In-Flight

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The flight path of the golf ball once it has been hit is influenced a great deal by physics. While the ball is airborne it is affected by many different factors. Obviously gravity is the most significant force acting on the ball. It is the force of gravity that eventually causes the ball to return to the ground. Wind resistance and air resistance are also very important factors that are involved in the flight of the ball. Golfers have to take the wind into consideration when they hit the ball. If the wind is to their face they generally try to hit ball with a lower trajectory, because if they hit it higher the force that the wind exerts on the ball can carry it way off course or just keep the ball from going as far. If the wind is at the golfer's back they generally hit the ball with a higher trajectory because the force of the wind will carry the ball further.
Air resistance is a factor that affects the golf ball no matter how calm the day is. It is because of air resistance that the golf ball now has dimples. The dimples decrease the air resistance, allowing the ball to travel further. This is discussed in more detail on the page about the physics of the golf ball.
The dimples on the ball are not the only thing that decreases air resistance. Upon impact with the club head, the golf ball deforms some. as the ball regains its shape it begins to move up the face of the club. This action causes the ball to come off of the club with a great deal of backspin. The greater the face of the club is angled the greater the spin is. The backspin causes the air traveling over the top to be forced down. From Newton's third law we know that for every force there is and equal and opposite force. From this we can conclude that the ball is being pushed up with the same force that the air is being pushed down. This gives the ball lift, allowing it to travel further. You can get an idea of how this works in the image below.

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