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How does the bounciness of a golf ball affect the distance that it will travel?Featured science projectScience project video

Materials

The materials required for this science fair project:

-    15 golf balls – 5 each from 3 different brands
-    3 amateur golfers
-    5 golf club (a driver). Have the golfers bring along their own club.
-    A measuring tape
-    A golf driving range
-    An assistant to help with the measurement
-    1 black marker pen

Procedure

1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of golf ball used – soft, medium  or hard. The dependent variable is the distance traveled by the golf ball. This is determined by using a measuring tape to measure the distance traveled.  The constants (control variables) are the skill of the golfer, the wind condition and the conditions at the driving range.

2.    The golf balls are first numbered according to their brand and an assigned ball number by using a black marker pen.

3.    The relative bounciness of the 3 brands of golf balls needs to be determined first. The balls are dropped onto a flat floor surface from a height of 1 meter and the number of bounces achieved by each ball is counted and recorded in  table 1 given below.

4.    Once the relative bounciness of the golf balls has been determined, the golfers are brought to the driving range for the next part of the experiment. Using the golf club (a driver), they are asked to take turns hitting the golf balls one at a time, and the distance traveled by each ball is measured. You will need to use the measuring tape for accurate measurements. Referring to the distance markers at the driving range will only provide a rough gauge of the distance travelled. Ensure that you conduct this experiment when there is no one else playing at the driving range - you probably will need to seek the permission/assistance of the driving range operator. The average distance traveled by each ball is calculated and the results are recorded in the table 2 given below.
 

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
40
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 4 hours for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Never stand anywhere in front of a golfer who's about to take  a swing. Beware of swinging clubs - which can cause severe injury