Friday, September 26, 2014

Speed and Altitude Make a Birdie

The primary objective of golf is to score holes with as few swings as possible. That's why a hole-in-one, from tee to cup in one stroke, is often a cause for a golfer to jump in joy.

To achieve this feat, you need two things: speed and altitude, both of which can be achieved by a good swing. The casual golfer can send a ball flying for more than 200 yards with a swing speed of 90 mph. However, hitting fast isn't enough; your hit must also make the ball claw for altitude so that it lands closer to the hole.

Contrary to popular belief, a launch angle of 45 degrees won't make the farthest distance if you take air friction into account, Forbes contributor Steven Salzburg writes. He says a launch angle of 35 degrees can take the ball much farther. However, at a menial 112 yards, that would barely win any pro tournaments.

By applying a backspin, i.e. the backward rotation that helps golf balls grind to a halt after landing on the green, a golfer can send a ball almost twice as far at just half the angle. To nail this shot, you need good form, which is something you can develop through constant practice in front of a golf practice net.

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