Golf Swing Myths Explained By Science

Science is amazing. When it’s not controlling a robotic mobile laboratory on the surface of Mars (More Info) it’s allowing rats to share thoughts across the Internet (More Info).

And for it’s next trick science is going to have a crack at explaining the ‘myths’ of the golf swing.

Dr Steve Otto, a former NASA scientist who is now the R&A’s director of research and testing, is giving a special lecture at the Edinburgh International Science Festival later this month on the physics of impact and seeks to clear up some of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of the game.

The magnificently named Dr Otto will use on-course elements recorded at Muirfield, venue for this year’s Open Championship, as part of his lecture.

Entitled ‘The Science of Golf from Tee to Green’, the talk focuses on the fundamental physics of golf and include research insights into shaft dynamics, metallurgy and ball construction.

"Even the best golfers in the world may not fully understand the details of striking a golf ball and there are many common myths and misconceptions surrounding the process,” said the man with a moniker worthy of a Bond villain.

Dr Otto continued "In this lecture I will explore some of these myths surrounding it and show what actually happens when a golfer hits a golf ball. At impact, for example, it accelerates from zero to 180 miles per hour in less than 1,000th of a second.’

The lecture takes place in the National Museum of Scotland on 30th March but is unlikely to explain why golf balls are attracted to water or have a satisfying explanation as to why you can nonchalantly knock in knock in an eight foot put for a seven but fall to pieces over a par put half that length.