Why do golf balls have dimples?

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How to Slice a Golf Ball

It's something that you've certainly seen and felt countless times, but probably have never given a second thought.

Whether you've ever stepped foot on a golf course or not, everybody knows what a golf ball looks like. Those strange dimples encompass the entire thing -- but why? Wouldn't a smoother ball be easier to strike?

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Well, early golfers used to think so. They suspected smoother surface would create less wind resistance, thus enabling the ball to soar further in the air. Wrong!

Golfers eventually realized that their golf balls were flying further after they were scuffed and even dented. By the time 1930 rolled around, dimpled golf balls were the industry standard.

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The science behind it? Dimples help lift the ball by forcing air downward. It's that simple!

The usual golf ball has between 300 and 500 dimples on it -- but there's no rules or regulations limiting that number.

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See photos of President Obama golfing in Hawaii:

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President Obama golfs in Hawaii
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Why do golf balls have dimples?
US President Barack Obama arrives on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Secret Service agents and other players linger after US President Barack Obama clipped a ball in on the 18th green of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama walks on the 18th green of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A motorcade with US President Barack Obama is seen from a bus while traveling to the United States Marine Corps base December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. President Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for a vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
People look on after a motorcade with US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama passed by while traveling to Morimoto's Restaurant for dinner in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 20, 2015. Obama and his family arrived early on December 19 in Hawaii where they will spend the Christmas and New Year holidays. AFP PHOTO / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A motorcade with US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama is seen while traveling from Maliki State Forest for a hike December 20, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama tips his hat to onlookers after dipping the ball in on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama is seen in an armored car while leaving Maliki State Forest with US President Barack Obama after a hike December 20, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama celebrates after dipping the ball in on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Milady personnel watch a body of water while a motorcade with US President Barack Obama passes December 22, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. President Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for a vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A motorcade with US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama leaves their vacation home for a hike along the Koko Head Trail December 22, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. President Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A motorcade with US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama drives to Koko Head Trail December 22, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for a vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) speaks with Bobby Titcomb (C) and Darrell Harrington (L) on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Secret Service, local law enforcement and others watch from a distance as US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama walk the Koko Head Trail December 22, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and US First Lady Michelle Obama leave the Koko Head Trail area after a hike December 22, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Darrell Harrington (L), US President Barack Obama (C), and Greg Orme arrive on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) and Darrell Harrington (L) arrive on the 18th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club's golf course December 21, 2015 in Kailua, Hawaii. Obama and the First Family are in Hawaii for vacation. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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