The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Distance of the Longest Putted Golf Ball

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Brown, Oliver. Sport in My World: Terry Wogan. 12 January 2005. "Lee Trevino measured the putt - he was playing with Trevor Brooking, I with Fuzzy Zoeller - and said it was 33 yards (or 100 feet)." 30.18 m
375' Putt Gets Into Guinness Book of Records. Golf Today. May 2007. "It had traveled 375 feet from tee to cup." 114.3 m
Payne Stewart. Sridinats Golf World, 4 June 2007. "His U.S. Open victory in 1999 was nothing short of inspirational as he made a 15 foot putt on the final hole to clinch the title and edge past Phil Mickelson. That putt is believed to be the longest putt holed to win the championship on the final hole." 4.57 m
Numbers. South africa Golf Digest. 2005. "The longest putt holed in 2006 was 81 feet by Simon Dyson at the WGC-American Express Championship." 24.7 m

In golf, putting is the action of making the ball roll along the ground and into the hole with the use of a putting club. It is considered the most difficult yet most important part of the game in regard to scoring. To putt a hole is difficult due to the dimples on the golf ball which cause the ball's non-spherical shape, constructed that way for aerodynamically more efficient hits. The dimples on the golf ball can cause the ball to go off on odd angles upon impact. The ball may possibly bounce off of the hole if it is approaching at the wrong speed; linear velocity and acceleration must be taken into account. The loft of the hit (the angle of the golf club), and whether the ball immediately rolls or skids along the ground first must also be considered. Putting on the green can be affected by the slope of the green and also the cut of the grass. A successful putt can be affected by all these factors and of course, a golfer's confidence in the game.

Golf balls are regulated by their physical properties; the USGA regulates golf ball distances and rebound characteristics to emphasize a golfer's skill. However, they do not consider effects of the balls on putting. Nonetheless, remarkable records have been set for putting. In 1981, Terry Wogan hit the longest televised golf putt at 30.18 m. This was followed up by the longest putt golf ball in a major tournament, accomplished by Nick Faldo at 30.48 m in 1989. On November 6, 2001 the distance of the longest putt golf ball in general was accomplished by Fergus Muir in a lucky hit which traveled 114.3 m. Since the first recorded golf game in 1456, golfers have been breaking and making new records for the longest putt distance as understanding of the physics of golf continue to create better techniques.

Melissa Tam -- 2007