The science of a drive

Douglas N. Arnold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Golf provides numerous examples of common physical phenomena which can be elucidated through mathematics. This notes provides a simple introduction to mathematical modeling in golf, by briefly describing a few of the many ways mathematics can be used to understand or improve the golf drive. First we describe the doublependulummodel of a golf swing, which is a simple but useful model of the mechanical systemconsisting of the golfer and the golf club, used to accelerate the club head. Secondwe consider the basicmechanics of the energy and momentumtransfer which takes place when the club head impacts the golf ball. Finally we describe the three basic forces—gravity, drag, and lift—which determine the ball’s trajectory after it is struck by the club.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMathematics and Sports
PublisherMathematical Association of America
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781614442004
ISBN (Print)9780883853498
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


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