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post #19 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I think the equation you are looking for is this:

Force(@ ball when struck) = Mass(of club) x Velocity squared (swing speed)

Since the Velocity is squared, a small change will make more of a difference than in increase in weight.
If the swing speed stays the same, then a heavier club head will also give more force, and more distance. Typically if the clubhead is heavier, you lose swing speed, so distance goes down.
A lot of it may be what feels comfortable - you may like a heavier club head and swing smoother, which may result in a better ball strike, and longer distance.
post #20 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by willworkforbeer View Post
I think the equation you are looking for is this:

Force(@ ball when struck) = Mass(of club) x Velocity squared (swing speed)

Since the Velocity is squared, a small change will make more of a difference than in increase in weight.
If the swing speed stays the same, then a heavier club head will also give more force, and more distance. Typically if the clubhead is heavier, you lose swing speed, so distance goes down.
A lot of it may be what feels comfortable - you may like a heavier club head and swing smoother, which may result in a better ball strike, and longer distance.
and the winner is....
post #21 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by willworkforbeer View Post
I think the equation you are looking for is this:

Force(@ ball when struck) = Mass(of club) x Velocity squared (swing speed)

Since the Velocity is squared, a small change will make more of a difference than in increase in weight.
If the swing speed stays the same, then a heavier club head will also give more force, and more distance. Typically if the clubhead is heavier, you lose swing speed, so distance goes down.
A lot of it may be what feels comfortable - you may like a heavier club head and swing smoother, which may result in a better ball strike, and longer distance.
Not quite... the kinetic energy of the club head = mass (of club) * velocity squared. It's not straightforward to translate this into a ball launch velocity, but if you search around a bit on this site I think you can find at least one approximate calculation. The basic outcome is that as long as the club head is heavier than the ball, you're better off increasing the speed.
post #22 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

nah, adams and cobras new drivers prove that lighter is better.
post #23 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by willworkforbeer View Post
I think the equation you are looking for is this:

Force(@ ball when struck) = Mass(of club) x Velocity squared (swing speed)

Since the Velocity is squared, a small change will make more of a difference than in increase in weight.
If the swing speed stays the same, then a heavier club head will also give more force, and more distance. Typically if the clubhead is heavier, you lose swing speed, so distance goes down.
A lot of it may be what feels comfortable - you may like a heavier club head and swing smoother, which may result in a better ball strike, and longer distance.

explain your physics please. last time i checked, F=ma. I think you are talking about work done on the golf ball, in which case you are looking at W=1/2mv^2, which also equals kinetic energy by work-energy theorem.
post #24 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Actually the Force is equal to the mass x acceleration. Normally, when the mass is increased there is a reduction in acceleration because the velocity is reduced. They are not mutually exclusive.
post #25 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I think heavier club may get the ball goes farther if the limiting factor is how fast you can swing you arms and turn your body. i.e. if you can only swing a zero weight club at 100mph, than keep decreasing the club weight will not help if you already can swing your current club at that speed. However, if you are strong and can swing a heavier club without decreasing you swing speed, then it will help.
post #26 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I can't help but weigh in here.

First of all mass does matter! Just watch the collision of golf ball and bowling ball here. Notice how much faster golf ball moves compared to bowling ball after collision.
http://demo.physics.uiuc.edu/LectDem...re%20info.html

Assuming a frictionless, one dimensional world, when two rigid objects collide, their momentum preserves. Momentum=Mass*Velocity. (BTW Force=Mass*Acceleration but that's less relevant to golf swing). What this means is if the golf ball and club head have the same mass, a 100mph swing will give 100mph ball speed. But if the club head mass is 1.5 times the golf ball, the ball will fly at 150mph even with the same swing speed.

However, a golf ball is not completely rigid, nor is the face of the driver. Both of them will compress and expand during collision. In this case, Energy is preserved not momentum. (Kinetic) Energy=mass*Velocity^2 Here comes the velocity squared. But don't be mistaken to think that velocity is more important due to the square. It applies to both the club head and ball's speed. So the swing speed increase translates into similar amount of the ball speed if the mass is similar.

So the point is that club head weight and speed has the same amount of importance to ball speed. However, as some people pointed out, it's harder to swing faster with heavier swing weighted club(please note below that swing weight and club head weight are different). But it is also true that if the swing weight is too light, you cannot accelerate through the impact. Just grab the driver the other way around and swing it. You can't really swing fast. That is because there is impedance mismatch. The biomechanics of your body requires some amount of inertia when trying to swing a club. If the inertia(resistance or impedance) of the object you are trying to swing is too big, you won't be able to transfer maximum energy into it. By the same token, if the inertia is too small, you won't either. There is optimum amount of intertia- in this case, right swing weight for you to maximize the energy transfer between your arm movement and club head. But I'm willing to bet that right swing weight is different for different people- heavier/stronger person will be better matched with heavier swing weight.

One other thing to note is that just because the driver head is lighter doesn't mean that your swing weight is lighter too. If that lighter driver head is matched with even lighter shaft, the swing weight may increase. So I wouldn't necessarily conclude that modern day drivers' swing weight is lighter than older ones because the shafts became lighter too.

Bottom line is you want to experiment with different swing weights and see if what works better for you. I know KJ Choi sticks some lead tape on his irons because he likes the heavier feel of it. It may also change over time too. I personally happened to get two different swing weighted hybrids earlier this year- D3 vs D4 I think. In the beginning, when my body muscle wasn't ingrained with golf swing, I liked the lighter one but these days I like heavier one better. I haven't measured it yet but I wouldn't be surprised if I can actually swing the heavier one faster.

Would you rather be hit by a 100-pound object traveling 1 MPH or a 1-pound object traveling 100 MPH? I have to say this is not relevant, if not misleading example. Let's say you put on a 12 century steel armor and skate board. Both of above hits will move your body at exactly the same speed- a rigid body collision example.
post #27 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by hamletsdead View Post
For all you physics minded golfers: If you hit a golfball with a heavy object, it goes far. All things being equal (i.e., at the same swingspeed) a heavier clubhead will launch the ball faster and farther.

But the question is, what is the optimum weight? I've been feeling like all the drivers out there are too light. Does anyone sell heavy-heavy drivers, like old Nicklaus weight? And does anyone on tour use a heavy driver?
The heavier head would be really difficult to control during your swing
post #28 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I found this thread while researching the concept of single length irons (See 1 Iron Golf). I have read all forums I could find on the single length concept. The concept makes some sense to me, but I don't want to pay $700 to try it. So I put together a set of irons all the length of my 8 iron (which I love and hit great) and am going to try them out. 1 Iron's heads all weigh 275 gms with a constant (optimum) lie of 63.5 degrees, while my heads range from about 240 gm for the 3 iron to about 290 for the 9 iron and the lies vary. I picked some undercut cavity back irons with a curved (toe to heel) sole, so I don't think the slight variation in lie will be a problem (although it might affect the effective loft slightly).

1 Iron maintains that the iron heads should all weigh the same so the club swingweights and feel are consistent. I question that. As an engineer, I thought about conservation of momentum and how head weight and velocity imparts velocity to the ball. I wonder if head weights should range from lowest for the 9 iron to highest for the 3 iron. Swingweights would vary, accordingly, but the 3 iron would impart more momentum to the ball if I can swing it at the same speed as the 9 iron. I am not sure about feel. Since I have an undercut cavity, I can easily add lead shot in epoxy to the cavities to adjust the weights of each head. I plan to start with the heads as is and see how that works first. What do you think?
post #29 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I dont know any physics but i think the question has been answered five times at least.So 2 clubs one heavier, one lighter both swung @ 100mph, and we will asume that they are both center sweet spot hits, forget about contol, etc.... wasnt the original question. Too many people over thinking this and adding variables. If 2 things swung at the same speed hit you in the FACE, which one would hurt more? The heavier one or the lighter one?
post #30 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by jpalermo View Post
So 2 clubs one heavier, one lighter both swung @ 100mph
That's the problem with your thought right there: you can't swing the heavier one as fast as the lighter one.
post #31 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

I was responding merely to the question of the title, "Heavier club head = ball goes farther?"
post #32 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Originally Posted by jpalermo View Post
I was responding merely to the question of the title, "Heavier club head = ball goes farther?"
I think people would prefer that you read and understand more than just the thread titles. If we could swing something that weighed ten pounds 100 MPH at the golf ball we probably all would.
post #33 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

What are we talking 1-3 mph different... depending on the clubhead weight.

Using the general ratio of "clubhead speed x 1.5 = ball speed"

100 mph = 150 mph ball speed
97 mph = 145.5 mph ball speed

Now that ratio is based off of the standard driver weight of 200g. Now lets say "without testing the theory" that adding a 100g of weight to the club head changes the "general ratio" by 10%. Clubhead speed x 1.65 = ball speed

97 mph = 160.5 ball speed. My guess is even if you cant swing it as fast, if your close it will still go AS far if not farher.
post #34 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Yes, many people have commented on the physics of the question, but I don't think the question has been answered definitively, and I don't think it has been addressed for irons. The important consideration is how much energy has been transferred to the ball. I suppose a small amount of energy would be lost as an increase in ball temperature, but it is probably not significant. The energy transfer would then measured as the difference between the energy of the swinging head before impact and the energy of the swinging head after the ball leaves the face of the club. The energy transfer would be indicated by the change in clubhead speed (deceleration and velocity of the clubhead the instant the after the ball leaves the face). Muscular force applied during the short time of contact with the ball also adds energy to the clubhead/ball system.

My question to this thread is how the readers feel about how this weight vs. distance question might apply to irons generally and to single length irons specifically. I have experimented with drivers, adding from zero up to 25 grams in increments of epoxied-on lead to the back of a square Fti knockoff. Feel at impact was affected. I found that for me and that particular driver, 25 grams was too much, and I ground off about 5 grams to come up with the right feel. Based on feel, I think that the time the ball is in contact with the face is longer with the heavier driver head. I felt like I could swing harder through impact, and the ball went a little farther on average (10 to 20 yards). I am currently hitting an r7 Limited and have settled on a 6 gm weight in the heel, 16 gm in the back and 1 gm in the toe fitted with an Ozik xcon 5.5 S flex, spined and optimized for flat line oscillation. I hit it very straight, but that is a subject for another thread.

I hope some of you will "weigh in" on my questions about weight vs. distance as it might pertain specifically to single length irons.
post #35 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Well, I took my Rube Goldberg single length set and hit a couple buckets of balls. The longer irons are all the length of my 8 iron. Contact felt good, ball flight was straight, and the variation in lie did not seem to be a problem. As the iron number got lower, though, the lighter head became noticeable and distracting during the swing. Trajectory became lower and the distance for the long irons was not much more than the mid-irons. I will add weight to equalize the weight of the heads and report back on the results.
post #36 of 98

Re: Heavier club head = ball goes farther?

Added weight to equalize the single length Rube Goldberg set, and long irons still don't travel much farther than mid-irons, but they feel much better hitting through the ball. I think I am back to an old habit of casting the club, so I am not ready to give up on the single lengths yet. After all this single length experimenting, going back to my regular set, The long irons feel too light, also. Does anyone know how they settled on about a 45 gram and 3 inch difference between the 3 iron head and the 9 iron head? Could I hit my long irons longer if they were progressively heavier, and how much is optimum? Conservation of momentum (mass times velocity) is the principal at work, but the velocity is somewhat dependent on the length of the club (arc). It may be deceiving, but it almost seems like a heavier iron head can be swung with more power, if not velocity.
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