“Stencil” and a few image-based textures are probably the way to go here.
As you know, any mesh can have several materials associated with it, and each one can have several different textures contributing to it. One of them, “stencil,” is a simple way to blend two other textures: an image consisting of (say) black dots on a white surface provides the mask.
The same image, or a variation of it, could be used as (say…) a normal-map if you want to make the circles into dimples.
You could also define two materials for the object, and associate one of them with the dots and the other with the ground, but that would be difficult to make-sharp without using lots of polys.
There’s a “pair o’ dice” tutorial out there but it’s a bit cumbersome.