 an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein: the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain
 the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters

for the minimum dimple diameter,
$\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{1}_{\mathrm{min}}\le \frac{1}{2}\left(\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{2}_{\mathrm{min}}\right),$ where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter  and the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is the same as the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain.
Dimple patterns for golf balls
Updated Time 12 June 2019
Patent Registration DataPublication Number
US10150006
Application Number
US15/707058
Application Date
18 September 2017
Publication Date
11 December 2018
Current Assignee
ACUSHNET COMPANY
Original Assignee (Applicant)
ACUSHNET COMPANY
International Classification
A63B37/12,A63B37/00
Cooperative Classification
A63B37/0006,A63B37/002,A63B37/0004,A63B37/0018,A63B37/0021
Inventor
MADSON, MICHAEL R.,NARDACCI, NICHOLAS M.
Patent Images
This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.
Abstract
The present invention provides a method for arranging dimples on a golf ball surface in which the dimples are arranged in a pattern derived from at least one irregular domain generated from a regular or nonregular polyhedron. The method includes choosing control points of a polyhedron, generating an irregular domain based on those control points, packing the irregular domain with dimples, and tessellating the irregular domain to cover the surface of the golf ball. The control points include the center of a polyhedral face, a vertex of the polyhedron, a midpoint or other point on an edge of the polyhedron and others. The method ensures that the symmetry of the underlying polyhedron is preserved while minimizing or eliminating great circles due to parting lines.
Claims
1. A golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein:
the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain; the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters; for the minimum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter; and the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is the same as the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain.
2. A golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein:
the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain; the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters; for the minimum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter; and the first domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter, and the second domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter.
3. The golf ball of claim 2, wherein the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least five different diameters including the minimum dimple diameter, the maximum dimple diameter, a first additional dimple diameter, a second additional dimple diameter, and a third additional dimple diameter.
4. The golf ball of claim 3, wherein the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having five different diameters, wherein the first domain consists of dimples having four different diameters, and the second domain consists of dimples having four different diameters.
5. The golf ball of claim 4, wherein the total number of dimples on the outer surface is 350.
6. The golf ball of claim 2, wherein the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having four different diameters, including the minimum dimple diameter, the maximum dimple diameter, a first additional dimple diameter, and a second additional dimple diameter.
7. The golf ball of claim 6, wherein the first domain consists of dimples having four different diameters, and the second domain consists of dimples having four different diameters.
8. The golf ball of claim 7, wherein the total number of dimples on the outer surface is 374.
9. A golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein:
the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain; the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters; for the maximum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter; and the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is the same as the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain.
10. A golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein:
the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain; the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters; for the maximum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter; and the first domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter, and the second domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter.
11. The golf ball of claim 10, wherein the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least five different diameters including the minimum dimple diameter, the maximum dimple diameter, a first additional dimple diameter, a second additional dimple diameter, and a third additional dimple diameter.
12. The golf ball of claim 11, wherein the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having five different diameters, wherein the first domain consists of dimples having four different diameters, and the second domain consists of dimples having four different diameters.
13. The golf ball of claim 12, wherein the total number of dimples on the outer surface is 350.
14. The golf ball of claim 10, wherein the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having four different diameters, including the minimum dimple diameter, the maximum dimple diameter, a first additional dimple diameter, and a second additional dimple diameter.
15. The golf ball of claim 14, wherein the first domain consists of dimples having four different diameters, and the second domain consists of dimples having four different diameters.
16. The golf ball of claim 15, wherein the total number of dimples on the outer surface is 374.
Claim Tree

11. A golf ball having

22. A golf ball having
 an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein: the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain
 the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters

for the minimum dimple diameter,
$\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{1}_{\mathrm{min}}\le \frac{1}{2}\left(\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{2}_{\mathrm{min}}\right),$ where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter  and the first domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter, and the second domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter.

3. The golf ball of claim 2, wherein
 the plurality of dimples comprises

6. The golf ball of claim 2, wherein
 the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having

99. A golf ball having
 an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein: the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain
 the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters

for the maximum dimple diameter,
$\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{1}_{\mathrm{max}}\le \frac{1}{2}\left(\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{2}_{\mathrm{max}}\right),$ where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter  and the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is the same as the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain.

1010. A golf ball having
 an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains, and wherein: the dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain
 the plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters

for the maximum dimple diameter,
$\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{1}_{\mathrm{max}}\le \frac{1}{2}\left(\mathrm{SD}\phantom{\rule{0.3em}{0.3ex}}{2}_{\mathrm{max}}\right),$ where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter  and the first domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter, and the second domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter.

11. The golf ball of claim 10, wherein
 the plurality of dimples comprises

14. The golf ball of claim 10, wherein
 the plurality of dimples consists of dimples having
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to golf balls, particularly to golf balls possessing uniquely packed dimple patterns. More particularly, the invention relates to methods of arranging dimples on a golf ball by generating irregular domains based on polyhedrons, packing the irregular domains with dimples, and tessellating the domains onto the surface of the golf ball.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Historically, dimple patterns for golf balls have had a variety of geometric shapes, patterns, and configurations. Primarily, patterns are laid out in order to provide desired performance characteristics based on the particular ball construction, material attributes, and player characteristics influencing the ball's initial launch angle and spin conditions. Therefore, pattern development is a secondary design step that is used to achieve the appropriate aerodynamic behavior, thereby tailoring ball flight characteristics and performance.
Aerodynamic forces generated by a ball in flight are a result of its velocity and spin. These forces can be represented by a lift force and a drag force. Lift force is perpendicular to the direction of flight and is a result of air velocity differences above and below the rotating ball. This phenomenon is attributed to Magnus, who described it in 1853 after studying the aerodynamic forces on spinning spheres and cylinders, and is described by Bernoulli's Equation, a simplification of the first law of thermodynamics. Bernoulli's equation relates pressure and velocity where pressure is inversely proportional to the square of velocity. The velocity differential, due to faster moving air on top and slower moving air on the bottom, results in lower air pressure on top and an upward directed force on the ball.
Drag is opposite in sense to the direction of flight and orthogonal to lift. The drag force on a ball is attributed to parasitic drag forces, which consist of pressure drag and viscous or skin friction drag. A sphere is a bluff body, which is an inefficient aerodynamic shape. As a result, the accelerating flow field around the ball causes a large pressure differential with highpressure forward and lowpressure behind the ball. The low pressure area behind the ball is also known as the wake. In order to minimize pressure drag, dimples provide a means to energize the flow field and delay the separation of flow, or reduce the wake region behind the ball. Skin friction is a viscous effect residing close to the surface of the ball within the boundary layer.
The industry has seen many efforts to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency of golf balls, through dimple disturbance and other methods, though they are closely controlled by golf's national governing body, the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.). One U.S.G.A. requirement is that golf balls have aerodynamic symmetry. Aerodynamic symmetry allows the ball to fly with a very small amount of variation no matter how the golf ball is placed on the tee or ground. Preferably, dimples cover the maximum surface area of the golf ball without detrimentally affecting the aerodynamic symmetry of the golf ball.
In attempts to improve aerodynamic symmetry, many dimple patterns are based on geometric shapes. These may include circles, hexagons, triangles, and the like. Other dimple patterns are based in general on the five Platonic Solids including icosahedron, dodecahedron, octahedron, cube, or tetrahedron. Yet other dimple patterns are based on the thirteen Archimedian Solids, such as the small icosidodecahedron, rhomicosidodecahedron, small rhombicuboctahedron, snub cube, snub dodecahedron, or truncated icosahedron. Furthermore, other dimple patterns are based on hexagonal dipyramids. Because the number of symmetric solid plane systems is limited, it is difficult to devise new symmetric patterns. Moreover, dimple patterns based some of these geometric shapes result in less than optimal surface coverage and other disadvantageous dimple arrangements. Therefore, dimple properties such as number, shape, size, volume, and arrangement are often manipulated in an attempt to generate a golf ball that has improved aerodynamic properties.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,562,552 to Thurman discloses a golf ball with an icosahedral dimple pattern, wherein each triangular face of the icosahedron is split by a three straight lines which each bisect a corner of the face to form 3 triangular faces for each icosahedral face, wherein the dimples are arranged consistently on the icosahedral faces.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,046,742 to Mackey discloses a golf ball with dimples packed into a 32sided polyhedron composed of hexagons and pentagons, wherein the dimple packing is the same in each hexagon and in each pentagon.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,998,733 to Lee discloses a golf ball formed of ten “spherical” hexagons each split into six equilateral triangles, wherein each triangle is split by a bisecting line extending between a vertex of the triangle and the midpoint of the side opposite the vertex, and the bisecting lines are oriented to achieve improved symmetry.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,682,442 to Winfield discloses the use of polygons as packing elements for dimples to introduce predictable variance into the dimple pattern. The polygons extend from the poles of the ball to a parting line. Any space not filled with dimples from the polygons is filled with other dimples.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In one embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf ball having an outer surface comprising a real parting line, a plurality of false parting lines, and a plurality of dimples. The dimples are arranged in multiple copies of one or more irregular domain(s) covering the outer surface in a uniform pattern. The irregular domain(s) are defined by nonstraight segments, and one of the nonstraight segments of each of the multiple copies of the irregular domain(s) forms either a portion of the real parting line or a portion of one of the plurality of false parting lines.
In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a method for arranging a plurality of dimples on a golf ball surface. The method comprises generating a first and a second irregular domain based on an octahedron using a midpoint to midpoint method, mapping the first and second irregular domains onto a sphere, packing the first and second irregular domains with dimples, and tessellating the first and second domains to cover the sphere in a uniform pattern. The midpoint to midpoint method comprises providing a single face of the octahedron, the face comprising a first edge connected to a second edge at a vertex; connecting the midpoint of the first edge with the midpoint of the second edge with a nonstraight segment; rotating copies of the segment about the center of the face such that the segment and the copies fully surround the center and form the first irregular domain bounded by the segment and the copies; and rotating subsequent copies of the segment about the vertex such that the segment and the subsequent copies fully surround the vertex and form the second irregular domain bounded by the segment and the subsequent copies.
In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples, wherein the dimples are arranged by a method comprising generating a first and a second irregular domain based on an octahedron using a midpoint to midpoint method, mapping the first and second irregular domains onto a sphere, packing the first and second irregular domains with dimples, and tessellating the first and second domains to cover the sphere in a uniform pattern.
In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains. The first domain has threeway rotational symmetry about the central point of the first domain. The second domain has fourway rotational symmetry about the central point of the second domain. The dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain.
In another embodiment, the present invention is directed to a golf ball having an outer surface comprising a plurality of dimples disposed thereon, wherein the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain, the first domain and the second domain being tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles and consisting of eight first domains and six second domains. The dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain. The plurality of dimples comprises dimples having at least two different diameters, including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters. In a particular aspect of this embodiment, for the minimum dimple diameter, SD1_{min}≤½(SD2_{min}), where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter. In another particular aspect of this embodiment, for the maximum dimple diameter, SD1_{max}≤½(SD2_{max}), where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith, and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views:
FIG. 1A illustrates a golf ball having dimples arranged by a method of the present invention; FIG. 1B illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 1C illustrates an element of the present invention in the polyhedron face of FIG. 1B; FIG. 1D illustrates a domain formed by a methods of the present invention packed with dimples and formed from two elements of FIG. 1C;
FIG. 2 illustrates a single face of a polyhedron having control points thereon;
FIG. 3A illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 3B illustrates an element of the present invention packed with dimples; FIG. 3C illustrates a domain of the present invention packed with dimples formed from elements of FIG. 3B; FIG. 3D illustrates a golf ball formed by a method of the present invention formed of the domain of FIG. 3C;
FIG. 4A illustrates two polyhedron faces; FIG. 4B illustrates a first domain of the present invention in the two polyhedron faces of FIG. 4A; FIG. 4C illustrates a first domain and a second domain of the present invention in three polyhedron faces; FIG. 4D illustrates a golf ball formed by a method of the present invention formed of the domains of FIG. 4C;
FIG. 5A illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 5B illustrates a first domain of the present invention in a polyhedron face; FIG. 5C illustrates a first domain and a second domain of the present invention in three polyhedron faces; FIG. 5D illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention formed of the domains of FIG. 5C;
FIG. 6A illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 6B illustrates a portion of a domain of the present invention in the polyhedron face of FIG. 6A; FIG. 6C illustrates a domain formed by the methods of the present invention; FIG. 6D illustrates a golf ball formed using the methods of the present invention formed of domains of FIG. 6C;
FIG. 7A illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 7B illustrates a domain of the present invention in the polyhedron face of FIG. 7A; FIG. 7C illustrates a golf ball formed by a method of the present invention;
FIG. 8A illustrates a first element of the present invention in a polyhedron face; FIG. 8B illustrates a first and a second element of the present invention in the polyhedron face of FIG. 8A; FIG. 8C illustrates two domains of the present invention composed of first and second elements of FIG. 8B; FIG. 8D illustrates a single domain of the present invention based on the two domains of FIG. 8C; FIG. 8E illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention formed of the domains of FIG. 8D;
FIG. 9A illustrates a polyhedron face; FIG. 9B illustrates an element of the present invention in the polyhedron face of FIG. 9A; FIG. 9C illustrates two elements of FIG. 9B combining to form a domain of the present invention;
FIG. 9D illustrates a domain formed by the methods of the present invention based on the elements of FIG. 9C; FIG. 9E illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention formed of domains of FIG. 9D;
FIG. 10A illustrates a face of a rhombic dodecahedron; FIG. 10B illustrates a segment of the present invention in the face of FIG. 10A; FIG. 10C illustrates the segment of FIG. 10B and copies thereof forming a domain of the present invention; FIG. 10D illustrates a domain formed by a method of the present invention based on the segments of FIG. 10C; and FIG. 10E illustrates a golf ball formed by a method of the present invention formed of domains of FIG. 10D.
FIG. 11A illustrates an octahedron face projected on a sphere; FIG. 11B illustrates a first domain of the present invention in the octahedron face of FIG. 11A; FIG. 11C illustrates a first domain and a second domain of the present invention projected on a sphere; FIG. 11D illustrates the domains of FIG. 11C tessellated to cover the surface of a sphere; FIG. 11E illustrates a portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; FIG. 11F illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; and FIG. 11G illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention.
FIG. 11H illustrates a portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; FIG. 11I illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; and FIG. 11J illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention.
FIG. 11K illustrates a portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; FIG. 11L illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; and FIG. 11M illustrates a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention.
FIG. 11N illustrates a portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; FIG. 11O illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; and FIG. 11P illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention.
FIG. 11Q illustrates a portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; FIG. 11R illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention; and FIG. 11S illustrates another portion of a golf ball formed using a method of the present invention.
FIGS. 12A and 12B illustrate a method for determining nearest neighbor dimples.
FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram illustrating a method for measuring the diameter of a dimple.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The present invention provides a method for arranging dimples on a golf ball surface in a pattern derived from at least one irregular domain generated from a regular or nonregular polyhedron. The method includes choosing control points of a polyhedron, connecting the control points with a nonstraight sketch line, patterning the sketch line in a first manner to generate an irregular domain, optionally patterning the sketch line in a second manner to create an additional irregular domain, packing the irregular domain(s) with dimples, and tessellating the irregular domain(s) to cover the surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern. The control points include the center of a polyhedral face, a vertex of the polyhedron, a midpoint or other point on an edge of the polyhedron, and others. The method ensures that the symmetry of the underlying polyhedron is preserved while minimizing or eliminating great circles due to parting lines from the molding process.
In a particular embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 1A, the present invention comprises a golf ball 10 comprising dimples 12. Dimples 12 are arranged by packing irregular domains 14 with dimples, as seen best in FIG. 1D. Irregular domains 14 are created in such a way that, when tessellated on the surface of golf ball 10, they impart greater orders of symmetry to the surface than prior art balls. The irregular shape of domains 14 additionally minimize the appearance and effect of the golf ball parting line from the molding process, and allows greater flexibility in arranging dimples than would be available with regularly shaped domains.
For purposes of the present invention, the term “irregular domains” refers to domains wherein at least one, and preferably all, of the segments defining the borders of the domain is not a straight line.
The irregular domains can be defined through the use of any one of the exemplary methods described herein. Each method produces one or more unique domains based on circumscribing a sphere with the vertices of a regular polyhedron. The vertices of the circumscribed sphere based on the vertices of the corresponding polyhedron with origin (0,0,0) are defined below in Table 1.
Each method has a unique set of rules which are followed for the domain to be symmetrically patterned on the surface of the golf ball. Each method is defined by the combination of at least two control points. These control points, which are taken from one or more faces of a regular or nonregular polyhedron, consist of at least three different types: the center C of a polyhedron face; a vertex V of a face of a regular polyhedron; and the midpoint M of an edge of a face of the polyhedron. FIG. 2 shows an exemplary face 16 of a polyhedron (a regular dodecahedron in this case) and one of each a center C, a midpoint M, a vertex V, and an edge E on face 16. The two control points C, M, or V may be of the same or different types. Accordingly, six types of methods for use with regular polyhedrons are defined as follows:
1. Center to midpoint (C→C);
2. Center to center (C→C);
3. Center to vertex (C→V);
4. Midpoint to midpoint (M→M);
5. Midpoint to Vertex (M→V); and
6. Vertex to Vertex (V→V).
While each method differs in its particulars, they all follow the same basic scheme. First, a nonlinear sketch line is drawn connecting the two control points. This sketch line may have any shape, including, but not limited, to an arc, a spline, two or more straight or arcuate lines or curves, or a combination thereof. Second, the sketch line is patterned in a method specific manner to create a domain, as discussed below. Third, when necessary, the sketch line is patterned in a second fashion to create a second domain.
While the basic scheme is consistent for each of the six methods, each method preferably follows different steps in order to generate the domains from a sketch line between the two control points, as described below with reference to each of the methods individually.
The Center to Vertex Method
Referring again to FIGS. 1A1D, the center to vertex method yields one domain that tessellates to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 1A1D use an icosahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 1B;
 3. Center C of face 16, and a first vertex V_{1 }of face 16 are connected with any nonlinear sketch line, hereinafter referred to as a segment 18;
 4. A copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated about center C, such that copy 20 connects center C with vertex V_{2 }adjacent to vertex V_{1}. The two segments 18 and 20 and the edge E connecting vertices V_{1 }and V_{2 }define an element 22, as shown best in FIG. 1C; and
 5. Element 22 is rotated about midpoint M of edge E to create a domain 14, as shown best in FIG. 1D.
When domain 14 is tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 1A, a different number of total domains 14 will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points C and V_{1}. The number of domains 14 used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is equal to the number of faces P_{F }of the polyhedron chosen times the number of edges P_{E }per face of the polyhedron divided by 2, as shown below in Table 2.
The Center to Midpoint Method
Referring to FIGS. 3A3D, the center to midpoint method yields a single irregular domain that can be tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 3A3D use a dodecahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 3A;
 3. Center C of face 16, and midpoint M_{1 }of a first edge E_{1 }of face 16 are connected with a segment 18;
 4. A copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated about center C, such that copy 20 connects center C with a midpoint M_{2 }of a second edge E_{2 }adjacent to first edge E_{1}. The two segments 16 and 18 and the portions of edge E_{1 }and edge E_{2 }between midpoints M_{1 }and M_{2 }define an element 22; and
 5. Element 22 is patterned about vertex V of face 16 which is contained in element 22 and connects edges E_{1 }and E_{2 }to create a domain 14.
When domain 14 is tessellated around a golf ball 10 to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 3D, a different number of total domains 14 will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points C and M_{1}. The number of domains 14 used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is equal to the number of vertices P_{V }of the chosen polyhedron, as shown below in Table 3.
The Center to Center Method
Referring to FIGS. 4A4D, the center to center method yields two domains that can be tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domains are defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 4A4D use a dodecahedron);
 2. Two adjacent faces 16a and 16b of the regular polyhedron are chosen, as shown in FIG. 4A;
 3. Center C_{1 }of face 16a, and center C_{2 }of face 16b are connected with a segment 18;
 4. A copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated 180 degrees about the midpoint M between centers C_{1 }and C_{2}, such that copy 20 also connects center C_{1 }with center C_{2}, as shown in FIG. 4B. The two segments 16 and 18 define a first domain 14a; and
 5. Segment 18 is rotated equally about vertex V to define a second domain 14b, as shown in FIG. 4C.
When first domain 14a and second domain 14b are tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 4D, a different number of total domains 14a and 14b will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points C_{1 }and C_{2}. The number of first and second domains 14a and 14b used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is P_{F}*P_{E}/2 for first domain 14a and P_{v }for second domain 14b, as shown below in Table 4.
The Midpoint to Midpoint Method
Referring to FIGS. 5A5D and 11A11S, the midpoint to midpoint method yields two domains that tessellate to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domains are defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 5A5D use a dodecahedron, FIGS. 11A11S use an octahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is projected onto a sphere, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 11A;
 3. The midpoint M_{1 }of a first edge E_{1 }of face 16, and the midpoint M_{2 }of a second edge E_{2 }adjacent to first edge E_{1 }are connected with a segment 18, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 11A;
 4. Segment 18 is patterned around center C of face 16, at an angle of rotation equal to 360/P_{E}, to form a first domain 14a, as shown in FIGS. 5B and 11B;
 5. Segment 18, along with the portions of first edge E_{1 }and second edge E_{2 }between midpoints M_{1 }and M_{2}, define an element 22, as shown in FIGS. 5B and 11B; and
 6. Element 22 is patterned about the vertex V which connects edges E_{1 }and E_{2 }to create a second domain 14b, as shown in FIGS. 5C and 11C. The number of segments in the pattern that forms the second domain is equal to P_{F}*P_{E}/P_{v}.
When first domain 14a and second domain 14b are tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIGS. 5D and 11D, a different number of total domains 14a and 14b will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points M_{1 }and M_{2}. The number of first and second domains 14a and 14b used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is P_{F }for first domain 14a and P_{V }for second domain 14b, as shown below in Table 5.
In a particular aspect of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11A11S, segment 18 forms a portion of a real or false parting line of golf ball 10. Thus, segment 18, along with each copy thereof that is produced by steps 4 and 6 above, produce the real and three false parting lines of the ball when the domains are tessellated to cover the ball's surface.
The Midpoint to Vertex Method
Referring to FIGS. 6A6D, the midpoint to vertex method yields one domain that tessellates to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 6A6D use a dodecahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 6A;
 3. A midpoint M_{1 }of edge E_{1 }of face 16 and a vertex V_{1 }on edge E_{1 }are connected with a segment 18;
 4. Copies 20 of segment 18 is patterned about center C of face 16, one for each midpoint M_{2 }and vertex V_{2 }of face 16, to define a portion of domain 14, as shown in FIG. 6B; and
 5. Segment 18 and copies 20 are then each rotated 180 degrees about their respective midpoints to complete domain 14, as shown in FIG. 6C.
When domain 14 is tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 6D, a different number of total domains 14 will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points M_{1 }and V_{1}. The number of domains 14 used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is P_{F}, as shown in Table 6.
The Vertex to Vertex Method
Referring to FIGS. 7A7C, the vertex to vertex method yields two domains that tessellate to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domains are defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 7A7C use an icosahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 7A;
 3. A first vertex V_{1 }face 16, and a second vertex V_{2 }adjacent to first vertex V_{1 }are connected with a segment 18;
 4. Segment 18 is patterned around center C of face 16 to form a first domain 14a, as shown in FIG. 7B;
 5. Segment 18, along with edge E_{1 }between vertices V_{1 }and V_{2}, defines an element 22; and
 6. Element 22 is rotated around midpoint M_{1 }of edge E_{1 }to create a second domain 14b.
When first domain 14a and second domain 14b are tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 7C, a different number of total domains 14a and 14b will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points V_{1 }and V_{2}. The number of first and second domains 14a and 14b used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is P_{F }for first domain 14a and P_{F}*P_{E}/2 for second domain 14b, as shown below in Table 7.
While the six methods previously described each make use of two control points, it is possible to create irregular domains based on more than two control points. For example, three, or even more, control points may be used. The use of additional control points allows for potentially different shapes for irregular domains. An exemplary method using a midpoint M, a center C and a vertex V as three control points for creating one irregular domain is described below.
The Midpoint to Center to Vertex Method
Referring to FIGS. 8A8E, the midpoint to center to vertex method yields one domain that tessellates to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 8A8E use an icosahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 8A;
 3. A midpoint M_{1 }on edge E_{1 }of face 16, Center C of face 16 and a vertex V_{1 }on edge E_{1 }are connected with a segment 18, and segment 18 and the portion of edge E_{1 }between midpoint M_{1 }and vertex V_{1 }define a first element 22a, as shown in FIG. 8A;
 4. A copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated about center C, such that copy 20 connects center C with a midpoint M_{2 }on edge E_{2 }adjacent to edge E_{1}, and connects center C with a vertex V_{2 }at the intersection of edges E_{1 }and E_{2}, and the portion of segment 18 between midpoint M_{1 }and center C, the portion of copy 20 between vertex V_{2 }and center C, and the portion of edge E_{1 }between midpoint M_{1 }and vertex V_{2 }define a second element 22b, as shown in FIG. 8B;
 5. First element 22a and second element 22b are rotated about midpoint M_{1 }of edge E_{1}, as seen in FIG. 8C, to define two domains 14, wherein a single domain 14 is bounded solely by portions of segment 18 and copy 20 and the rotation 18′ of segment 18, as seen in FIG. 8D.
When domain 14 is tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 8E, a different number of total domains 14 will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points M, C, and V. The number of domains 14 used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is equal to the number of faces P_{F }of the polyhedron chosen times the number of edges P_{E }per face of the polyhedron, as shown below in Table 8.
While the methods described previously provide a framework for the use of center C, vertex V, and midpoint M as the only control points, other control points are useable. For example, a control point may be any point P on an edge E of the chosen polyhedron face. When this type of control point is used, additional types of domains may be generated, though the mechanism for creating the irregular domain(s) may be different. An exemplary method, using a center C and a point P on an edge, for creating one such irregular domain is described below.
The Center to Edge Method
Referring to FIGS. 9A9E, the center to edge method yields one domain that tessellates to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A regular polyhedron is chosen (FIGS. 9A9E use an icosahedron);
 2. A single face 16 of the regular polyhedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 9A;
 3. Center C of face 16, and a point P_{1 }on edge E_{1 }are connected with a segment 18;
 4. A copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated about center C, such that copy 20 connects center C with a point P_{2 }on edge E_{2 }adjacent to edge E_{1}, where point P_{2 }is positioned identically relative to edge E_{2 }as point P_{1 }is positioned relative to edge E_{1}, such that the two segments 18 and 20 and the portions of edges E_{1 }and E_{2 }between points P_{1 }and P_{2}, respectively, and a vertex V, which connects edges E_{1 }and E_{2}, define an element 22, as shown best in FIG. 9B; and
 5. Element 22 is rotated about midpoint M_{1 }of edge E_{1 }or midpoint M_{2 }of edge E_{2}, whichever is located within element 22, as seen in FIGS. 9B9C, to create a domain 14, as seen in FIG. 9D.
When domain 14 is tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 9E, a different number of total domains 14 will result depending on the regular polyhedron chosen as the basis for control points C and P_{1}. The number of domains 14 used to cover the surface of golf ball 10 is equal to the number of faces P_{F }of the polyhedron chosen times the number of edges P_{E }per face of the polyhedron divided by 2, as shown below in Table 9.
Though each of the above described methods has been explained with reference to regular polyhedrons, they may also be used with certain nonregular polyhedrons, such as Archimedean Solids, Catalan Solids, or others. The methods used to derive the irregular domains will generally require some modification in order to account for the nonregular face shapes of the nonregular solids. An exemplary method for use with a Catalan Solid, specifically a rhombic dodecahedron, is described below.
A Vertex to Vertex Method for a Rhombic Dodecahedron
Referring to FIGS. 10A10E, a vertex to vertex method based on a rhombic dodecahedron yields one domain that tessellates to cover the surface of golf ball 10. The domain is defined as follows:
 1. A single face 16 of the rhombic dodecahedron is chosen, as shown in FIG. 10A;
 2. A first vertex V_{1 }face 16, and a second vertex V_{2 }adjacent to first vertex V_{1 }are connected with a segment 18, as shown in FIG. 10B;
 3. A first copy 20 of segment 18 is rotated about vertex V_{2}, such that it connects vertex V_{2 }to vertex V3 of face 16, a second copy 24 of segment 18 is rotated about center C, such that it connects vertex V_{3 }and vertex V_{4 }of face 16, and a third copy 26 of segment 18 is rotated about vertex V_{1 }such that it connects vertex V_{1 }to vertex V_{4}, all as shown in FIG. 10C, to form a domain 14, as shown in FIG. 10D;
When domain 14 is tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10, as shown in FIG. 10E, twelve domains will be used to cover the surface of golf ball 10, one for each face of the rhombic dodecahedron.
After the irregular domain(s) are created using any of the above methods, the domain(s) may be packed with dimples in order to be usable in creating golf ball 10.
In FIGS. 11E11S, a first domain and a second domain are created using the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron. FIG. 11E shows a first domain 14a and a portion of a second domain 14b packed with dimples, with the dimples of the first domain 14a designated by the letter a. FIG. 11F shows a second domain 14b and a portion of a first domain 14a packed with dimples, with the dimples of the second domain 14b designated by the letter b. FIG. 11G shows a first domain 14a and a second domain 14b packed with dimples and tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10.
FIG. 11H shows a first domain 14a packed with dimples and a portion of a second domain 14b packed with dimples, but the dimples are packed within the domains in different patterns than those shown in FIG. 11E. In FIG. 11H, the first domain 14a is designated by shading. FIG. 11I shows the second domain 14b and the first domain 14a with the dimples packed within the domains in the same pattern as that shown in FIG. 11H. In FIG. 11I, the second domain 14b is designated by shading. FIG. 11J shows the first and second domains packed with dimples according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11H and 11I tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10.
FIG. 11K shows a first domain 14a packed with dimples and a portion of a second domain 14b packed with dimples, but the dimples are packed within the domains in different patterns than those shown in FIGS. 11E and 11H. In FIG. 11K, the first domain 14a is designated by shading. FIG. 11L shows the second domain 14b and the first domain 14a with the dimples packed within the domains in the same pattern as that shown in FIG. 11K. In FIG. 11L, the second domain 14b is designated by shading. FIG. 11M shows the first and second domains packed with dimples according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11K and 11L tessellated to cover the surface of golf ball 10.
FIG. 11N shows a first domain 14a packed with dimples and a portion of a second domain 14b. FIG. 11O shows the second domain 14b packed with dimples and a portion of the first domain 14a. FIG. 11P shows the first and second domains packed with dimples according to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11N and 11O.
FIG. 11Q shows a first domain 14a packed with dimples and a portion of a second domain 14b. FIG. 11R shows the second domain 14b packed with dimples and a portion of the first domain 14a. FIG. 11S shows the first and second domains packed with dimples according to the embodiments shown in FIGS. 11Q and 11R.
In a particular embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 11E11S, the dimple pattern of the first domain has threeway rotational symmetry about the central point of the first domain, and the dimple pattern of the second domain has fourway rotational symmetry about the central point of the second domain.
In one embodiment, there are no limitations on how the dimples are packed. In another embodiment, the dimples are packed such that no dimple intersects a line segment.
In a particular embodiment, the dimples are packed such that all nearest neighbor dimples are separated by substantially the same distance, δ, wherein the average of all δ values is from 0.002 inches to 0.020 inches, and wherein any individual δ value can vary from the mean by ±0.005 inches. For purposes of the present invention, nearest neighbor dimples are determined according to the following method. A reference dimple and a potential nearest neighbor dimple are selected such that the reference dimple has substantially the same diameter or a smaller diameter than the potential nearest neighbor dimple. Two tangency lines are drawn from the center of the reference dimple to the potential nearest neighbor dimple. A line segment is then drawn connecting the center of the reference dimple to the center of the potential nearest neighbor dimple. If the two tangency lines and the line segment do not intersect any other dimple edges, then those dimples are considered to be nearest neighbors. For example, as shown in FIG. 12A, two tangency lines 3A and 3B are drawn from the center of a reference dimple 1 to a potential nearest neighbor dimple 2. Line segment 4 is then drawn connecting the center of reference dimple 1 to the center of potential nearest neighbor dimple 2. Tangency lines 3A and 3B and line segment 4 do not intersect any other dimple edges, so dimple 1 and dimple 2 are considered nearest neighbors. In FIG. 12B, two tangency lines 3A and 3B are drawn from the center of a reference dimple 1 to a potential nearest neighbor dimple 2. Line segment 4 is then drawn connecting the center of reference dimple 1 to the center of potential nearest neighbor dimple 2. Tangency lines 3A and 3B intersect an alternative dimple, so dimple 1 and dimple 2 are not considered nearest neighbors. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the line segments do not actually have to be drawn on the golf ball. Rather, a computer modeling program capable of performing this operation automatically is preferably used.
Each dimple typically has a diameter within a range having a lower limit of 0.050 or 0.100 inches and an upper limit of 0.205 or 0.250 inches. The diameter of a dimple having a noncircular plan shape is defined by its equivalent diameter, d_{e}, which calculated as:
where A is the plan shape area of the dimple. Diameter measurements are determined on finished golf balls according to FIG. 13. Generally, it may be difficult to measure a dimple's diameter due to the indistinct nature of the boundary dividing the dimple from the ball's undisturbed land surface. Due to the effect of paint and/or the dimple design itself, the junction between the land surface and dimple may not be a sharp corner and is therefore indistinct. This can make the measurement of a dimple's diameter somewhat ambiguous. To resolve this problem, dimple diameter on a finished golf ball is measured according to the method shown in FIG. 13. FIG. 13 shows a dimple halfprofile 34, extending from the dimple centerline 31 to the land surface outside of the dimple 33. A ball phantom surface 32 is constructed above the dimple as a continuation of the land surface 33. A first tangent line T1 is then constructed at a point on the dimple sidewall that is spaced 0.003 inches radially inward from the phantom surface 32. T1 intersects phantom surface 32 at a point P1, which defines a nominal dimple edge position. A second tangent line T2 is then constructed, tangent to the phantom surface 32, at P1. The edge angle is the angle between T1 and T2. The dimple diameter is the distance between P1 and its equivalent point diametrically opposite along the dimple perimeter. Alternatively, it is twice the distance between P1 and the dimple centerline 31, measured in a direction perpendicular to centerline 31. The dimple depth is the distance measured along a ball radius from the phantom surface of the ball to the deepest point on the dimple. The dimple surface volume is the space enclosed between the phantom surface 32 and the dimple surface 34 (extended along T1 until it intersects the phantom surface).
In a particular embodiment, all of the dimples on the outer surface of the ball have the same diameter. It should be understood that “same diameter” dimples includes dimples on a finished ball having respective diameters that differ by less than 0.005 inches due to manufacturing variances.
In another particular embodiment, there are two or more different dimple diameters on the outer surface of the ball, including a minimum dimple diameter, a maximum dimple diameter, and, optionally, one or more additional dimple diameters. The dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain formed according to the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron wherein the first domain and the second domain are tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles. The overall dimple pattern consists of eight first domains and six second domains. Each of the two or more different dimple diameters on the ball has a first domain diameter ratio defined by the equation:
and a second domain diameter ratio defined by the equation:
where SD1 is the number of same diameter dimples positioned within the first domain having said diameter, and SD2 is the number of same diameter dimples positioned within the second domain having said diameter. In a particular aspect of this embodiment, for the minimum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the minimum dimple diameter, and SD2_{min }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the minimum dimple diameter. In another particular aspect of this embodiment, for the maximum dimple diameter,
where SD1_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the first domain having the maximum dimple diameter, and SD2_{max }is the number of dimples positioned within the second domain having the maximum dimple diameter. The dimple pattern optionally has one or more of the following additional characteristics:
 a) the first domain has threeway rotational symmetry about the central point of the first domain, and the second domain has fourway rotational symmetry about the central point of the second domain;
 b) the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is the same as the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain;
 c) the number of different dimple diameters in the first domain is different from the number of different dimple diameters in the second domain;
 d) the first domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter;
 e) the second domain includes at least one dimple having the minimum dimple diameter and at least one dimple having the maximum dimple diameter;
 f) there are at least four, or at least five, different dimple diameters on the outer surface of the ball;
 g) every different dimple diameter on the ball is present in the first domain;
 h) at least one of the different dimple diameters on the ball is not present in the first domain;
 i) every different dimple diameter on the ball is present in the second domain;
 j) at least one of the different dimple diameters on the ball is not present in the second domain;
For example, FIGS. 11N11P illustrate a first domain 14a and a second domain 14b formed according to the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron. The alphabetical labels within the dimples designate same diameter dimples; i.e., all dimples labelled A have the same diameter, all dimples labelled B have the same diameter, and so on. In a particular aspect of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11N11P, the dimples labelled A have a diameter of about 0.110 inches, the dimples labelled B have a diameter of about 0.150 inches, the dimples labelled C have a diameter of about 0.160 inches, the dimples labelled D have a diameter of about 0.170 inches, and the dimples labelled E have a diameter of about 0.185 inches. Thus, according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11N11P, tessellating first domain 14a and second domain 14b about the outer surface of a golf ball results in an overall dimple pattern having a total of 350 dimples arranged within eight copies of first domain 14a and six copies of second domain 14b, the dimples having five different dimple diameters, including a minimum diameter of 0.110 inches, a maximum diameter of 0.185 inches, and three additional dimple diameters, with the first domain having four different dimple diameters (A, B, C, E) and the second domain having four different dimple diameters (A, B, D, E). SD1, SD2, the first domain diameter ratio, and the second domain diameter ratio, for each of the five different dimple diameters are given in Table 10 below.
Thus, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11N11P,
 SD1≥1, SD2≥1, and
for the minimum dimple diameter A;
 SD1≥1, and SD2≥1, for the first additional dimple diameter B;
 SD1≥1, and SD2=0, for the second additional dimple diameter C;
 SD1=0, and SD2≥1, for the second additional dimple diameter D; and
 SD1≥1, SD2≥1, and
for the maximum dimple diameter E.
FIGS. 11Q11S also illustrate a first domain 14a and a second domain 14b formed according to the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron. The alphabetical labels within the dimples designate same diameter dimples; i.e., all dimples labelled A have the same diameter, all dimples labelled B have the same diameter, and so on. In a particular aspect of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11Q11S, the dimples labelled A have a diameter of about 0.110 inches, the dimples labelled B have a diameter of about 0.150 inches, the dimples labelled C have a diameter of about 0.160 inches, and the dimples labelled D have a diameter of about 0.180 inches. Thus, according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11Q11S, tessellating first domain 14a and second domain 14b about the outer surface of a golf ball results in an overall dimple pattern having a total of 374 dimples arranged within eight copies of first domain 14a and six copies of second domain 14b, the dimples having four different dimple diameters, including a minimum diameter of 0.110 inches, a maximum diameter of 0.180 inches, and two additional dimple diameters, with the first domain and the second domain each having all four different dimple diameters (A, B, C, D). SD1, SD2, the first domain diameter ratio, and the second domain diameter ratio, for each of the four different dimple diameters are given in Table 11 below.
Thus, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 11Q11S,
 SD1≥1, SD2≥1, and
for the minimum dimple diameter A;
 SD1≥1, and SD2≥1, for the first additional dimple diameter B;
 SD1≥1, and SD2≥1, for the first additional dimple diameter C; and
 SD1≥1, SD2≥1, and
for the maximum dimple diameter D.
In a particular aspect of the embodiments disclosed herein wherein there are two or more different dimple diameters on the outer surface of the ball, the number of different dimple diameters, D, on the outer surface is related to the total number of dimples, N, on the outer surface, such that:
if N<350, then D>5; and
if N≥350, then D>6.
In a further particular aspect of this embodiment, the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain formed according to the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron wherein the first domain and the second domain are tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles. The overall dimple pattern consists of eight first domains having threeway rotational symmetry about the central point of the first domain and six second domains having fourway symmetry about the central point of the second domain. The dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain. Each of the first domain and the second domain consists of perimeter dimples and interior dimples. The dimples optionally have one or more of the following additional characteristics:
 a) each of the perimeter dimples has at least two nearest neighbor dimples that are located in a domain other than the domain of that perimeter dimple;
 b) for each perimeter dimple, the difference in diameter between the perimeter dimple and each of its nearest neighbor dimples located in a different domain is 0.08 inches or less, or 0.06 inches or less, or 0.04 inches or less; and
 c) at least one perimeter dimple in each domain is a same diameter dimple with respect to at least one of its nearest neighbor dimples located in a different domain.
In another particular aspect of the embodiments disclosed herein wherein there are two or more different dimple diameters on the outer surface of the ball, the number of different dimple diameters, D, on the outer surface is related to the total number of dimples, N, on the outer surface, such that:
if N<302, then D≤5;
if N=302, then D≤4;
if 302<N<350, then D≤5; and
if N≥350, then D≤6.
In a further particular aspect of this embodiment, the sample standard deviation is less than 0.025, or less than 0.020, or less than 0.0175. Sample standard deviation, s, is defined by the equation:
where x_{i }is the diameter of any given dimple on the outer surface of the ball, x is the average dimple diameter, and N is the total number of dimples on the outer surface of the ball.
In another further particular aspect of this embodiment, the dimples are arranged in multiple copies of a first domain and a second domain formed according to the midpoint to midpoint method based on an octahedron wherein the first domain and the second domain are tessellated to cover the outer surface of the golf ball in a uniform pattern having no great circles. The overall dimple pattern consists of eight first domains having threeway rotational symmetry about the central point of the first domain and six second domains having fourway symmetry about the central point of the second domain. The dimple pattern within the first domain is different from the dimple pattern within the second domain. Each of the first domain and the second domain consists of perimeter dimples and interior dimples. The dimples optionally have one or more of the following additional characteristics:
 a) each of the perimeter dimples has at least two nearest neighbor dimples that are located in a domain other than the domain of that perimeter dimple;
 b) for each perimeter dimple, the difference in diameter between the perimeter dimple and each of its nearest neighbor dimples located in a different domain is 0.08 inches or less, or 0.06 inches or less, or 0.04 inches or less; and
 c) at least one perimeter dimple in each domain is a same diameter dimple with respect to at least one of its nearest neighbor dimples located in a different domain.
It should be understood that manufacturing variances are to be taken into account when determining the number of different dimple diameters. The placement of the dimple in the overall pattern should also be taken into account. Specifically, dimples located in the same location within the multiple copies of the domain(s) that are tessellated to form the dimple pattern are assumed to be same diameter dimples, unless they have a difference in diameter of 0.005 inches or greater.
For purposes of the present disclosure, each dimple on the outer surface of the golf ball is either a perimeter dimple or an interior dimple and is positioned entirely within a single domain. Perimeter dimples are those dimples located directly adjacent to a border segment. The perimeter dimples of a given domain are those located inside of that domain, and, in a particular embodiment, form an axially symmetric pattern about the geometric center of the domain. Interior dimples are those dimples not located directly adjacent to a border segment. The interior dimples of a given domain are those located within the domain, and, in a particular embodiment, form an axially symmetric pattern about the geometric center of the domain.
For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 11H, each of the dimples labelled 4 or 6 or 9 is a perimeter dimple of the first domain 14a, and each of the dimples labelled 1 or 5 is an interior dimple of the first domain 14a. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11I, each of the dimples labelled 3 or 7 or 8 is a perimeter dimple of the second domain 14b, and each of the dimples labelled 2 or 4 or 9 or 10 is an interior dimple of the second domain 14b.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11J, the total number of dimples on the outer surface of the ball is 350, and the number of different dimple diameters is 10. In FIGS. 11H and 11I, the numerical labels within the dimples designate same diameter dimples. For example, all dimples labelled 1 have the same diameter; all dimples labelled 2 have the same diameter; and so on. In a particular aspect of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11H and 11I, the dimples labelled 1 have a diameter of about 0.090 inches, the dimples labelled 2 have a diameter of about 0.110 inches, the dimples labelled 3 have a diameter of about 0.115 inches, the dimples labelled 4 have a diameter of about 0.150 inches, the dimples labelled 5 have a diameter of about 0.160 inches, the dimples labelled 6 have a diameter of about 0.165 inches, the dimples labelled 7 have a diameter of about 0.170 inches, the dimples labelled 8 have a diameter of about 0.175 inches, the dimples labelled 9 have a diameter of about 0.185 inches, and the dimples labelled 10 have a diameter of about 0.205 inches.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11K, each of the dimples labelled 2 is a perimeter dimple of the first domain 14a, as is each of the nine dimples labelled 3 that are directly adjacent to one of the three border segments. Each of the three dimples labelled 3 that are not directly adjacent to one or the three border segments is an interior dimple of the first domain 14a. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11L, each of the dimples labelled 1 or 3 is a perimeter dimple of the second domain 14b, and each of the dimples labelled 2 or 4 is an interior dimple of the second domain 14b.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11M, the total number of dimples on the outer surface of the ball is 342, and the number of different dimple diameters is 4. In FIGS. 11K and 11L, the numerical labels within the dimples designate same diameter dimples. For example, all dimples labelled 1 have the same diameter; all dimples labelled 2 have the same diameter; and so on. In a particular aspect of the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11K and 11L, the dimples labelled 1 have a diameter of about 0.110 inches, the dimples labelled 2 have a diameter of about 0.150 inches, the dimples labelled 3 have a diameter of about 0.170 inches, and the dimples labelled 4 have a diameter of about 0.185 inches. The sample standard deviation is 0.0182. The maximum difference in diameter between nearest neighbor dimples located in different domains is 0.04 inches.
There are no limitations to the dimple shapes or profiles selected to pack the domains. Though the present invention includes substantially circular dimples in one embodiment, dimples or protrusions (brambles) having any desired characteristics and/or properties may be used. For example, in one embodiment the dimples may have a variety of shapes and sizes including different depths and perimeters. In particular, the dimples may be concave hemispheres, or they may be triangular, square, hexagonal, catenary, polygonal or any other shape known to those skilled in the art. They may also have straight, curved, or sloped edges or sides. To summarize, any type of dimple or protrusion (bramble) known to those skilled in the art may be used with the present invention. The dimples may all fit within each domain, as seen in FIGS. 1A, 1D, and 11E11S or dimples may be shared between one or more domains, as seen in FIGS. 3C3D, so long as the dimple arrangement on each independent domain remains consistent across all copies of that domain on the surface of a particular golf ball. Alternatively, the tessellation can create a pattern that covers more than about 60%, preferably more than about 70% and preferably more than about 80% of the golf ball surface without using dimples.
In other embodiments, the domains may not be packed with dimples, and the borders of the irregular domains may instead comprise ridges or channels. In golf balls having this type of irregular domain, the one or more domains or sets of domains preferably overlap to increase surface coverage of the channels. Alternatively, the borders of the irregular domains may comprise ridges or channels and the domains are packed with dimples.
When the domain(s) is patterned onto the surface of a golf ball, the arrangement of the domains dictated by their shape and the underlying polyhedron ensures that the resulting golf ball has a high order of symmetry, equaling or exceeding 12. The order of symmetry of a golf ball produced using the method of the current invention will depend on the regular or nonregular polygon on which the irregular domain is based. The order and type of symmetry for golf balls produced based on the five regular polyhedra are listed below in Table 12.
These high orders of symmetry have several benefits, including more even dimple distribution, the potential for higher packing efficiency, and improved means to mask the ball parting line. Further, dimple patterns generated in this manner may have improved flight stability and symmetry as a result of the higher degrees of symmetry.
In other embodiments, the irregular domains do not completely cover the surface of the ball, and there are open spaces between domains that may or may not be filled with dimples. This allows dissymmetry to be incorporated into the ball.
Dimple patterns of the present invention are particularly suitable for packing dimples on seamless golf balls. Seamless golf balls and methods of producing such are further disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,849,007 and 7,422,529, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference.
In a particular aspect of the embodiments disclosed herein, golf balls of the present invention have a total number of dimples, N, on the outer surface thereof, of 302 or 306 or 320 or 336 or 342 or 350 or 360 or 374 or 384 or 390 or 432.
Aerodynamic characteristics of golf balls of the present invention can be described by aerodynamic coefficient magnitude and aerodynamic force angle. Based on a dimple pattern generated according to the present invention, in one embodiment, the golf ball achieves an aerodynamic coefficient magnitude of from 0.25 to 0.32 and an aerodynamic force angle of from 30° to 38° at a Reynolds Number of 230000 and a spin ratio of 0.085. Based on a dimple pattern generated according to the present invention, in another embodiment, the golf ball achieves an aerodynamic coefficient magnitude of from 0.26 to 0.33 and an aerodynamic force angle of from 32° to 40° at a Reynolds Number of 180000 and a spin ratio of 0.101. Based on a dimple pattern generated according to the present invention, in another embodiment, the golf ball achieves an aerodynamic coefficient magnitude of from 0.27 to 0.37 and an aerodynamic force angle of from 35° to 44° at a Reynolds Number of 133000 and a spin ratio of 0.133. Based on a dimple pattern generated according to the present invention, in another embodiment, the golf ball achieves an aerodynamic coefficient magnitude of from 0.32 to 0.45 and an aerodynamic force angle of from 39° to 45° at a Reynolds Number of 89000 and a spin ratio of 0.183. For purposes of the present disclosure, aerodynamic coefficient magnitude (C_{mag}) is defined by C_{mag}=(C_{L}^{2}+C_{D}^{2})^{1/2 }and aerodynamic force angle (C_{angle}) is defined by C_{angle}=tan^{−1 }(C_{L}/C_{D}), where C_{L }is a lift coefficient and C_{D }is a drag coefficient. Aerodynamic characteristics of a golf ball, including aerodynamic coefficient magnitude and aerodynamic force angle, are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,729,976 to Bissonnette et al., the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference. Aerodynamic coefficient magnitude and aerodynamic force angle values are calculated using the average lift and drag values obtained when 30 balls are tested in a random orientation. Reynolds number is an average value for the test and can vary by plus or minus 3%. Spin ratio is an average value for the test and can vary by plus or minus 5%.
When numerical lower limits and numerical upper limits are set forth herein, it is contemplated that any combination of these values may be used.
All patents, publications, test procedures, and other references cited herein, including priority documents, are fully incorporated by reference to the extent such disclosure is not inconsistent with this invention and for all jurisdictions in which such incorporation is permitted.
While the illustrative embodiments of the invention have been described with particularity, it will be understood that various other modifications will be apparent to and can be readily made by those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the scope of the claims appended hereto be limited to the examples and descriptions set forth herein, but rather that the claims be construed as encompassing all of the features of patentable novelty which reside in the present invention, including all features which would be treated as equivalents thereof by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains.