The Short Game
Putting is considered by many to be the toughest
aspect of golf. The path of the ball is very hard to determine because of
all the forces that are acting on the ball from the time the putter makes
contact until it hopefully drops into the cup.
When the putter face collides
with the ball all three of Newton's laws are involved, as they are when the
ball is hit off of the tee. This is discussed in more detail on the tee-ing
When putting, the ball never
leaves the ground. Because of this a golfer has many different factors to
take into consideration when they are deciding how much force to exert
on the ball. The friction between the ball and the grass is a huge factor.
The ball encounters friction every inch on its way to the cup. The golfer
has to apply enough force to compensate for the loss of momentum caused
by the grass.
If this weren't enough, the
landscape of the green has to be taken into consideration as well. There
are all kinds of hills and valleys on a green. Gravity causes the ball to
slow down going up the hills, and to speed up going down the hills. If a golfer
fails to take this into consideration they will either not make it to the
cup, or will overshoot it. Either can prove disasterous in a close game of