Ball launch conditions for skilled golfers using drivers of different lengths in an indoor testing facility

E.S. Wallace, S.R. Otto, A Nevill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The displacement of the golf ball struck by a driving club is affected by several player characteristics and equipment parameters and their interrelationships. Some modelling and simulation studies have shown a relationship between shaft length and clubhead speed, supported by a few experimental studies. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between driver length and ball launch conditions in an indoor test facility using a ball launch monitor. Nine males considered to be skilled golfers participated in the study. Four driving clubs of total length 117, 119, 124, and 132 cm were assembled from commercially available components and were used to strike golf shots while initial ball velocity, backspin rate, and launch angles were measured. Statistical analysis identified a significant difference in initial launch speed due to club length, a significant difference between participants, but no difference between the trials for a given golfer. A positive trend was noted between backspin and launch angle for all four clubs, and significant inverse associations between initial launch speed and backspin rate and launch angle. However, the combined launch conditions associated with increasing length were not considered optimal, with uncontrolled swingweight and moment of inertia effects considered to be limiting factors.
LanguageEnglish
Pages731-737
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2007

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Testing
Test facilities
Statistical methods

Keywords

  • golf
  • shaft length
  • launch conditions
  • ball speed

Cite this

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title = "Ball launch conditions for skilled golfers using drivers of different lengths in an indoor testing facility",
abstract = "The displacement of the golf ball struck by a driving club is affected by several player characteristics and equipment parameters and their interrelationships. Some modelling and simulation studies have shown a relationship between shaft length and clubhead speed, supported by a few experimental studies. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between driver length and ball launch conditions in an indoor test facility using a ball launch monitor. Nine males considered to be skilled golfers participated in the study. Four driving clubs of total length 117, 119, 124, and 132 cm were assembled from commercially available components and were used to strike golf shots while initial ball velocity, backspin rate, and launch angles were measured. Statistical analysis identified a significant difference in initial launch speed due to club length, a significant difference between participants, but no difference between the trials for a given golfer. A positive trend was noted between backspin and launch angle for all four clubs, and significant inverse associations between initial launch speed and backspin rate and launch angle. However, the combined launch conditions associated with increasing length were not considered optimal, with uncontrolled swingweight and moment of inertia effects considered to be limiting factors.",
keywords = "golf, shaft length, launch conditions, ball speed",
author = "E.S. Wallace and S.R. Otto and A Nevill",
note = "Cochran, A., & Stobbs, J. (1968). The search for the perfect swing. London: Heinemann. Gruen, A. (1997). Fundamentals of videogrammetry – A review. Human Movement Science, 16, 155 – 187. Harper, T. E., Roberts, J. R., & Jones, R. (2005). Driver swingweighting: A worthwhile process? In Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 219, 385 – 393. Hume, P. A., Keogh, J., & Reid, D. (2005). The role of biomechanics in maximising distance and accuracy of golf shots. Sports Medicine, 35, 429 – 449. Jorgensen, T. P. (1999). The physics of golf (2nd edn.). New York: Springer. Maltby, R. (1995). Golf club design, fitting, alteration and repair (4th edn.). Newark, NJ: Ralph Maltby Enterprises Inc. Moriyama, K., Yamaguchi, T., & Yabu, M. (2004). The influence of mechanical impedance of the golf club and the golf ball on ball spin. In M. Hubbard, R. D. Mehta, & J. M. Pallis (Eds.), The engineering of sport 5 (pp. 337 – 343). Sheffield, UK: International Sports Engineering Association. R&A Rules Limited and the US Golf Association (2003). Rules of golf (30th edn., Appendix II 1c (length), effective 1 January 2004). Rankin, D., & Winfield, D. (2004). Performance indices in the sport of golf. In M. Hubbard, R. D. Mehta, & J. M. Pallis (Eds.), The engineering of sport 5 (pp. 444 – 450). Sheffield, UK: International Sports Engineering Association. Reyes M. G., & Mitterdorf, A. (1999). A mathematical swing model for a long-driving champion. In A. J. Cochran & M. R. Farrally (Eds.), Science and golf III (pp. 13 – 19). Leeds, UK: Human Kinetics. Smits, A. J., & Ogg, S. (2004). Golf ball aerodynamics. In M. Hubbard, R. D. Mehta, & J.M. Pallis (Eds.), The engineering of sport 5 (pp. 3 – 12). Sheffield, UK: International Sports Engineering Association. Van Gheluwe, B., Deporte, E., & Ballegeer, K. (1990). The influence of the use of graphite shafts on golf performance and swing kinematics. In A. J. Cochran (Ed.), Science and golf: Proceedings of the First World Scientific Congress of Golf (pp. 258 –263). London: E & FN Spon. Wallace, E. S., Hubbell, J. E., & Rogers, M. J. (2004). Driver shaft length influences on posture and swing tempo in skilled golfers. In M. Hubbard, R. D. Mehta, & J. M. Pallis (Eds.), The engineering of sport 5 (pp. 216 – 223). Sheffield, UK: International Sports Engineering Association. Werner, F. D., & Greig, R. C. (2000). How golf clubs really work and how to optimize their design. Jackson: Origin Inc. Williams, K. R., & Sih, B. L. (2002). Changes in golf clubface orientation following impact with the ball. Sports Engineering, 5, 65 – 80. Winfield, D. C. (1999). Golf club and ball fitting using launch condition measurements. In A. J. Cochran & M. R. Farrally (Eds.), Science and golf III (pp. 548 – 553). Leeds, UK: Human Kinetics.",
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Ball launch conditions for skilled golfers using drivers of different lengths in an indoor testing facility. / Wallace, E.S.; Otto, S.R.; Nevill, A.

In: Journal of Sports Sciences, Vol. 25, No. 7, 06.04.2007, p. 731-737.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Y1 - 2007/4/6

N2 - The displacement of the golf ball struck by a driving club is affected by several player characteristics and equipment parameters and their interrelationships. Some modelling and simulation studies have shown a relationship between shaft length and clubhead speed, supported by a few experimental studies. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between driver length and ball launch conditions in an indoor test facility using a ball launch monitor. Nine males considered to be skilled golfers participated in the study. Four driving clubs of total length 117, 119, 124, and 132 cm were assembled from commercially available components and were used to strike golf shots while initial ball velocity, backspin rate, and launch angles were measured. Statistical analysis identified a significant difference in initial launch speed due to club length, a significant difference between participants, but no difference between the trials for a given golfer. A positive trend was noted between backspin and launch angle for all four clubs, and significant inverse associations between initial launch speed and backspin rate and launch angle. However, the combined launch conditions associated with increasing length were not considered optimal, with uncontrolled swingweight and moment of inertia effects considered to be limiting factors.

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