Monday, June 22, 2009

Colour My Ball

If I played golf this would be my ball :)

Source: Daily Yomiuri

Though pristine white golf balls have been de rigueur since time immemorial, professional and amateur golfers alike are increasingly turning to colored balls in a bid to enhance their fashion credentials--and their score cards.

Earlier this month, Bic Camera Inc.'s Yurakucho store in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, set up a colored golf ball section within its golfing goods department.

"More than half our female customers choose colored balls, and many people are buying them as a present," a store official said. The official went on to say that many people see the white balls as somewhat formal, and as a result, many beginners opt for the more vibrant sporting spheres.

According to a survey by major golf-goods maker Bridgestone Sports Co., 32 percent of amateur golfers said they had used colored balls in 2007, while this figure increased to 39 percent for 2008.

This trend was especially marked among female amateur golfers, with 75 percent of female respondents saying they had been teeing off with the more vivid balls in 2008--an increase of 65 percent from 2007.

Reasons cited for using the norm-bucking product include ease of distinction from others' balls and quick detection after having sliced into the rough.

While there are rules governing the size and aerodynamics of standard golf balls, there are no stipulations regarding color. Though colored balls appeared on the market in the 1980s, they proved no more than a novelty hit due to limited painting techniques and generally low quality.

However, thanks to recent advances in manufacturing techniques, makers can now produce colored golf balls on a par with their paler spherical cousins--a fact that has helped boost the popularity of the eye-catching orbs.

Professional golfers, too, are bringing a splash of color to the fairways. Shigeki Maruyama, who used a yellow ball for the season's opening domestic tour, said, "It's easy to visualize and follow the trajectory [of colored balls]"

Golfers already wear colourful clothes and still wear plaid and funny hats. Might as well have coloured balls. I know on the LPGA Paula Creamer used a pink golf ball. In fact she wear all pink on Sundays. We all know Tiger Woods wears red on Sundays. Perhaps he should start using a red ball!

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