|MadSci Network: Physics|
Typically a golf club can be swung faster than a baseball bat because it is lighter. For impacting a golf ball, a golf club is ideal because the head of the club will move with significant speed and the ball is light enough that almost all of the energy of the swing is transferred to the ball. I have two examples, cited from my past. In my youthful days, I tried such ...umm, shall we call them experiments with aluminum bats and a standard wooden head driver. While the bat could send the golf ball flying as much as a full football field with little effort, the transfer of energy was not nearly as ideal as that of the golf club that went the length of 2 football fields or more with very little effort. I once saw a Major League Baseball coach (forget who) taking swings with a 7 or an 8 iron during a warm-up before a game. He was easily knocking golf balls over the fence (380 feet away -- about 127 yards away). He took several swings with a bat and could hit the golf balls pretty far but not nearly as consistently. I do remember him hitting several over the fence, but not with the ease of the very lofted golf club. Of course, my friends and I had to try this at home a few hours later :) Tom "Swinging for the Fence" Cull
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