One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tropical American tree which bears edible fruit and produces latex.
Several species in the family Sapotaceae, in particular Manilkara bidentata
- ‘Soon after, covers were made of balata, a sap-like substance from the South American balata tree.’
- ‘No person shall extract gum from, or cut for the purpose of extracting gum, any Balata tree growing on private land.’
- 1.1mass noun The dried sap of the balata tree, used as a substitute for rubber.
- ‘These youngsters - all under 22-are the first generation to play without any first-hand experience or memory of the days when woods were persimmon and balls were balata.’
- ‘Urethane is just as soft as balata but is more durable and consistent.’
- ‘The modern era of golf ball covers was dominated by balata, a natural rubber that provided high spin rates and soft feel but lacked durability.’
- ‘The click of a persimmon driver striking one of those soft balata balls and the sound of steel spikes clattering across the parking lot were heavenly.’
- ‘Some use synthetic balata as a cover material; others use urethane or elastomer.’
- ‘Expert advice: ‘These balls behave like balata on the green and still have the distance of a hard two-piece ball.’’
- ‘A few years later, he noticed that the new brand of two-piece balls becoming popular went farther than balata balls off irons, but not off wooden woods.’
- ‘The voracious demand for labor to gather latex and heat it into balls of balata fell on the indigenous peoples of the region, providing the central theme of this book.’
- ‘The ball went in on the fly, causing untold damage to its balata cover and the cup.’
- ‘To gain more distance, Pavin in 1996 switched from the high-spinning, wound balata ball he'd always used to a solid-core ball that went farther.’
- ‘The Big Bertha produced a greater average carry, whether the clubhead speed was 85, 95 or 108 miles per hour, on center hits, high toe hits or low heel hits, with a two-piece ball or a three-piece wound balata.’
Early 17th century: from Carib balatá.
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