Golf Playing Through: Golf, the Canadian Story

The Rise of Technology: 1901 to 1920  
The Rubber-cored Ball Club Development Canadian Pros Golf Goes to War

The Rubber-cored Ball

"No other single event in the history of golf has so quickly changed the playing of the game, and the face of the golf course, as the introduction of the rubber-cored ball." James Barclay (in Golf in Canada, A History, 1992).

In 1898 the rubber-cored wound ball was invented by an American dentist, Dr. Coburn Haskell. This design involved winding india-rubber thread around a solid rubber core. The ball was made with a gutta-percha cover marked with various patterns to give the ball a specific trajectory.

The Haskell ball was not generally available in Canada until about 1903, but it soon brought changes to this country's golf courses. Although many Canadian courses were already undergoing changes at this time, including lengthening, adding more bunkers, and increasing the number of holes, the demands of the new ball prompted many clubs to improve their courses.

Rubber-core Ball - 994.9.32 - CD97-385-084 Figure 18: A Haskell Bramble, the first wound, rubber core golf ball, patented in Canada November 9, 1898.
CMC 994.9.32