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Why Are There 336 Dimples On A Golf Ball

The search feature on this forum often fails to find results where a Google search is more successful, but in this case, it’s not very helpful either (though I didn’t dig too deep):

https://www.google.com/search?q=golf+ball+rhino+grasshopper

I found this Grasshopper effort by @ckmok (a member of this forum) but the GH is incomplete, not fully parametric and relies on a list of 780 triangular surfaces in a Rhino file that form a sphere to generate 392 dimples. I can’t recommend it.

FYI, from Wikipedia:

The Rules of Golf […] state that the diameter of a “conforming” golf ball cannot be any smaller than 1.680 inches ( 42.67 mm )…

I found these helpful pages answering the question “How many dimples on a golf ball?”, and providing interesting insights into the effects of dimples:

Balls – Golfballs.com

The Golfballs.com Golf Gear Buying Guide answers many common questions about the differences in technology of golf balls, golf clubs and more to help golfers find the right fit for their game.

… golf ball manufacturers have left no dimple unturned in their quest for the best-performing ball. Back in the 1970s, Uniroyal (yes, the US rubber tire company) made a big splash in clubhouses with its Royal Plus Six ball featuring hexagon-shaped depressions. At the same time, the Wilson golf balls won over consumers with its ProStaff line that had little truncated cones.

The zenith for dimple experimentation was reached in 1970’s with the release of the Polara. This magical orb differentiated the size of the dimples by featuring lighter pits towards the ends than it did in its middle. The results it produced were so good that they were deemed illegal by the United States Golf Association. The original Polara was outlawed for its superiority, but golfers couldn’t resist; in fact, you can still buy the “outlawed” Polara ball today from certain retailers.

How many dimples on a golf ball?

How many dimples on a golf ball is one of the most most-asked questions in golf. Here’s everything you need to know about golf ball dimples.

How Many Dimples on a Golf Ball

How Many Dimples on a Golf Ball

Summarized most succinctly in the last one:

The number of dimples on a golf ball varies, depending on the manufacturer and may even be different for different models made by the same manufacturer. The dimples are usually the same size as one another, but some golf balls have several different sizes of dimple on the same ball. Any number between 300 and 500 dimples is reasonable, and 336 is a common number. Not just any number will do. Golf balls are usually covered with dimples in a highly symmetrical way, and for many values of N, it is impossible to cover the golf ball uniformly without gaps. Symmetry is important or the ball will wobble or its flight will depend on which part of the ball is forwards or sideways as the ball spins. You can get an idea of how to space dimples uniformly around a sphere by thinking about the “platonic solids”…

I don’t particularly need a GH model for this myself, and am guessing a plugin may be required? But I am surprised that there isn’t already an off-the-shelf GH solution on this forum?