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Homework Help: Physics of Golf

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1
    Explain the inertia, friction and acceleration/velocity of Golf. Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2
    Intertia: once you start drinking on the golf course, you have a tendancy to continue.

    Friction: Is between wife and husband caused by getting hammered on the golf course.

    Acceleration/Velocity: Who Cares? Lets get another drink.

    More specifically, what is the question?
  4. Dec 14, 2005 #3

    you know I hate mean people, I am an intulectual who takes physics seriously and you have offended me!! MMMM... Physicsness
  5. Dec 14, 2005 #4

    The question was how those physics concepts apply to the sport of golf. Why are they important to golf?
  6. Dec 14, 2005 #5
    Well, inertia is important otherwise your golf ball wouldn't be there to hit - it would be shooting of at the speed of light. Inertia is resistance to acceleration, also known as inertial mass, or just good ol' mass. That the golf ball has inertia allows you to judge the impulse you will provide to it with your club and tuhs, when factoring in the angle you strike it, allows you to predict the range of your ball.

    Friction, or more generally contact forces, are necessary for you to supply this impulse in the first place. When you strike the ball with your club, the club exerts a contact force upon the ball which provides that impulse.

    Acceleration is neccesary for getting the ball in motion. This is determined by the contact force applied and the inertia (or mass) of the ball:

    Force = mass * acceleration.

    When striking the ball, you are only accelerating it for a brief period of time, denoted [tex]\Delta t[/tex]. Over this time, the force may be constant or may change, in which case you can just take the average to find the change in momentum of the ball:

    [tex]\Delta p = F_{av}\Delta t[/tex].

    As this force is applied, the velocity of the ball increases until the impulse has finished (no more force supplied). This velocity will determine the range and duration of the flight of the ball. You can model the velocity as having a vertical component and a horizontal component.

    The vertical component is important because gravity will force the ball back down to Earth. The greater the vertical velocity, the longer it will take for gravity to do this. This component determines the time of flight of the ball. The horizontal velocity has no bearing on this in an ideal model.

    The time of flight and horizontal velocity together determine the range of the ball. The faster it moves horizontally, the more distance it will cover before hitting the ground.

    It has been shown that the ideal angle of the ball's trajectory is 45 degrees off the horizontal. The ideal force applied is as much as possible without smashing it.

    Other considerations in golf are air resistance and wind. Air resistance is tricky, and depends on the radius of the golf ball and the speed it travels at. Larger, faster objects are more effected than slower, smaller ones.
  7. Dec 14, 2005 #6


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    That figures..:rolleyes:
  8. Dec 14, 2005 #7
    :biggrin: I'm Nice!!

    I can only assume you are being sarcastic, and I like that!!

    Since you likely know the physics aspects, I'll give some details on golf and you can connect the two.

    Slice/Hook: caused by side spin imparted to the ball from the club not hitting square or not approacing the ball in a straight path. (friction)

    Back spin: backwards spin on the ball to help it stop quickly on the green. (friction)

    Don't forget about putting: the put itself (inertia), the rolling friction from the green, velocity of the ball and decelleration as it rolls.

    All sorts of good stuff, golf is all about maximizing all the stuff El Hombre Invisible is talking about, which is why some of us tards blow 500 bucks on one single club!!!
  9. Dec 14, 2005 #8


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    That is a typical response you will get if you simply post your homework here and expect answers to be given to you.
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