February 10, 2006 11:28 AM PST
Nano golf ball gets approval for tournament play
The ball sports an unusual hollow steel core and a special casing that allows the ball to correct its flight slightly so that it goes where the golfer intended it, rather than to the side. The chemical and physical properties of the materials used in the ball help it redistribute its weight on the fly.
Other companies are touting nanotechnology for lighter bike parts, stiffer tennis rackets and socks that don't stink.
The USGA has been cracking down on technological changes in golf, fearing that it could take some of the competitiveness out of the game, according to Keith Blakely, CEO of NanoDynamics. The USGA can't outlaw things like drivers that send the ball farther than normal, but it can withhold approval for tournament play. This potentially discourages use and sales.
The organization found, however, that the NDMX fell within its guidelines. Though it's hard to quantify how much the ball might assist someone's game, early tests show that it can help.
"It depends entirely on how good or bad the golfer is. If a recurring problem is either hooking or slicing the ball off the tee, the NDMX ball will make a significant difference according to many of our beta testers," Blakely wrote in an e-mail. "Similarly, the ball appears to offer an advantage on the putting green that just might make the difference between an 'almost' and an 'in the cup' putt."
The company started selling the ball late last year on its Web site. A dozen cost about $60.
1 commentJoin the conversation! Add your comment