Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Physics of Golf Putting

So we have had a few "physics of golf" on here, but they were all focused on the golf swing (see this and this). Now comes a very careful treatise on golf putting in the form of an ArXiv manuscript. Written by Robert Grober of Yale, it appears that world-class golfer have been putting with a pendulum motion of the golf putter at twice the natural frequency. And this minimizes the error in the putt!


1 comment:

Geoff Mangum said...

Nothing new here except the flawed analysis of causation underlying the pattern. A putting stroke is basically the same rhythmic pattern as things that "swing" both directions with the same time. But in application, starting the backstroke from a stationary position at the bottom of a pendulum arc makes the "backstroke" timing look like half the total timing from top of backstroke to top of thrustroke. This is because the putting backstroke "joins in" with the on-going timing of a full cycling of the pendulum back and thru from top to top, as if the backstroke from address to top of backstroke catches up to a stroke from the top of the follow-thru to the top of the backstroke. Thereafter, the on-going full-cycle internal swing and the actual putting stroke are in synchrony. Accordingly, the backstroke is 1/2 the time of the thru-stroke. This has nothing to do with "spring" models of human muscle action, and in fact neurophysiology is not like this. To say that a "spring" model fits the data and THEREFORE the model is an accurate understanding of the phenomenon is basically very flawed logic.