Why graphene is the next big material in golf clubs and balls
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Why graphene is the next big material in golf clubs and balls



Graphene. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it and what it can do for your golf clubs, shafts and balls — and soon.
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[/s2If] [s2If is_user_logged_in()] Golf club manufacturers are always looking for new materials that can help them make better-performing equipment. They want materials that are both stronger and lighter than what they use now, allowing them to strengthen and solidify products while giving them more discretionary weight to use for improve moment of inertia, energy transfer and center of gravity.

Graphene — exfoliated graphite carbon reacted with acids and heat-treated into nano-sized, honeycomb-pattern sheets, in a slightly more technical explanation — can do that.

Graphene, which can be made in incredibly small sheets, is dramatically stronger than steel and much lighter than carbon fiber, which has become a critical material for driver construction. Imagine a material as strong as, if not stronger, which is also lighter. That’s why titanium is increasingly getting kicked to the curb or minimized in favor of carbon fiber.

Most curiously, graphene could be an important material in golf ball construction. You don’t think about carbon fiber or titanium in golf balls. However, Callaway Golf applied in October 2017 for a patent for the use of graphene in golf ball cores. The main use of graphene in golf balls is to improve their durability in a single- or dual-core design, making the golf ball last longer at its full capability, even if the graphene makes up less than 2.5 percent of the core weight. Based on results shown in the patent application, the best-performing balls with graphene in the core formulation lasted almost twice as long as the control ball before it cracked.

Further, using graphene could allow golf ball makers to create a much firmer second core layer or a much softer primary core without having to worry as much about the ball being compromised with the contrasting materials at impact.

Callaway’s patent application covers the use of graphene in pretty much every current golf ball construction, including six-piece balls, but does seem to focus on the five-piece ball most. If leaks from the Japanese market and the Callaway team on social media are a good indicator, graphene will be a key part of Callaway’s new Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls.
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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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