The Effect of Club Head Size, Club Head Material, and Shaft Flex on the Distance Traveled by a Struck Golf Ball

This experiment analyzed how changing the characteristics of a golf club would affect the distance that a golf ball travels after being struck by the club.  To successfully perform the experiment, an apparatus that could simulate a golf swing was built.  Wedges were secured between two u-bolts on the wooden frame to simulate a golfer’s grip.  Three bungee cords were attached to the apparatus grip component, and weights were put on each end of the frame.  A golf club was then attached to the grip portion of the apparatus, and the grip component was pulled counterclockwise to tighten the bungee cords, simulating the back swing.  When the grip component was released, the attached golf club would strike a golf ball that was teed up after pulling the cords taut.  A vector camera, provided by Golfsmith, took pictures of the ball after it was struck and used mathematical procedures to accurately extrapolate how far the ball would have traveled.  One hundred and eighty trials were conducted with the apparatus; sixty total trials were done for each factor and each factor had two counterparts that received thirty of the total trials each.  It was discovered (through three 2-sample t tests between each factor’s counterparts) that a 440 cubic centimeter titanium head coupled with a flexible shaft produced the farthest distance traveled by a golf ball.

Research Done By:

Chris Bush
Sterling Heights High School

Clark Green
Warren Mott High School