Evaluation of the performance of golf balls
Lee, Raphael Jia Ying
Date of Issue2017-06-01
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The purpose of this project is to establish relationships between specific mechanical properties that affect performance factors of golf balls. This is accomplished by studying the impact that certain mechanical properties, which differ between balls, have on performance factors such as ball speed, distance and spin rate. Four types of golf balls were used as test subjects for respective experiments, of the four types, two are 2-piece balls and the other two are 3-piece balls to maintain a fair experiment. Experiments were conducted to obtain realistic performance data to verify if they align with existing theories. The experimental methods used in this project were executed in an indoor golf simulator as well as at the golf course. The indoor test relied on the sensors and software to obtain important data of each ball such as its ball speed, launch angle, distance and spin rate. The outdoor test was conducted at a golf course using a golf range finder as the focus was to study how the number of dimples on each ball affected its distance in outdoor conditions in relation to aerodynamic efficiency. Furthermore, comparisons are made between both indoor and outdoor results to provide more detailed analysis and understanding of the behaviour of each test subject. The findings show that both Surlyn and Urethane balls behave differently due to their unique mechanical properties, especially hardness and density. Hardness of the cover of golf balls is the main determinant for distance performance and the density of the different layers of construction in a ball contributes to a ball’s behaviour. This knowledge will prove useful for golfers seeking to improve their game through making better ball choices to match one’s skill set. Finally, there are opportunities to expand this study into modern types of balls such as 4-piece balls as it is still not a common choice of equipment.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University