Thursday, May 08, 2014

How Science and Golf Converge on the Green

Science and golfFrom the flight of a golf ball to the friction and path of that same ball rolling along a green towards its destination, science and golf are naturally connected. If we pay more attention to the physics of the sport, we may just improve our game!

Short game instructor, Dave Pelz may very well agree with the above analysis. A former senior NASA physicist, Pelz has applied his own technical logic to his Putting Bible after leaving the Goddard Space Flight Center, from aim line to actual path of the golf ball. 

Mr. Pelz has also helped research and test a SYNLawn golf green which he says reacts and performs as if it were real grass. The SYNLawn Precision Putting Green, for example, comes complete with heat-block and UV stabilization and offers the same level of performance expected from a professional golf course.

It is one thing to look like a golf green…It’s quite another to actually perform like one. 

Mr. Pelz’ teaching philosophy? “If we can't test it or prove it or show it, we don't teach it.” So science and golf do converge on the green!

A few of Dave Pelz’ scientific putting tips include:

1. “Years of experiments have shown us that the optimum speed for making putts is one that would, if the hole were covered or missed, roll the ball seventeen inches past the back edge.” - minimizes the chance of the dreaded three-putt coming back. from Dave Pelz Putting Bible

2. Let Face Angle Be Your Guide - Research data shows that where the face angle of your putter is aimed at impact determines where the ball travels. 

Study the two factors of a solidly struck putt and you'll discover that face angle determines eighty-three percent of the starting line while putter path direction determines seventeen percent. In other words, a square face angle is five times more important to starting putts on line than putter path. – taken from Golf.com Article – “All My Secrets”

3. “Almost every golfer I know could improve simply by remembering this one rule: All putts are speed putts.”

Why not try Pelz' 20-Foot Putting Game for practicing a reference 20-foot putt.


Dave Pelz on SYNLawn green
Dave Pelz on SYNLawn Golf Green showing 20-foot putting game.

What about those golfers who seem to take a more haphazard approach to putting?

If trusting your instinct is all you feel that you need when standing over a long or short putt, think again. 

“Putting is pretty much what your eye sees and then the signals the eyes give your body, nerves…and then it finally translates out to the club,” Suzann Pettersen says in The Science of Golf Video presented by NBC Learn and the United States Golf Association. 



If you cannot see above video, here is the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB36sW-iYBY

Although LPGA Tour golfer Pettersen may not be thinking of the science behind the putts that she takes during a golf tournament, know that the physics principles of “work, energy and power” are always operating behind the scenes.

That being said, no need to have to drive to a green; you can now hone these scientific principles with the accuracy of a professional golf green in your own backyard!

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Golf for Beginners blog.
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Photo credits: SYNLawnGolf.com, DailyMail.UK

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