The Physics of a golf swing

Nov 06, 2007

Ever wondered about the science behind your golf swing? Or what the perfect swing 'sounds' like? Last week an expert in the physics of golf has visited the home of golf to talk about technology aimed at developing 'the perfect swing'.

Professor Bob Grober of Yale University, a Professor of Applied Physics and founder of Sonic Golf, took part in a special event at the University of St Andrews, UK. He delivered a public lecture describing the research which led to the invention of a novel new way of monitoring and analysing the golf swing and the biomechanics that lie behind it.

Using low power microelectronics, Professor Grober developed electronically enabled golf clubs using intelligent sensor systems. The technology provides quantitative measurements of the golf swing in unprecedented detail, by enabling real-time, audio feedback on the motion of the club. The development has radically changed the relationship between the golfer and the golf club, yielding new insights into many aspects of the swing, such as tempo and timing.

Professor Grober, himself a scratch golfer, said, "All great golf swings have great rhythm, tempo, and timing. These essential factors allow the best golfers to move in harmony with physics, unleash huge forces and generate soaring golf shots. But how do you know if you have proper rhythm? How do you improve tempo and timing? How do you know if you are building good habits or reinforcing bad ones?

"The technology I have developed allows golfers to literally hear the rhythm, tempo and timing of their swing, in real-time, and tune in to the most fundamental success factors of the golf swing."

The technology is based on cutting-edge science and modern learning theory and is designed for any level of golfer, no matter what their playing level or understanding of the mechanics of the golf swing is. It can be inserted inside the shaft of any club and the swing motion is transmitted wirelessly to a belt-worn headset that converts the swing motion to continuous musical tones.

Using the technology, golfers can hear whether a movement is jerky or smooth, and can even hear the release of the clubhead before it hits the ball. Slow swings are indicated by low pitch, quiet tones, while fast swings increase the pitch and volume of the tones. The idea is that golfers can improve each swing as a result of `hearing¿ how good their last swing was.

Professor Grober continued, "The system is simple, straightforward, and amazingly effective - good golf swings sound good and bad golf swings don't! The aim of the technology is to help golfers make immediate and lasting improvements in their swing."

Professor Grober was invited to lecture at the University by St Andrews¿ physicist Professor Andrew Mackenzie, who met him during an academic visit to Yale last year that turned into the best golf lesson he has ever had.

Source: University of St Andrews

Explore further: Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Robot Suit May Help You Achieve a Perfect Golf Swing

Oct 31, 2007

Researchers have developed a vibrotactile feedback suit to help individuals learn new motor skills more quickly and accurately than by mimicking human teachers alone. Besides golf, dance and sports training, ...

Motorola studying modular smartphone

Oct 30, 2013

When it comes to mobile applications, consumers can customize their phones with just a few taps. Motorola Mobility wants to make it that easy to personalize a gadget's hardware.

Recommended for you

Could 'Jedi Putter' be the force golfers need?

10 hours ago

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf; in fact, it's been described as a game within a game. Now a team of Rice engineering students has devised a training putter that offers golfers audio, ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Apr 17, 2014

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Could 'Jedi Putter' be the force golfers need?

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf; in fact, it's been described as a game within a game. Now a team of Rice engineering students has devised a training putter that offers golfers audio, ...

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...