Computational modelling of the golf stroke

Lucas, Timothy David (1999) Computational modelling of the golf stroke. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 1999LucasPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (13MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


The golf stroke was computationally modelled using finite element analysis. Results for
the impact between the club head and the ball compared well with previous research, both
practical and theoretical. The results imply that for thick face club heads, such as irons,
club head performance is independent of material stiffness but highly dependent on the
friction of the interface and the clubhead geometry. The three ball flight predictors
(speed, trajectory and spin rate) as a function of clubhead parameters are shown to be
non-trivial. Acceptable models of impact could be achieved using rigid faces for thick
face clubheads with the centre of mass and clubhead inertia accurately described.
Results on ball construction effects imply that both the stiffness and mass distribution
throughout the ball affect performance. The large deformations of the ball mean that
classic rigid body mechanics cannot suffice in golf impact predictions.
A model of the golf swing based on a double pendulum was constructed and shaft
performance examined for various styles of golf swing. Shaft parameters thought to
affect performance were quantitatively evaluated and results compared well with
previous research. Increased club head speeds at impact were achieved with shafts of
lighter weight or reduced bending stiffness for all styles of golf swing examined. The
cause of bending forward of the shaft at impact was identified to occur from the large
centrifugal forces acting on the head and the increased bending stiffness of the shaft also
due to centrifugal force. On a detailed level shaft behaviour was affected by vibrations
which appeared chaotic due to the changing stiffness of the system. This is expected to
be less of an effect in an actual golf shot due to the damping provided by the human

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Ms Mary Anne Meyering
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-5001
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 12:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year