Antique Golf Ball Star Challenger.
A rare Star Challenger rubber core golf ball, “The ‘STAR’ Challenger” featuring the unusual STARS within STARS pattern. Each ‘STAR’ has five points and within the larger star there are smaller stars. The stars have been embossed into the cover and encircle the ball. The Challenger ball was made by Cochrane, first as a gutty and then later as a rubber core ball.
The ball is approximately 1 9/16 inch in diameter (4 cm).
The rubber core ball (the ancestor of the modern ball) began its life in the late 1890’s. The first mass produced rubber core ball was by Coburn Haskell of Cleveland, Ohio. The first core balls were hand wound with elastic thread with a Gutta-percha cover, moulded with the raised square mesh pattern of their predecessor. The slight irregularities in the early wound balls made them quite lively, it was not until the invention of the automatic winding machine by John Gammeter (an engineer at Goodrich) and the change of pattern from mesh to bramble that the balls became more consistent and predictable.