One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tropical American tree which bears edible fruit and produces latex.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Some use synthetic balata as a cover material; others use urethane or elastomer.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘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 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.’
- ‘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 ball went in on the fly, causing untold damage to its balata cover and the cup.’
- ‘Urethane is just as soft as balata but is more durable and consistent.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Expert advice: ‘These balls behave like balata on the green and still have the distance of a hard two-piece ball.’’
Early 17th century: from Carib balatá.
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