Title page for ETD etd-031999-082652

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Braunwart, Paul R.
Author's Email Address pbraunwa@worldnet.att.net
URN etd-031999-082652
Title Experimental and Analytical Examination of Golf Club Dynamics
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Knight, Charles Eugene Committee Chair
Mitchiner, Reginald G. Committee Member
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
  • experimental
  • finite element analysis
  • modal analysis
  • golf
Date of Defense 1998-12-11
Availability unrestricted
To provide the average golfer with more consistent results, manufacturers have

continued to improve the available equipment. This has led to larger club-heads, with

larger ?sweet spots?, different shaft thickness for different swing styles, and the use of

advanced materials, such as graphite and titanium, for the construction.

The development of improved equipment, which utilizes advanced materials, has

spurred the need for advanced scientific analysis using a variety of techniques. Among

the most prevalent of these methods are finite element analysis and experimental modal

analysis, and use of these techniques in examining a golf club is the focus of this


The primary goals of this work are the development and correlation of an

appropriate finite element model, the characterization of the hands-free boundary

condition and the examination of the club golf dynamic response. To accomplish these

objectives, the physical parameters of the golf club are determined to develop the finite

element model. The analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes correlate well with

the results extracted from experimental modal analysis for the free-free and clamped-free

boundary conditions. With the correlation established, a third boundary condition, hands-free,

is tested experimentally to ascertain the effects of the golfer?s grip on the boundary

conditions. With the FEA model confirmed, a nonlinear dynamic response of the club

during the down-swing is investigated using the nonlinear solver in Algor, and the club-head

position relative to the shaft is predicted.

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