Experimental and Analytical Examination of Golf Club Dynamics

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Virginia Tech

To provide the average golfer with more consistent results, manufacturers have continued to improve the available equipment. This has led to larger club-heads, with larger ?sweet spots?, different shaft thickness for different swing styles, and the use of advanced materials, such as graphite and titanium, for the construction.

The development of improved equipment, which utilizes advanced materials, has spurred the need for advanced scientific analysis using a variety of techniques. Among the most prevalent of these methods are finite element analysis and experimental modal analysis, and use of these techniques in examining a golf club is the focus of this research.

The primary goals of this work are the development and correlation of an appropriate finite element model, the characterization of the hands-free boundary condition and the examination of the club golf dynamic response. To accomplish these objectives, the physical parameters of the golf club are determined to develop the finite element model. The analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes correlate well with the results extracted from experimental modal analysis for the free-free and clamped-free boundary conditions. With the correlation established, a third boundary condition, hands-free, is tested experimentally to ascertain the effects of the golfer?s grip on the boundary conditions. With the FEA model confirmed, a nonlinear dynamic response of the club during the down-swing is investigated using the nonlinear solver in Algor, and the club-head position relative to the shaft is predicted.

experimental, Finite element method, modal analysis, golf