Science Facts About Golf

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Everyone has a repertoire of interesting yet useless facts…here are random facts about golf. Don’t forget to share some of yours in the comment section below.

I have not researched this information to the extent that I can verify its accuracy; however much of it is credited to Tom Wishon.

Who exactly is Tom Wishon?

He is considered by many to be one of the leaders in the club fitting and building industry.

  • The average driver swing speed for a female club player is approximately 62mph, while the average male’s speed is listed as 84mph. Contrast this with Tiger Woods at 130mph, the national long drive champion at 152mph, and average male and female touring professionals at 108mph and 96mph respectively.
  • When a player launches a ball from the middle of the face on his or her driver at a swing speed of 100mph, the initial ball velocity will be approximately 148mph. Friction and resistance with the air while the ball is in flight will cause much of the initial speed to bleed off before the ball lands. The initial ball speed above will land at a speed of approximately 47mph.
  • Most people are under the impression that they don’t spin the ball and that is why the ball does not stay put on the green. Reality is everyone spins the ball, but few spins it fast enough to make it put on the brakes.

    Clubhead speed is a big part of the backspin equation; the faster your swing speed the more spin you can apply. An average golfer swinging a 56-degree wedge at 70mph will generate a spin rate at the impact of approximately 10, 200rpm. In contrast, the same wedge struck at 50mph (all other factors remaining equal) will only generate a spin rate of 7, 300rpm.

  • Golf is a game of precision and mistakes are measured in as little as one degree. Just how much impact does one degree have?

The impact one degree has on your shot depends a great deal on the length of the shot you are hitting. A clubface that is one degree off at impact will cause your ball to fly two and a half yards offline on a shot that carries 100 yards. On a shot carrying 200 yards the same single degree will end up five yards off target and at 300 yards you will find yourself seven and a half yards offline.

  • The angle of the clubface is not the only degree that can affect your ball flight; degrees measured in Fahrenheit also play a role in the outcome of your shot. Golf balls will fly further on warm days than on cool ones. At 100mph swing speed with your driver, the ball will carry approximately eight yards further for each increase in air temperature of 25°F.

This information will not improve your golf scores but it is interesting nonetheless…and it may even help you settle your next clubhouse debate.

Have the BEST day you can!

Trevor Moore – CPGA, TPI-CGFI, CFI

Your #corporate5iron,

Comments(3)

  • Birdie basher
    January 19, 2019, 11:41 am  Reply

    Your statement of ball flight carry distance change at an air Temp Change of 25 degrees fahrenheit – bit confusing as that equates to almost -4 degrees in centrigrade/celsius?
    How does that work?

    • January 21, 2019, 11:03 pm

      I am not sure I understand your question…according to Tom Wishon’s data (which was used in this post) “At 100mph swing speed with your driver, the ball will carry approximately eight yards further, for each increase in air temperature of 25°F” This would mean if the temp warms/increases by 25°F (from 65-90 for example), the player could see as much as eight additional yards on their shot. In contrast, if the temperature decreases/cools by 25°F (from 90-65 for example), the player could see a loss of up to as much as eight yards. May I ask you for more info or clarification on your question please?

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