The Science of Golf
by John Wesson
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This book gives a scientific account of all aspects of the game of golf and answers the questions which occur to all who play the game. The mechanics of the swing and the impact of the club on the ball are explained. Together these decide the range of the ball - which is shown to be the most important factor for success. The aerodynamics of the ball's flight has several surprises, including the effects of dimples and spin. Understanding these effects allows a calculation of the ball's flight and explains how the range depends on the clubhead speed and the characteristics of the club. Putting is analysed to find the optimum strategy and to understand how winds, slopes, and mud affect the run of the ball. Handicaps are perhaps the most discussed topic in golf and the book examines the handicaps system to identify their consequences in matches and competitions, with results which will surprise many players. The famous question - "what is the probability of a hole-in-one?" is discussed and a neat way of answering it is proposed. Further chapters examine the players, the equipment, and the economics of the game, discussing the aspects of play that determine success, how much the improvments in clubs and balls have affected performance and the remarkable growth of both the amateur and the professional game.
- OUP Oxford, December 2008
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