Engineering the future of sport with PING Golf

Engineering the future of sport with PING Golf

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The Centre for Sports Engineering Research is internationally renowned for its applied research and consultancy, with over 200 years of cumulative experience. It is the largest research centre in the world that focuses on sports engineering. Through their work they arehelping to develop a deeper understanding of the complex sporting environment.

The centre have been working with PING Golf since 2007 to help them understand the aerodynamic performance of their golf drivers. The aim was to use the latest computational techniques and modelling to provide understanding and insight into the aerodynamic performance of PING Golf drivers. Ultimately, the team wanted to provide recommendations for the design of a club that produces greater ball distances.

Sheffield-Hallam-Image-3Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computer visualisation of airflow, valuable insight has been gained into the flow mechanisms associated with these classic bluff body geometries. This has in turn been used to inform subsequent driver designs.

Sports Engineers used both Computer Assisted Design software provided by PING Golf, and geometry captured using non-contact laser scanning techniques of current club heads in the CFD simulations. Driver head performance has been analysed at various stages throughout a typical swing, and results have been validated using wind tunnel data as supplied by PING Golf.

The information and advice provided to PING assisted them in the optimisation of the aerodynamic performance of their driver heads. This was achieved through optimisation of shape and utilisation of turbulators to further control flow behaviour.

The result was the PING G30 driver, which leads the industry in driving distance, in part due to increased club head speed as a result of reduced flow separation over the driver crown during the swing. The PING G30 is currently the number one selling driver in the USA and UK golf markets.

This work has resulted in IP (Intellectual Property) in the form of a fully awarded patent. The work is protected by US patent and is the subject of current World Patent application and application in specific territories.

This is just one example of a collaboration between the centre and business. The three sports engineering research groups specialise in equipment mechanics, biomechanics and sports analysis and have been involved in projects such as; testing football goal line technology, working with motorbike racer Guy Martin, the development of analytical software for several sports including boxing, judo and swimming, and building a long term partnerships with sportsweargiant Adidas through collaboration in PhD research.

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