Black or white?

Visually white colour makes objects appear larger and black colour makes things look smaller. Hence lots of people wear black to make themselves look slimmer. Plus black colour is also regarded as being stylish and chic, white pure and clean.

What's this got to do with golf? Well, if you apply the same theory, a white golf ball will look bigger than a black golf ball. This gives a perceived advantage on the tee for a white ball, as it will seem a bigger golf ball to hit. However, when putting, the smaller appearance of a black ball will give the impression of a larger hole. Giving an advantage to a black ball on the greens.

There are other perceived advantages and disadvantages of colour. A white ball is more visible on the fairways to locate, while a black golf ball is easier to follow in the air. It can look as if you are tracking a piece of mud as it flies across the sky.

Then you have to consider thermal properties of colour. A white colour reflects most of the heat energy from the sun to remain cooler. Whilst black colour absorbs as much heat energy from the sun to obtain a higher temperature. Just go out on a hot summers day wearing a white t-shirt and then a black t-shirt to feel the difference.

When golf balls are tested in laboratories they are heated in ovens to temperatures of 23 degrees or more. Why? They are compressed during impact and designed to return to there initial form as quickly as possible. This compression and rapid expansion becomes more efficient at higher temperatures. Similar to a human muscle, where an athlete will warm-up before competing, to obtain optimum performance.

Hence a heat absorbing black golf ball on a hot summers day, will transfer energy more efficiently to gain extra distance than a colder traditional white golf ball.

Now what colour should I play with today. black or white?

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