Centripetal force in a golf swing

1. May 29, 2006

bolson07

Can anyone explain how centripetal force is involved in a golf swing, i understand that it is one force keeping the club from flying out of your hands, but what else. THis is not a homework question i am just curious. (Had to specify because of the thread above)

2. May 29, 2006

Pengwuino

Centripetal force is pulling the golf club out of your hand actually.

3. May 29, 2006

bolson07

THe person above is wierd, anyone got anything better

4. May 29, 2006

Staff: Mentor

Whenever any mass executes circular motion a centripetal force is required. In the case of the golf club, the centripetal force is provided by your grip on the club. ("centripetal" just means "towards the center"; it's not a separate kind of force.)

5. Jun 1, 2006

Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
WHAT??? :grumpy: :grumpy:

~H

6. Jun 1, 2006

Danger

If you think that the penguin is weird here, check out General Discussion.

7. Jun 1, 2006

Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
I only venture there ocassionally, it is a very strange place to me... There seems to be a war waging between some guerrilla organisation calling themselves the 'PF sisterhood' and the english gentleman Wolfram.

~H

8. Jun 1, 2006

Danger

That's just a smoke-screen. The Sisterhood battle is internal; they all want him, and they're not good a sharing.

9. Jun 3, 2006

rcgldr

Since no one is answering, a golf swing is sort of like cracking a whip. The club or iron starts off positioned back about 90 degrees from the forearms. Initially the force is mostly backwards and downwards, almost parallel to the club or iron, but as the swing moves downwards, the force transitions so that it is angled greatly from the golf club or iron. You have a net force inwards (and forwards) on the handle of the golf club, but the center of mass of the golf club has a reactionary outwards force causing the club or iron to rotate faster than a golfers forearms. Ideally the golf club or iron accelerates (rotational acceleration) forwards to line up with the golfers forearms right at or just before contact. This extra swinging motion of the club or iron increases the head speed.

10. Jun 3, 2006

HallsofIvy

?? The question was specifically about centripetal force and Doc Al answered it.

11. Jun 3, 2006

dav2008

I hear gravity makes the planets fly out into intergalactic space.

12. Jun 3, 2006

Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

13. Jun 3, 2006

LURCH

The reason centripetal force is crucial to your golf swing is that this force is applied by you (form your arms, through your hands into the club). If you supply too little, you will hit the ground just before the ball; too much, and you'll "wiff" (go right over the ball without touching it).

14. Jun 5, 2006

Danger

I'm glad to finally see my golfing style described in scientific terms. Now... how do I stop it? :grumpy:

15. Jun 5, 2006

Staff: Mentor

Don't bob your head/dip your shoulders when you swing. Rotate around your spine as if it is fixed in space. Those are the main reasons for topping (or wiffing) and swinging into the ground.

I'm wondering what, if any, effect centripedal force might have on the club edge's orientation to the ground. Since the club is attached offcenter, you might get a flexing of the shaft away from the club, dipping the toe towards the ground. That could explain why when I set up I look like I'm heel low, but when I swing (when it is good), the foot of the club is flat.

16. Jun 5, 2006

Hootenanny

Staff Emeritus
Golf - it spoils a good walk.

17. Jun 5, 2006

Danger

Thanks, Russ. I'll give that a try if W and I can ever afford to go out. It won't be easy to adjust though; I'm used to swinging a baseball bat, not a golf club.