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Heavier club head = ball goes farther?


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..... My average drive has gone up from 260 (carry) to about 280+ (carry)........ My average swing speed is about 98 mph. Lighter driver don't increase my swing speed.

Either you've found how to violate the laws of physics, you're using a grossly illegal ball, or something is mistated here....there is no way you're doing 280+ carry (or even 260) with a 98MPH swing speed.

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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 far

No extra clubhead speed can be attained anywhere in the downswing. You can not move the head of any golf club faster than you can swing it. In what most everyone considers the perfect golf swing, noth

Your point is. I am putting these comments down for my benefit. I am not forcing anybody to read anything. I am just doing it for my own benefit and amusement. If you don't like what I have to say don

Either you've found how to violate the laws of physics, you're using a grossly illegal ball, or something is mistated here....there is no way you're doing 280+ carry (or even 260) with a 98MPH swing speed.

Survey says:

If he's playing at La Paz Golf Course in, Bolivia, he can theoretically carry it around 260, but that's assuming all other factors are perfect, and his launch and spin are nearly impossible to achieve (20° launch with like 2,500 spin)
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Nice to see a renewed discussion on the topic. I am still not convinced by the energy (velocity squared comparison) argument. The laws of physics require conservation of both energy and of momentum. Temperature of the objects involved in the collision before and after the impact factor into conservation of energy. How much energy, who knows. The conservation of momentum is a simpler concept for me to grasp and is dependent only on the velocities and masses of both objects before and after the impact - and that is strictly a linear relationship - mv, and are easily measured. The ability to add acceleration and additional force during contact by a stronger player may account for his ability to hit farther, also. If he can reduce the loss of velocity of the club, more momentum will be transferred to the ball. Those of you arguing the energy approach don't factor in the energy of both objects after impact. I think the momentum approach is more real world, while energy conservation is a more theoretical discussion.

This is on the right track and the conclusion that the "velocity squared" argument is false is correct, but it's a bit more complicated. You have to conserve both, so there are two constraints in the simplest model of the collision. In that case, the conclusion is that a heavier club head will transfer more momentum (and energy) to the ball, but that once the club head weighs more than the ball, the payoff gets smaller and smaller. A golf ball is around 45 grams, and the numbers I see tossed around for club heads are 200 grams. At that ratio, the ball gets a bit more than 80% of the maximum possible velocity (in the simple model).

The problem is that to improve that substantially, you have to add a LOT of mass to the clubhead. Doubling it to 400 grams only gets you the next 10% of the ball speed, and the doubling after that another 5%, with diminishing returns on and up. Adding mass to add ball speed from the collision just doesn't work efficiently.
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This is on the right track and the conclusion that the "velocity squared" argument is false is correct, but it's a bit more complicated. You have to conserve both, so there are two constraints in the simplest model of the collision. In that case, the conclusion is that a heavier club head will transfer more momentum (and energy) to the ball, but that once the club head weighs more than the ball, the payoff gets smaller and smaller. A golf ball is around 45 grams, and the numbers I see tossed around for club heads are 200 grams. At that ratio, the ball gets a bit more than 80% of the maximum possible velocity (in the simple model).

AND , adding that much mass to the club head certainly affects swing speed at some point. It's not as if club companies haven't thought of this. They know a lighter driver means longer drives. That's why they've been pushing super light drivers for the past few years.
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I don't doubt that golf club manufacturers have tested extensively and found that about 200 grams is optimum for the average "consumer" with an "average" swing speed. We know what a great job they do with off-the-rack iron sets! However, I think it is only possible to optimize your driver by experimentation and pounding balls. Increasing the club head weight by up to 20% is a reasonable range to experiment, in my opinion. Finding the optimum shaft is probably more important - and then optimizing orientation in the head is even more important. I am a basement tinkerer, and I statically spine my shafts. I have installed, removed and re-installed a shaft in a driver in as many as six different orientations just to see what happens. Doing this can change an X flex Fuji Vista Tour from a reg-firm to an X (a big range). For me, I have found that the optimum result is reached when I tip to a firm and then orient the NBP along the target line. Having the NBP along the target line seems to give me a very straight ball flight, which makes sense to me. I hit an R7 Limited and an R7 CGB Max with 6 gm to 10 gm additional in the heel (14 or 16 in the back, and 1gm in the toe), so I am about 3% to 5% heavier than standard.
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Wow, while I was away there was a lot of good thought on this subject. When you think about it just a little the problem of elastic collisions it pretty complex and that's why experts in this field develop large complex computer simulations and do a lot of "iron Byron" testing to confirm results of the simulations. So the real answer for most of us is to just experiment with different drivers to find one that suit our swing and game. That's because there isn't one answer that fits everyone as the machines that swing the club (us) come in different designs and capabilities. Just think about it. In the beginning there is no energy in the process. The club is at rest at the top of the backswing and ball is at rest on the tee. There is no Kinetic energy or momentum in the "system". So the golfing machine has to add some force to accelerate the club and get it moving. I say that because of the discussion about whether momentum or kinetic energy is in play at collision with with ball. These are inextricably related and both come from the golfer applying a force over a distance and time and both have to be conserved in the collision that accelerates the ball. The energy can change "form" and does as both the club and ball will be deformed some causing them to rise in temperature somewhat. So only a portion of the Kinetic energy is used to accelerate the ball.
Well I could go on some (and bore most of you to tears) but the answer to the question that started this thread is try it and see. If it works good and if it doesn't try something different. Just keep experimenting until you find the "optimum solution" for your specific "golfing machine" (didn't someone write a book with that title, Bobby something I think?).
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I think we can say without fear of contradiction, that given unlimited energy to swing the club, a heavier club will hit the ball further. But it's the golfer's ability to accelerate the club that really matters.
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I think we can say without fear of contradiction, that given unlimited energy to swing the club, a heavier club will hit the ball further. But it's the golfer's ability to accelerate the club that really matters.

I believe that is both eloquent, correct, and succinct.

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  • 1 year later...

I added 8 grams to the front of my R9 Supertri and had the longest drive ever.  Plus I felt it was more stable and hit all fairways the first day out.  Similar to tennis, you want the heaviest club you can handle.  Even if my swing weight was slightly less, the ball was consistently  going further and it was not due to the weather, which was around 70 degrees.  You can use one equation after another, but going out and doing it works for me.  Most of the wood/driver heads that the pros use have 15 grams or more weight than the off the shelf ones.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clambake View Post
None

Either you've found how to violate the laws of physics, you're using a grossly illegal ball, or something is mistated here....there is no way you're doing 280+ carry (or even 260) with a 98MPH swing speed.

Here we go again

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Nearly 64 posts (not you onesome) of hot air and pontification , flopping it out and saying mines bigger than yours ...brain that is...did anybody simply answer the OP ? Simply being the operative word!

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  • 1 month later...

I can answer this it's the direct mass that matters not over all head weight. If you make a driver the size of a 2 iron head at 300 grams and swing it 105 mph you would smash the ball at 12 deg of loft assuming the club had a high center of gravity and was fairly forgiving. The mass of the club only effects directly behind the ball this is why big tin can driver swing at 110 mph when hit on the heel or to don't work well and are bad miss hits.

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Originally Posted by Snakey

Nearly 64 posts (not you onesome) of hot air and pontification  , flopping it out and saying mines bigger than yours ...brain that is...did anybody simply answer the OP ? Simply being the operative word!

How about this? In theory, a heavier club head would transfer more energy to the ball, which would then go further. In practice, though, increasing the weight of the club head -- beyond a certain point -- also decreases the speed at which it can be swung, so the ball does not actually go further.

Full story here: http://www.tutelman.com/golf/ballflight/smashfactor.php

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I can answer this it's the direct mass that matters not over all head weight. If you make a driver the size of a 2 iron head at 300 grams and swing it 105 mph you would smash the ball at 12 deg of loft assuming the club had a high center of gravity and was fairly forgiving because naturally 300 grams of the same material is denser to a lighter counterpart. The mass of the club only effects directly behind the ball this is why big tin can driver swing at 110 mph when hit on the heel or toe don't work well and are bad miss hits. Woods are hollow with a face insert welded into them and are very forgiving in a large surface area compared to a 3 iron and therfore is more effecient all round in playability. It's really not about weight it's about mass or metal density wether you realize it or not your 4600 cc driver has a hittable area of only 2 inches the rest is really a waste of space. It's easiy concieveable that a 150 gram object of 5x gretaer density could perform better than a 250 gram object at lower metalic density were talking down to the cellular make up of the metal. This is why any good golfer knows a pured forged will have better energy transfer than a cavity due to voids in the metal especially lower end models.

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Originally Posted by Mike Boatright

I can answer this it's the direct mass that matters not over all head weight. If you make a driver the size of a 2 iron head at 300 grams and swing it 105 mph you would smash the ball at 12 deg of loft assuming the club had a high center of gravity and was fairly forgiving because naturally 300 grams of the same material is denser to a lighter counterpart. The mass of the club only effects directly behind the ball this is why big tin can driver swing at 110 mph when hit on the heel or toe don't work well and are bad miss hits. Woods are hollow with a face insert welded into them and are very forgiving in a large surface area compared to a 3 iron and therfore is more effecient all round in playability. It's really not about weight it's about mass or metal density wether you realize it or not your 4600 cc driver has a hittable area of only 2 inches the rest is really a waste of space. It's easiy concieveable that a 150 gram object of 5x gretaer density could perform better than a 250 gram object at lower metalic density were talking down to the cellular make up of the metal. This is why any good golfer knows a pured forged will have better energy transfer than a cavity due to voids in the metal especially lower end models.

Do you take drugs, Mike?

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Did people forget everything they learned in physics? Edited* Nevermind, everything I said in 2 sentences was covered and beat to death by every physicist and engineer in the community over many pages of replies....
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What if the person's optimal weight of their clubs was incorrect?  In my case my clubs have almost 120 grams added through 40 gram counter weights, 75 gram weights inserted into the shaft, and then 7 gram wheel weights added to the toe of the club.  I hit them much more consistently and have no problem fully releasing them because I feel the club tracking around me so I don't hold anything back like I do when I swing off the rack clubs.

My swingspeed is higher with the heavier clubs because my coordination of releasing the club is much better and I think that is why someone could actually hit a heavier club further.  To me there is point where the person can maintain swingspeed and deliver the club efficiently but it will be different for everyone.  It's all about finding the clubweight that your smash factor is the highest which to me. It is much easier to "control" or should I say, let the club track its predeterminded arch when the club is perceived to be "heavy." Just like other's have mentioned about tennis rackets and baseball bats, pros swing the heaviest equipment that they can control because they are much much more effecient on mishits.

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Note: This thread is 1148 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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