Slippery Golf Balls, help please

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Postby Gregory Schultz » 12/31/05 12:49 PM

I used to do a multiplying golf ball routine. I stopped doing it about 20 years ago. I was taught it from Neil Foster while studying Chavez. My original set of balls were Ireland, does that date me or what? I decided to start doing the routine again, because I always got good response from it. My old set had become quite yellow over the years so I bought a set of Fakini balls. Now Fakini makes beautiful props, but I find that they are very slippery, and I cannot do my old routine with them without dropping them. Any ideas how to make them less slippery? I hate to put any substance on my hands, as I use antique valuable silks in my act and I am afraid of staining the silks. Does anyone have any clues about how to whiten my old Ireland set? I played with some Fakini billiard balls at a convention and they seemed easier to hold than the golf balls. Maybe I should switch to those. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/31/05 01:33 PM

If you sweat, the Fakini balls will squirt right out of your fingers.
For ease of handling, nothing has every come close to the old Ireland Golf Balls. But the rubber deteriorates and you won't find a set in good condition today (at least not one that you can use for any period of time).
Balls that don't have a slick finish, such as an old set of P&L sparkle balls (covered with silver or blue glitter) might help.
Personally, I always bought my own wooden balls, stuck a pin in the end, dipped them in paint, then dipped them in varnish or shellac (can't remember which). They didn't slip after that.
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Postby sleightly » 01/01/06 10:58 AM

One technique the "old-timers" used was to put the second coat of paint on while the first coat was still tacky. The second coat dries, but the first coat continues to "leach through" making for a slightly tacky ball that would not transfer pigment.

Another technique is to stir clean, fine sand into the paint and then paint the ball giving it a certain grit to hold on to...

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Postby Pete Biro » 01/01/06 11:46 AM

You can find new Ireland TYPE balls on ebay quite often... There are also some LATEX white paints that work and you can get an additive (ground up glass I think) to put into paint that makes it NON SKID.

I just used this stuff to paint the stairs to our basement and it really works.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/01/06 11:54 AM

Although they don't look like golf balls, the absolutely easiest balls to use, if you'd like to stand before the mirror and fancy that you are a master manipulator, is multiplying sponge balls.
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Postby Guest » 01/03/06 08:27 PM

I recently acquired a set of Ireland Multiplying Golf Balls from a friend. They were yellow, but they were so uniformly yellow that I assumed they were made in yellow. Even the matched pair of gaffs are the same yellow.

You might wash them by hand in Woolite or similar, and pat them dry to remove any accumulated dirt. Then check out the color; today's real golf balls are often yellow, anyway.
I think it is worth a try, anyway.

Good luck,


Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/04/06 09:03 AM

Magic Inc made golf balls in yellow: I had them when I was a kid.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 01/18/06 10:12 PM

There are some new practice golf balls from Wilson that look like real golf balls but are somewhat compressible. Worth looking at.
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Postby jkingry » 02/21/06 06:31 PM

I had the same problem. I have found it helps to wash them before each performance (no snickering allowed).
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Postby Guest » 03/21/06 06:15 AM

Originally posted by jkingry:
I had the same problem. I have found it helps to wash them before each performance (no snickering allowed).
This is actually a good thread because I was wondering the same thing myself for different reasons.

Many MANY years ago, I picked up a packet trick called "Bewildering 8-Ball." You showed a fan of four cards with 8-balls on them and a blank. You would put the blank on the table, snap the "8-ball" cards and one of the 8-balls would appear on the blank. The last segment was to have the spectator tap the last 8-ball card which would turn blank and a real 8-ball would appear under your hand.

The 8-ball that came with the trick was a nasty little dome looking thing that had an "8" barely printed on it. I tried using xerox copies of the actual 8-balls from the cards, but they tended to crack. While at Wal*Mart, I found some novelty golf balls which had patterns on them, baseball, basketball, soccer ball and yes a set of 8-balls! I guess golfers don't have that much of a sense of humor, the $1.79 set with two balls and tees had been reduced to ten cents! Having bought them, I discovered that they're too slippery to hold for the end of the routine. Paint won't work, as I need the pattern the balls already have. I was thinking about washing them in ispropoal alcohol.

Postby Guest » 03/21/06 07:16 AM

Go to a bowling alley an get some pro-grip.You will be able to plam a bowling balll.You must experiment with how much to use.To much and silk work becomes a little hard.Cordially,Howard..Old Chavez guy...Got this tip from Lou Lancaster..

Postby Guest » 03/21/06 07:32 AM

Unsure as to what Pro Grip is, I Googled for it. And Pro Grip appears to be a company that produces many bowling products, including a polish to make the ball more slippery - not the required result.

If the Pro Grip product to which you refer is something that one applies to the ball, I'd be interested to know what it is.

If however it's something that one applies to one's hands, then you might like to try Gorilla Snot. (Yes, that really is its name.)


Postby Guest » 03/21/06 06:54 PM

There's a whole line of bowler's grip enhancers here, including one called Master Grip, and there's also one for pistol shooters called Pro-Grip, (see here or here.

Gorilla Snot (TM) is a rosin used by musicians. It comes in green.

You will probably save a lot of time and money over the years if you can adapt non-magic products to magical uses. There are a lot more bowlers, shooters, and drummers out there than there are of us, so they frequently have better cheaper stuff.

Postby Guest » 03/22/06 11:58 AM

Yes it is for the hands...Cordially,Howard

Postby Guest » 03/25/06 04:11 PM

For the Balls; use one of those "cleaning wipes" in them. The cleaner they are, the better they stick to you.

For the hands; Camirand Academy sells a hand lotion that works perfect.

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