Dynamics and Control

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 147–159 | Cite as

On the flight of a golf ball in the vertical plane

  • Robert F. Stengel
Article
  • 57 Downloads

Abstract

The equations of motion for a ball moving in a vertical plane are used to calculate flight paths for a typical golf ball subjected to a variety of launch conditions, spin rates, atmospheric parameters, and wind fields. Time histories of the ball's velocity, flight-path angle, height, range, and spin rate between tee and first impact illustrate that lift induced by the ball's spin has a significant effect on driving range, actually causing the flight-path angle to increase during the first few seconds of flight. While light winds have the expected effects, heavy tailwind is shown to spoil the carry of the ball. Linearized sensitivity analysis indicates that wind uncertainty is an important contributor to impact range and time uncertainty.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    P.G. Tait, “Some points in the physics of golf, part I,”Nature, vol. 42, pp. 420–423, 1890.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P.G. Tait, “Some points in the physics of golf, part II,”Nature, vol. 44, pp. 497–498, 1891.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P.G. Tait, “Some points in the physics of golf, part III,”Nature, vol. 48, pp. 202–205, 1893.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J.M. Davies, “The aerodynamics of golf balls,”J. Appl. Phys., vol. 20, pp. 821–828, 1949.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    P.W. Bearman and J.K. Harvey, “Golf ball aerodynamics,”Aeronaut. Q. vol. 27, pp. 112–122, 1976.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R.D. Mehta, “Aerodynamics of sports balls,”Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. vol. 17, pp. 151–189, 1985.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Y. Nakayama, K. Aoki, and M. Kato, “Flow visualization around golf balls,”Proc. Fourth Int. Symp. on Flow Visualization, Paris, 1986, pp. 191–196.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A. Miele,Flight Mechanics, Volume 1: Theory of Flight Paths. Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA, 1962.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    R.F. Stengel and P Berry, “Stability and Control of Maneuvering High-Performance Aircraft,” NASA CR-2788, Washington, DC, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Stengel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringPrinceton UniversityPrinceton

Personalised recommendations