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Others Like “Golf Clubs, Loft Angle, and Distance: The Science of Hitting”

Project Idea
thumbnail If your idea of a great weekend morning is taking some practice swings at a driving range, or heading out to the links to play a round, this could be a good project for you. This project is designed to answer the question, what is the relationship between club loft angle and the distance that the ball travels when struck. Read more
Sports_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this experiment you must have sufficient golf experience to swing a golf club consistently and have access to golf clubs.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
There is a bewildering selection of different golf balls to choose from for playing the game. Some less expensive, some more expensive, all with different claims for the advantages they will bring to your game. This project can help you determine which type of golf ball is right for you. Read more
Sports_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You must be an experienced golfer to do this project. You'll need a large open space where you can hit a lot of balls (and recover them).
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Make sure that you have plenty of space outdoors, and no one downrange.
Project Idea
thumbnail The goal of every golfer is to hit the golf ball as far as possible down the fairway. A key factor in determining the distance that the ball will travel is the velocity of the club when it strikes the ball. In this sports science fair project, you will determine exactly how distance is related to club velocity. Time to tee off! Read more
Sports_p056
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will probably get the most out of this science fair project if you golf regularly. You will need access to golf clubs and a driving range.
Material Availability Golf clubs and access to a driving range
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you're an avid golfer, this might be a fun project for you. When you're setting up to tee off out on the course, how much attention do you pay to putting the tee in the ground? The height of the tee can affect both where in the swing the club makes contact and where on the clubface the ball makes contact. Are you placing your tees at the right height to get the most distance from your swing? Read more
Sports_p014
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must be an experienced golfer to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered why golf balls have a pattern of dimples on their surface? The dimples are important for determining how air flows around the ball when it is in flight. The dimple pattern, combined with the spin imparted to the ball when hit by the club, greatly influence the ball's flight path. For example, backspin generates lift, prolonging flight. When the ball is not hit squarely with the club, varying degrees of sidespin are imparted to the ball. A clockwise sidespin (viewed from… Read more
Sports_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this experiment you must have sufficient golf experience to swing a golf club consistently and have access to golf clubs.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Take shots at a set distance from the basket, but systematically vary the angle to the backboard. For a basic project: How do you think your success rate will vary with angle? Draw a conclusion from your experimental results. A bar graph showing success rate at different angles can help to illustrate your conclusion. For a more advanced project: Use your knowledge of geometry and basketball to come up with a mathematical expression to predict your success rate as a function of angle… Read more
Math_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
The rebound rating is the ratio of the height the ball bounces to, divided by the height the ball was dropped from. Use the rebound rating to measure the bounciness of new tennis balls vs. balls that have been used for 10, 20, 50, and 100 games. Another idea to explore: does it matter what type of court the ball is used on? (See: Goodstein, 1999, 63–64.) Read more
Sports_p039
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
For this project, you'll use a baseball as a pendulum weight, studying the motion of the ball with and without spin. Wrap a rubber band around the ball, and tie a string to the rubber band. Fasten the string so that the ball hangs down and can swing freely. Mark a regular grid on cardboard, and place it directly beneath the ball to measure the motion. You can also time the oscillations with a stopwatch. Lift the ball along one of the grid axes, and let it go. Observe the motion and record… Read more
Sports_p022
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
When the punter is trying to hit the "coffin corner" (within the opposing team's 10-yard line), out of bounds, what is the best angle to kick the ball for correct distance and maximum "hang time?" (For more information on the physics involved, see: Gay, 2004, Chapters 4 and 5.) Read more
Sports_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Tennis racquets, baseball bats and golf clubs all vibrate when they hit the ball. You can often feel it in your hands, particularly if you "mis-hit" the ball. You can find the point(s) on your racquet, bat or club—called the "sweet spot"— that minimize unwanted vibrations. Low-tech method: hang the racquet or bat straight up and down with a string from its handle. Lightly hold the handle with your thumb and forefinger and have a helper sharply tap the bat, strings or club face with a ball… Read more
Sports_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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