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Weather Affects Golf Ball Flight

 
     Golf is played in many different types of weather. The type of weather affects how far the ball travels and its amount of spin. Knowing how the weather conditions affect your ball, therefore, is necessary to making correct club selections.

     The trajectory of a golf ball and the distance it travels depends on its initial trajectory, speed and spin, as well as what it's moving through (air). The air is not always the same. It varies in temperature, pressure, humidity and density. If there were no air whatsoever, the golf ball would not travel far. Likewise, if a ball is hit in air with no spin, it will not travel far. Check out the graph below of a golf ball hit with a driver under 3 different conditions.


Note first of all that the horizontal and vertical scales are quite different so as to depict clearly the differences in the conditions.

Max Height
Distance
Trajectory under normal conditions  
38 yd
248 yd
Trajectory if no air
8 yd
180 yd
Trajectory in air with no spin
6 yd
120 yd

The spin on the ball creates lift which increases the height reached and increases the time of flight so that the ball travels further. If there were no air, spin wouldn't matter at all. If the air is changed (pressure, temperature, density) the height and distance travelled will change.

Try out my Distance Calculator.  You can input different conditions to see how they affect your tee shots.

  Under normal conditions, the air does not change very much, but the amount can be significant and should be taken into account, otherwise your ball will fall too short or too long of its mark. Below is a table of distances for a 5-iron and Driver under different atmospheric conditions.

5 degrees
100% humidity
20 degrees
50% humidity
35 degrees
80% humidity
Driver
244 yd
250 yd
262 yd
5-iron
168 yd
175 yd
182 yd

 

Note that temperature is in degrees Celcius. On the Fahrenheit scale, the temperatures would be 41, 68 and 95 degrees respectively. The distances also depend on the air pressure which not only depends on temperature and humidity but also on altitude. Hot and humid results in the ball travelling further.

     I provide a service to golfers who are interested in determining how the weather will affect their shots. If you'd like to purchase this service, click the Order  Services option. You can determine the effects of temperature, wind and elevation.

 

The Science of Meteorology online Learn some basic meteorology from StuffInTheAir.com

ŠProbable Golf Instruction, Ken Tannar 2001-2015. All Rights Reserved.

Langley, B.C. V2Y 2G4 Canada
Phone: 604-309-7030  FAX: to fax, email an attachment
probablegolf@yahoo.ca or golfexpert@probablegolfinstruction.com
Site maintained by Ken Tannar.

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Golf Trip Pairing Calculator

Planning a golf trip with some friends/family? Trying to sort out the foursomes so people don't play too often with others?

Order your ready made Spreadsheet. Type in the names, print out the groupings. Minimize repeat pairings.

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Wind Caddy App

Wind Caddy will advise you on aim, distance and club so that you can play the wind successfully. It takes the guess work out of club selection.

What's new in Version 1.2?

New option to enter custom distances for each club. The algorithm will make a club suggestion accordingly. Use the right club in every condition!

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