Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lehigh Professor Testing Golf Club Heads That Are Center Of Controversy

Date:
March 1, 2001
Source:
Lehigh University
Summary:
When Stanley H. Johnson, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University, speaks of "spring-like effect," he isn’t referring to the weather. He’s talking golf. The term is at the center of Johnson’s research on golf club heads at the United States Golf Association and of recent disagreements between the USGA and a golf club maker and the European golfing association.

When Stanley H. Johnson, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University, speaks of "spring-like effect," he isn’t referring to the weather. He’s talking golf.

Related Articles


The term is at the center of Johnson’s research on golf club heads at the United States Golf Association and of recent disagreements between the USGA and a golf club maker and the European golfing association.

Some new golf clubs have not been accepted by the USGA, but have met with approval from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. The conflict has yet to be resolved, but in America, USGA decisions apply.

"Spring-like effect," refers to a new phenomenon in which the golf club head has the capability of driving the ball greater distances than would be the case with traditional equipment. The new titanium head incorporates a "diaphragm" face that literally acts as a spring to thrust the ball farther down the fairway. The USGA believes the effect fundamentally changes the game.

Johnson, who holds a doctorate and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoys "Participating Guest" status at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has consulted for the USGA for the past 11 years. He first became acquainted with spring-like effect about four years ago. "Before that we didn’t think the materials were available to permit this trampoline effect to happen," Johnson says. But manufacturers began designing clubs that did.

Johnson’s function at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J. is to work with the Test Center staff to design and improve test equipment and instrumentation that determine whether new clubs incorporate the spring like effect. Johnson and Jim Hubbell, senior research engineer at USGA, designed a test "that demonstrates that the phenomenon exists," Johnson says. "We shot golf balls at a titanium disk with a cavity back that shows this kind of club head with membrane configuration indeed enhances ball rebound speed."

The phenomenon lasts about "half a millisecond," and the club head deforms just about fifty thousandths of an inch," Johnson says. But that is enough "to produce a little bit better launch velocity."

With golf representing an annual $6 billion industry in the United States Johnson’s work is important to the future of the game and becomes more so each year. Because manufacturers are developing equipment and balls that push the outer limits of golfing regulations, and because golfers are getting bigger, better and stronger, USGA tests are essential to keep the rules of the game up-to-date. "I look for ways to improve the testing process," Johnson says. "With each passing year the precision with which golf equipment is measured gets tighter and tighter."

Old testing equipment no longer can adequately measure the performance of the equipment. Test tolerances have gone from one percent to a tenth of a percent. "We used to measure in milliseconds. Now it’s done in microseconds," Johnson says.

Golf balls, for example, used to be tested using a mechanical driver called "Iron Byron" because it copied the swing of Byron Nelson, the famous pro. Today balls are "launched" down an all-weather, indoor test range while "ballistic light screens," optical measuring stations designed to study the characteristics of artillery shells, measure the lift and drag characteristics of golf balls at various velocities and spins.

Johnson works closely with Steve Quintavalla, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Lehigh, who is a full time employee at USGA and a lead engineer in the testing of golf balls.

Does the new equipment change the game? The spring like effect certainly does, Johnson says. "It changes the coefficient of restitution of the impact between the ball and club and that should help most people who are reasonably good golfers and add 10 to 20 yards to their drives."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lehigh University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lehigh University. "Lehigh Professor Testing Golf Club Heads That Are Center Of Controversy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010227074823.htm>.
Lehigh University. (2001, March 1). Lehigh Professor Testing Golf Club Heads That Are Center Of Controversy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010227074823.htm
Lehigh University. "Lehigh Professor Testing Golf Club Heads That Are Center Of Controversy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010227074823.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

NYPD Gives High Tech Anti-Terror Weapon to 41,000 Officers

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) New York City officials announce a new technology initiative for the NYPD. Tim Minton reports smartphones and tablets will be given to more than 40,000 NYPD officers and detectives in an effort to change the way they perform their duties. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins