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The Science of Golf [Paperback]

John Wesson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 13.99
Price: 12.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Jan 2012
This book gives a scientific account of all aspects of the game of golf and answers the questions which occur to all who play the game.
The mechanics of the swing and the impact of the club on the ball are explained. Together these decide the range of the ball - which is shown to be the most important factor for success.
The aerodynamics of the ball's flight has several surprises, including the effects of dimples and spin. Understanding these effects allows a calculation of the ball's flight and explains how the range depends on the clubhead speed and the characteristics of the club.
Putting is analysed to find the optimum strategy and to understand how winds, slopes, and mud affect the run of the ball.
Handicaps are perhaps the most discussed topic in golf and the book examines the handicaps system to identify their consequences in matches and competitions, with results which will surprise many players.
The famous question - "what is the probability of a hole-in-one? " is discussed and a neat way of answering it is proposed.
Further chapters examine the players, the equipment, and the economics of the game, discussing the aspects of play that determine success, how much the improvments in clubs and balls have affected performance and the remarkable growth of both the amateur and the professional game.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (13 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199697116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199697113
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Review from previous edition This book should be part of every teaching pro's library and will be of great interest to the technical golfer. Golf Monthly

About the Author

Dr. John Wesson is a well-respected OUP author.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts very well but tails off badly 20 Jan 2013
The larger part of this book is very good, but it is badly let down by the later chapters. Topics like the mechanics of the swing, and the aerodynamics of ball flight are dealt with clearly and relatively simply, but with scientific accuracy. The author draws attention to the differences between the outcomes for good and poor players, though he might have made more links to the causes, some of which at least are biomechanical. Things go wrong when he turns to handicaps, and he never gets back on track, or indeed returns to science, making brief excursions into history, and finance. He appears to start `riding hobby horses', and presenting information just because he has it, rather than developing themes logically as he does earlier. We also go from proper science to extrapolations from limited data. I will choose two of a number of examples; he makes fairly tendentious statements about the relative importance of long-driving and putting, and the arguments may be complex, depending on which ability groups are compared. Unfortunately, his case is based on the results of several mates hitting a few balls down one golf hole. If nothing else, this insults the quality of the work on which the early chapters are based. Whether improved golf equipment, or enhanced player skills and strength, are most to do with courses having to be lengthened, to avoid their being overwhelmed, is controversial. However, the author's chosen method of measuring the latter by looking at the progression of world records in athletic field events over the last half century is very dubious given the influence of drugs, and perhaps to a lesser extent because equipment like the javelin has been altered during the period.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the person who wants to know the science behind every aspect of the game 7 April 2011
By RocketSci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author does a great job in explaining the different scientific concepts behind the swing, ball flight and more. Being an aerospace engineer getting started in the sport, I appreciate the equations and discussions in this book. It might be a little too much for the average golfer, but the author does explain many concepts very well, so a non-engineer or scientist can understand what's going on.

Topics I personally found interesting were the double pendulum model of the swing and ball flight dynamics. Even though I knew these concepts before, and before I read the book I knew how they related to golf, it's nice to see it all in writing.

Other topics covered are the handicap system, economics in golf and an interesting chapter on the probabilities of a hole-in-one.

Recommend it to those curious about science or those golfers out there are as geeky as me. Don't expect, however, to help you with lowering your score... although it is possible, if you understand it well enough, you can use all of these concepts to improve your game.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golf 13 Mar 2010
By Robert L. Newell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the type of book I have needed for some time. Rather than many pages of fine details like where to put you feet and how to cock your elbow, etc.
the author relates the golf swing to physics and science. Probably one of the most helpful books on golf I have ever owned.
This allows you to determine how to fix any swing problems.
2.0 out of 5 stars Physics of Golf 4 April 2014
By ronald hamilton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found some of the facts interesting. I don't think the average golfer will understand the mathematics involved with the golf swing, the ball flight or the rollout. Too technical for the average reader.
5.0 out of 5 stars Science of Golf made Simple 18 Jan 2014
By SCUDevil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really does a great job simplifying the physics so a non-scientist can understand. Great diagrams and you really learn why the ball does what it does hen you hit it.

I think it helps the golf game in that way.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 8 Jun 2013
By MA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book explaining the physics and science behind the golf swing and equipment. Great for the science and golf enthusiasts.
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