We all know a golfer that never passes a water hazard without his or her trusty scoop at the ready. Spending half their time on the course fishing for balls, they last bought a new sleeve in the late 80s. That’s ok! Golf balls are expensive… and they are often lost. It is estimated that about 2.5 billion golf balls are lost every year in United States (the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass alone counts 120,000 lost balls in a year). About 1.9 billion used golf balls are played on golf courses every year. We now have the perfect gift for these ‘golf ball fishing fanatics’.
Enter an invention conceived and built by three Sacramento engineers: The Golf Ball Wrangler. The Golf Ball Wrangler helps retrieve balls stuck in a water hazard easily and economically. It is basically a series of fiberglass mesh plates mounted on an axle. All you will have to do is toss the Wrangler in the water, pull it across the bottom of a pond, and balls are trapped between the plates. According to the makers a single pull will crab up to 25 balls – imagine your friend’s smile when they pull a dozen balls out of the water (and perhaps it will mean less time holding up play)
The chart below shows the cycles of greatness on the PGA tour since its inception in 1916 through 2004. The chart includes 57 players that have won at least 15 events on tour, as well as the most dominant players, whose rise and fall are graphed out over time. Click on the link to be taken to a page where you can zoom in and view the details of the chart (and can also buy a print, if you would like).
The below chart, appearing in a recent GolfWorld article, looks at the number of “long bombs” by professional golfers vs. their height. One conclusion that can be drawn is the lack of correlation between height and number of super-long drives. The other is that Bubba Watson really stands out from the pack, with 50% more 350+ yard drives than his nearest competitor.
On a recent episode of the TV show MythBusters, special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman ran tests to see if a dirty car is more fuel efficient than a clean one. It turned out that dirt doesn’t make a difference to the mileage (in fact it reduced mileage by ~1.5 mpg). But the intrepid experimenters didn’t stop there. They went a step further to test if covering a car in actual golf ball-like dimples would improve its fuel efficiency?
As seen in the video below, dimpled golf balls could fly almost twice as far as smooth balls, since they disrupt the air around them, which creates a smaller wake and reduces drag. So could the same principle could really be applied to race cars?
To answer the question, the Mythbusters team went about adding 1,082 dimples to a Ford Taurus’s exterior. To keep the experiment consistent, all 1,082 dimples removed from the clay exterior were put in a box and then set in the back seat so that the car would weigh exactly the same as before dimpling.
Smooth Vs Dimples
At constant 65 mph speed, the cleaner car gave 26 MPG and the dimpled one gave an amazing 29 MPG. The theory or the improvement is that, like a golf ball, the dimples would reduce the car’s drag through the air, thus allowing it to travel the same distance at the same speed using less fuel.
The Mythbusters crew experimented with dimples on this Ford Taurus
So, in a difficult economy with high fuel prices, a dimpled car design can very well save you some cash. In fact, an improvement of 3 MPG translates into ~$400-600 per year of savings for the average person who drives 15,000 miles.
While a lot has been recorded about Scotland and the history of golf, but long before St. Andrews existed a more primitive form of golf emerged in present-day Netherlands and Flanders in the 13th century. Colf, as it was called, was played with wooden clubs and balls.
The game was not played on an actual course, but was played in the streets, churchyards, and open fields. However, this sometimes resulted in the breaking of windows and the hitting of innocent bystanders. When this became a major issue, the game was banned from the towns and relegated to open fields.
The rules of the game are largely unknown, but a lot can be garnered from dutch paintings of the time. It was probably a team game with one target. The target could be a tree, a post, or even a hole, and the goal was to reach it in the fewest number of strokes.
In the 16th and 17th century, the Little Ice Age forced colvers to play on small frozen bodies of water. The colf ice fields were very crowded, so the nature of the game evolved from a distance oriented game to a more target oriented one. The conditions of colf during this time required specialized equipment, like Scottish cleeks and leather balls.
MyScorecard’s You versus the Pros performance report offers you the ability to compare your skill against your favorite PGA and LPGA professional.
But how good do you have to be to graduate from Q-School?
We’ve run the numbers for the 2010 PGA and LPGA tour season in terms of 3 of the most often tracked statistics: Driving Distance, Greens in Regulation, and Putting.
Averaging 315+ yards per drive, Robert Garrigus is far and away the longest driver on the PGA tour, with Bubba Watson leading the rest of the pack. But do you have to be a 300+ yard driver to be on the Men’s Tour? Not quite so. The vast majority of PGA tour players drive between 280 and 300 yards – but you’d better be at least 275 or longer if you want to play on the tour.
Greens in Regulation (GIR)
In contrast to the Men’s tour, it is the LPGA pros that lead in GIR accuracy. Continue reading →
You may have had a tough day out on the golf course, but here’s something to keep in the back of your head.
Despite decades of scientific improvements in clubs and balls, more physical training, and all sorts of new ideas on improving your swing, the average golf score remains the same: around 100 for 18 holes.
However, for MyScorecard members, that number is between 90 and 91 (for reference, the average handicap is just under 16). Some people may attribute it to the Hawthorne effect, which is at least partially true, but we attribute at least a portion of it to the fact that our members are just better.
We will sometimes choose some of the more interesting questions asked by our members to share with you. Our most recent one comes from a member who shot a 70 on a course with a rating of 71.3 and slope of 132 (something we can all aspire to). When entering his score into MyScorecard, the differential read -1.1, which was actually less than the -1.3 the difference between the score (70) and course rating (71.3). Wouldn’t you expect that if you played a harder course, it should be greater than the difference of the rating and score? Continue reading →