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Essay on The Game of Golf and Physics

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The Game of Golf and Physics

A famous saying for many golfers is, “golf is the most enjoyable walk that can be had in two hours”; even though many people disagree with this and say it is, “the worst walk in two hours.” Still, over time many people have had the opportunity to play, learn, and enjoy the beauty of golf courses around the world. Many golfers know that the game of golf requires mental and physical aptitude with hours of practice in order to be proficient at the game. Furthermore, since golf is a sport played in the physical world, the entire game can be explained and actually improved by many principles in Physics. Understanding the principles of Physics in the swing of the golf club, golf ball, collision of the golf club with the golf ball, flight of the golf ball, and putting can help a player shave off points to make the “enjoyable walk” more tolerable.

First, we will begin with describing the swing of the player and the golf club’s motion as it goes back in the swing. “A good golf swing must have speed, accuracy, and the ability to re-peat itself consistently.”(Cochran 8) Essentially, the back swing and the follow-through resemble a circular-plane like or a double pendulum motion. As you start your swing you must slowly bring back the head of the club, which has some inertia that needs to be overcome. Also, there is a certain amount of flex in the shaft of the club depending on what kind of shaft you have. You could have stiff (more flex with stronger force of swing), soft (more flex with small force of swing), or steel shafts (average flex with any force of swing) each producing different flex in the club. This flex of the club shaft acts like a spring storing up potential energy, and accelerates the cl...


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... a certain speed to make them.

In conclusion, the science of Physics has many fundamental principles that apply directly to the game of golf. If one takes the game seriously or just likes to play for fun, thinking about these principles when practicing will help anyone to improve their game. Most of all, it will make the game of golf a more enjoyable walk for them the next time they stroll 18 holes.

Bibliography

Cochran, A., & Stobbs, J., et al. The Search for the Perfect Swing. Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1968.

Kirkpatrick, L. D., & Wheeler, G. F., Physics: A World View. Philadelphia: Harcourt Inc., 2001.

Williams, David. The Science of the Golf Swing. London: Pelham Books Ltd., 1969. Brancazio, Peter. Sport Science. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983.

Braid, James. Advanced Golf. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., 1908.


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