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Journal Articles American Journal of Physics Year : 2022

The golfer's curse revisited with motion constants


We revisit the golfer's curse, which is the possibility that a golf ball can emerge from the cylindrical hole into which it has entered. Our analysis focuses on three constants of the motion. One of these is the energy, because we assume that the ball rolls without slipping on the inner wall of the hole, losing only a small amount of energy to rolling resistance; the other two are related to the angular momentum about the contact point of the ball with the inner wall of the hole. We develop an analysis of the motion of the ball and report measurements of the moment of inertia of a real golf ball. Solving the equation of motion along the vertical direction, we address the question of whether or not the ball could complete a vertical oscillation without reaching the bottom of the hole. We also present measurements of the dynamical friction for a golf ball and discuss dissipation in slip conditions. We conclude by proposing a challenge to golf players: to find a way to send a ball into a hole in order to make it emerge.
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Dates and versions

insu-03867451 , version 1 (23-11-2022)



Olivier Pujol, José-Philippe Pérez. The golfer's curse revisited with motion constants. American Journal of Physics, 2022, 90, pp.657-665. ⟨10.1119/5.0060788⟩. ⟨insu-03867451⟩
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