Bob Huelsman
Bob Huelsman

Bob Huelsman is a former high school teacher, coach and administrator, serving for more than three decades at Covington High School, in Miami County. In his 13 years as head basketball coach at Covington, Huelsman won 228 games and five times guided the Buccaneers to the regional round of the state tournament. Currently, he serves as the associate athletic director at Newton High School, and treasurer for the Southwest District Athletic Board. A former member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control, Huelsman’s broad background in athletic administration has won the respect of his peers statewide.

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The confusing facts about golf balls…why there’s so many and why it’s so confusing to try and figure out which one’s right for you.

In my hand I hold a ball,
White and dimpled, rather small.
Oh, how bland it does appear,
This harmless looking little sphere.

By its size I could not guess,
The awesome strength it does possess.
But since I fell beneath its spell,
I’ve wandered through the fires of hell.

A Golf Poem (Author Unknown) begins like this, and many of us out there could have written it, if we were talented enough.  We play the “silly” game for years and never really get any better.  Yes, it has made me curse and cry, rules my mind for hours on end, and has me offering up my soul.

Most of us use the same clubs, year after year.  They are just too expensive to buy, thank God.  But golf balls are something else.  We will try anything to improve our game, to hit the ball farther, and to hit it straighter.

A golf ball can weigh no more than 1.620 ounces, have a diameter not less than 1.680 inches, and perform within specified velocity, distance, and symmetry limits.  Wooden balls were first used, followed by the feather ball, followed by the gutta-percha ball (or guttie).  The gutta was made from dried sap of a Malaysian Sapodilla Tree.

By accident, it was found that if nicks and scrapes were on the ball, the ball actually took on better flight characteristics.  Nowadays, there are 3 basic golf ball types—2-piece golf balls, 3-piece hybrid golf balls, and 3 or 4-piece performance golf balls.

The 2 piece ball makes up the majority of the market from all manufacturers.  Golfers with swing speeds less than 85 mph should use this kind of golf ball.  If your swing speed is higher than 85 mph, a 3 piece hybrid golf ball may be for you. Professional and low handicap golfers with high swing speeds should use a 3 or 4 piece performance ball.

Are you confused yet?  Well, I am.  If you go to the local store that may carry golf balls, or to your local pro shop, buying the most expensive ball is not necessarily the best.  One has to have the club head speed to compress the ball properly to get the best distance.  We all use the trial and error method to some extent and just get accustomed to a certain brand.

I have seen many golfers use whatever ball they pull from the bag with good results. I have played with golfers who will only play a Titleist Pro V-1.  Other golfers prefer a Top Flight or Nike.  Much of the selection is psychological.

Do you select a ball that advertises “Vapor Speed” by Nike, “Classic Distance” and “Unparalleled Distance” by Bridgestone, “Long and Soft” by Maxfli, “Tour Accuracy” by Nike, or “Exceptional Straight Distance” by Strata?

My favorite sales pitch is on the MOJO ball by Nike that says, “Mojo is our next generation distance ball.  Mojo does its spin thing around the greens.  Mojo is the Yaqui way of golf, built to bend your brain with a cosmic brew of flight, shape and length.  If you are ready to break on through, ride the Mojo, man”.

With miles of grass on which to land,
It finds a tiny patch of sand.
Then has me offering up my soul,
If only it would find the hole.

It’s made me whimper like a pup,
And swear that I will give it up.
And take to drink to ease my sorrow,
But the ball knows…I’ll be back tomorrow.

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