Titanium golf ball – only the sky is the limit…or the deep end of the water hazard



You know, titanium golf ball or not, I’m not a golfer. I can’t even tell if I like golf or not, because, actually, I have never played golf in my entire life.



I saw “Tin Cup” and I like it. I even liked the golf poetry within. And I could stretch my imagination to envision why someone would choose to use such a rare, noble and expensive metal like titanium to make a golf club.

But my imagination has its limits. And I couldn’t imagine why anyone would choose a rare, noble and expensive metal, with an emphasis on expensive, such as titanium, to make a golf ball.

I mean, heck, they are generally lost by the dozen each hour. I bet the deep ends of the water hazards from golf courses are white. People use to practice golf by hitting into the ocean. There even is a thriving recycled golf balls industry around.

Why would anyone conceive a titanium golf ball is beyond my capacity to understand?

Yet, the market, which, as it happens, is a soaring one, thrives with titanium golf balls offers, one more rewarding than the other.

Theoretically, given the standard structure of a golf ball, titanium one has to be a ball that has either a titanium based core or that contains titanium as part of its cover material. I’m almost certain that titanium in the cover material of a titanium golf ball is no more than titanium dioxide used as a pigment to make the golf ball white.

It’s clear that this has no effects whatsoever in transferring the other qualities of titanium to the ball itself, as the producers imply by the marketing association.

As for the titanium core, even if I chose to forget the fact that titanium is not as cheaply available as to be used in an almost disposable item, I can’t see any reason for a golf ball to be tough and light, which is exactly why titanium is used in all other products. The core is meant to give weight to the golf ball, as opposed to its other parts, and it’s precisely counterintuitive regarding to what titanium is used otherwise.

Let’s listen to Michael Metz, marketing director of the world's biggest titanium supplier, Timet . At a certain time in his career he assessed the possibility of plunging into the titanium golf ball market and he contacted one of the golf ball manufacturers that were using titanium in promoting their products. “When we called them up to try to sell them some of our product, we kept getting the runaround. I finally put one in a vise and got out a hacksaw."

Surprise.

No titanium inside. Not even a flake of the metal. Further analysis turned out the "titanium core" was just rubber and clay, bound together by a chemical called isopropyltriisostearoyl titanate.

Salvatore Monte of Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc, N.J. is the proud inventor of this chemical compound. According to his reports, it is really helpful “…the titanate provides a real function. The isopropyl group couples the triisostearoly titanate to the magnesium carbonate in atomic monolayers. Then the titanium in the titanate…repolymerizes… the polybutadiene during the compounding and curing phase.”

No, it doesn’t make any sense to me either. But hey, I’m not a chemical engineer.

This is the mystery behind the titanium golf ball. It has some atoms (probably no more than twenty) of titanium. If this is good enough for you, then don’t hesitate. It’s always cool to own a titanium product.



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