# How far could a golf ball be propelled at STP?

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I was reading Dave Barry today,

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, where he talks about an explosive golf club that could propel a ball up to 500 yards:

"The Ballistic Driver is a ''swing-less'' golf club. You grip it as usual, and you position the head of the club next to the golf ball. But instead of swinging the club, you press an ''Activator Button'' on the grip; this detonates a small explosive charge inside the club head, which causes a metal plate to shoot out the side of the club a distance of 1.5 inches at a speed of 200 miles per hour. The plate hits the golf ball, which then, according to the brochure, goes ''250 yards, every time . . . down the middle, exactly where you aimed it, drive after drive."

He goes on to say, "''it could theoretically propel the ball 500 yards.'' This means that a pathetic schlump like me could propel the ball farther than Tiger Woods Inc. hits it on those rare occasions when he is not filming American Express commercials.

And who knows what lies down the road? I mean, if we can make a club that can hit the ball 500 yards, why not 1,000? Why not 1,500? Why not a mile?"

And I wondered, why not a mile? A lot would depend on what kind of propulsion you used, but I'm guessing the muzzle velocity would be supersonic.

Thanks, Rich

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I think you'd have to define what it still means for it to be a "golf ball" after it stops. It seems pretty obvious that if you shot it through the air at the same trajectory as a typical driver - typically 8 to 11 degrees of loft - at a sufficiently high velocity, the thing would ignite. That ball would be unplayable as a golf ball for a subsequent "stroke." And of course, it's probably theoretically possible that it not only would ignite, but burn up completely. A meteorite the size of a golf ball entering the atmosphere is going to burn up completely.

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Rich Grise wrote in news:jf1va8\$639\$ snipped-for-privacy@dont-email.me:

[...]

Neglecting all aerodynamic effects, I calculate that the minimum initial velocity would need to be approximately 580 feet per second.

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velocity would need to be

Ok. But remember that you can't ignore the aerodynamic effects with a golf ball. I'm sure you're aware of this, but some folks may not realize that those little dimples have quite a large (positive) effect.

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I am not convinced that you could propel a golf ball a mile. A golf ball is round , which is not very good at going long distances. In addition a golf ball is not very dense.

Dan

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=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Dan

I ran a ballistic model with a Cd and weigth off the internet ( Cd =3D0.5 ramping to 1 at MACH 1 Internet) mass 46 grams. Lauched at

330 m/sec (MACH 1) and a launch angle wa 40 deg ball will travel 400 meters in 12 seconds. Normal CD of a ball is about 0.5 (Hoerner)
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=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Dan

Sorry about the repost

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In article , Ed Huntress writes

Reminds me of when I was working at the Royal Military College of Science. They had a very nice golf course in the grounds. The professor of ballistics seemed to spend a lot of time studying the motion of golf balls using high speed cameras. Nice work if you can get it!

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velocity would need to be

Not sure what it is you mean by positive. If you're talking about drag, the dimples have a *negative* effect: they reduce drag because they reduce the laminar flow (at the cost of a slight increase in turbulence). The skin friction drag is slightly increased relative to what a smooth sphere would have, but the reduction in pressure drag is much greater.

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Unless you're shooting it out of a gun, or otherwise applying a progressive force to a full hemisphere of it, I think that the first question is how much energy you can store in that never-very-hard mass when you whack it with a flat object, and how much it can release on the rebound. That may not be so easy to figure.

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velocity would need to be

Positive in terms of flight distance.

If the ball spins as it does coming off of a golf club, you also get some lift from the Magnus effect.

But I'm not going there. I'll leave that to the physicists. d8-)

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Mike Austin drove a ball 515 yards at age 64 on Sept 25, 1974. That's 470.9 meters. That was at the seniours at Winterwood in Las Vegas (Now Desert Rose)

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And, would a Democrat golf ball go farther? Or a Republican golf ball. I think the Dem would go less far, but it would be "put down" as farther.

Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus

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.

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--Remember the farther you can whack it at one go the farther off the mark it'll land unless your accuracy is dead on. There's a point of diminishing returns in that calculation. OTOH if you just want range we use golfballs for ammo in our cannons in Northern California, bwahaha...

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I am a little surprised that no one mentioned the other side of the thing. The "equal and opposite reaction" thing. It's going to drive the "club " head backwards. Better be really holding on to the damn thing. Essentially this is a gun at right angle to, and on the end of, a yard long stick. That's going to be a bitch to control.

Better would be a similar club that you swung, but that fired on contact. jk

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The club will come to an instant stop, and hurt your arm.

How about... place the explosive charge on the *back* side of the club head, so that the head is driven into the ball.

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You already have the inertia of the ball, and you're adding to that the recoil from the explosion. Now you have a broken arm.

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Not to mention the smoking crater you left in the grass. How are you going to replace a divot like that?

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Gummer:

The charge belongs on the back of the club head, as I said.

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