One of the smallest objects in golf has become a giant in Tuscany, where a huge golf ball triumphs on the seaside roundabout between Orbetello and Porto Santo Stefano of the Monte Argentario Promontory.
The monument is sponsored by the Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort, the only property with the prestigious ‘PGA National Italy’ title awarded by the Professional Golfers’ Association.
In April 2022, the luxury resort inaugurated its new entrance, which can be reached from this rotary featuring the golf ball with a diameter of 1.40 meters (4.59 feet).
The Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort features design rooms, luxury villas, two restaurants serving Tuscan and Mediterranean cuisine, and a modern and spacious wellness center. It also offers sports facilities immersed in nature, such as the eco-friendly and panoramic 18-hole Argentario Golf Club (PGA Golf Course Italy), the Argentario Golf Academy (PGA National Academy Italy), tennis and padel courts, an outdoor fitness station, jogging trails and a small football pitch.
History of the golf ball
Artemare Club, a meeting point in Porto Santo Stefano for all sea lovers, has on display golf collectibles, such as accessories and books, owned by the club’s president Daniele Busetto and his son Jose Gregorio. Upon the inauguration of Italy’s biggest golf ball by Argentario Golf & Wellness Resort, Artemare Club remembered the history of this important object in a press release.
The first golf balls dated back to the early 1400s and were made of wood. Wooden golf balls were used until 1618 when the feathery ball was invented, composed of a leather sack filled with goose or chicken feathers. In 1848, these were replaced by the golf balls created from the dried sap of the Gutta Percha tree, which was very common in Malaysia. It was Rev. Robert Adams Paterson, a Scottish-American clergyman, who invented the gutta-percha golf ball — known as the guttie or gutty.
As explained by foundgolfballs.com: “The arrival of the gutta-percha ball revolutionized the game of golf and allowed its spread to the masses. […] The gutty had a much greater impact on the game of golf due to its affordability, playability and durability.“
The guttie was initially handmade, but later steel presses were used to create uniform balls with dimples, making golf even more affordable and a sport for the masses.
Another revolution occurred in 1898 when Coburn Haskell invented the rubber core golf ball. In 1932, the United States Golf Association established the standard for the ball size and weight: 42.67 mm (1.680 inches) in diameter and a weight of 45.93 grams (1.62 ounces). Golf ball technology has continued to change ever since, reaching new levels of design.