Speed of a Golf Ball

The Physics Factbook
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
An educational, Fair Use website

topic index | author index | special index

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Serway, Raymond A. and Robert J. Beichner. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. New York: Harcourt College Publishers, 2000: 101. "A golf ball is hit off a tee at the edge of a cliff. It's x and y coordinates versus time are given by the following expressions: x = (18 m/s) t and y = (4 m/s) t–(4.9 m/s2) t2. 18.4 m/s
Titleist ProV1x. Titleist. 07 June 2006. 78.2 m/s
Diaz, Jaime. Special report: The growing gap. Golf Digest. 07 June 2006. "Phil Mickelson Ball speed: 78 mph" 35 m/s
Pat Ryan Golf. Interesting Golf Facts. 07 June 2006. "When launched from the face of the driver, the ball's velocity when it hits the ground is nowhere near what it was when the ball was hit. Typically for a 100mph swing speed (using an 11-degree lofted driver, a 200-gram head  weight, a 0.825 COR, and a perfect on-center hit), the ball velocity at impact will be approximately 148 mph. But by the time the ball hits the ground, the ball's speed has dramatically dropped to only 47.5 mph! This is largely due to friction between the ball and the air while in flight, which is also compounded by the ball's backspin causing even more friction. The result is that the speed decays while the ball is in the air. This also means if you are unfortunate enough to get in the way of the shot, it is far better that happens at the end of the ball's flight rather than at the beginning!" 66.2 m/s
DeForest, Craig. Why are Golf Balls Dimpled? 07 June 2006. "A golf ball leaves the tee with a speed of about 70 m/s and a backspin of at least 50 rev/s." 70 m/s

Fore! Three two one. Let us begin. Golf is a sport taken seriously by many athletes. A lot of men are very competitive when it comes to driving ranges. One very important factor is how far your ball travels on the first shot. This depends on the speed of the ball at impact with the face of the club. Being a beginning golfer myself i know it can be frustrating when you swing as hard as you can and you think you did everything right, and you see the ball about 50 yards in front of you. The two factors here are horizontal speed and vertical speed. In order to get maximum drive or distance from the ball the speed in the horizontal and vertical direction should be the same. Therefore the resultant vector will be at a 45 degree angle with the ground.

Most people would not care about how fast the ball flies after impact, they only care about club speed and distance. The reason some people might be interested in this is because the faster the ball goes the more distance you get. Top golf ball companies such as titleist, pinnacle, and max flight conduct tests with golf balls at different speeds. As you can see, the titleist pro V1x gains a yard or two depending on the speed. In reality no one really thinks about the speed their drives attain its just a fun fact. Just remember if you aim the wrong way and hit a car or another person, the ball can be traveling at about 67 meters per second (150 miles per hour). So be aware of your golf ball speed and aim wisely!

Bishoy Emmanuel -- 2006


Another quality webpage by

Glenn Elert
eglobe logo home | contact

bent | chaos | eworld | facts | physics