic rubber core has better elasticity
- Packing: 4pcs
A few things about this make me laugh:
- First, the name: Precision Guided Munitions. My golf shots are anything but “precision,” and I’m pretty sure a guided golf ball would be illegal.
- “Three layers of golf ball” — as opposed to two layers of golf ball and one layer of bowling ball.
- “synthetic rubber forest” — I have no idea what that means
- “titanium containing sarin material” — again, what does that mean? A titanium cover infused with poison gas?
- “better resistance to play” — golf is hard enough without having the ball actively resist you.
As soon as the balls arrived, Thing One suggested that we open one up to see if they really are a three-layer ball. A few minutes with a hacksaw later, it was open. You can see the results above. Yes, it really is a three piece ball.
What struck me, though, was that the layers are uneven. Even allowing for the somewhat even cut, the core is not circular, and there are a couple of gaps between layers, as though air was trapped.
I wondered then what legitimate golf balls brands looked like on the inside. So I picked a couple out of my “found” box and sawed them in half:
The Nike and Titleist balls have much larger cores which are, as far as my eye can tell, perfectly round. There are no air bubbles between layers. The Nike and Titleist balls also cut more evenly than the Chinese golf ball.
Weirdly, the Titleist smelled sickly sweet when I opened it up.
I have not yet played with the Precision Guided Munitions, but I must say I don’t hold out much hope for them. I can’t help but think that a ball with an uneven core will develop a wobbly spin.
My guess is that the big difference between a big name golf ball, and a knock-off is in the consistency. If I sliced open a hundred Titleist balls, ninety nine of them likely would have perfectly round layers.
The hacksaw experiment makes me want to open other balls to see what is inside. It might be a good series for this winter.