This is a post by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) executive director Anthony Fasano, PE.
I recently had the opportunity to attend our November NYSSPE New York County Chapter seminar entitled The Engineering Behind Golf. When I initially saw the topic, I was somewhat skeptical of how much technical information this seminar might have. Wow was I wrong—this was one of the most fascinating and technical seminars that I have seen in a while, and believe me, I have seen a lot of them.
Guest speaker Steve Quintavalla, PhD from the United States Golf Association presented a one-hour seminar that explained all of the testing the USGA does over the course of one year to ensure that the golf equipment on the market conforms to USGA rules.
USGA engineers test over 35,000 balls per year, as well as thousands of different clubs. These engineers invent machines to test all of this equipment. For example, they have created a robot that can hit a golf ball at 120 mph for testing purposes.
Steve also broke down the analysis that they perform on every golf ball sent to them. He actually passed around a golf ball that had been split in half and explained the internal components, which included both a hard and a soft layer for different purposes.
The speaker also walked us through a detailed summary of the analysis that the USGA has been doing in order to shorten the amount of time it takes golfers to complete a round of golf. The USGA feels that if round times were shorter, more people would golf on a regular basis. They identified some of the key instances where delays occur on the course and have implemented and will continue to implement strategies to alleviate these obstacles and shorten round times.
All in all, this was a really fascinating seminar, and I commend the New York County Chapter for bringing a nontraditional topic to our members.
Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.