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Effects of temperature and humidity on ball flight distance.


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#1 Redhill

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM

According to the Srixon web site there is a tremendous impact on ball flight and distance as influenced by temperature and humidity.

The difference, according to their web site, on total distance between a 50* day and a 90* day is 14 yards.  I assume that is the set of numbers with a driver.  They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

I've complained about my ball performance at the start of the season before and thought that most of the distance loss was due to my lack of club head speed because of the lack of flexibility and strength.  Now it seems that although those factors are part of the formula the other part is the effect of temp and humidity.

Interesting stuff and makes me feel better about those early spring rounds.


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#2 Man In The Miura

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 11:06 PM

I researched this a while back and found that distance loss or gain is due to air density, which happens to usually correspond to temperature.  The rule of thumb was minus 1 foot for every degree below 70, plus 1 foot for every degree above 70.  The way balls are constructed, it's not the actual temperature and "hardness" of the ball that is the real culprit, just the density of the air.

#3 PaddyK

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 05:18 AM

View Postteamyonex, on 09 May 2011 - 11:06 PM, said:

I researched this a while back and found that distance loss or gain is due to air density, which happens to usually correspond to temperature.  The rule of thumb was minus 1 foot for every degree below 70, plus 1 foot for every degree above 70.  The way balls are constructed, it's not the actual temperature and "hardness" of the ball that is the real culprit, just the density of the air.

Cold weather makes a huge difference. I played all through the winter in temps as low as -2 or 3 and I was needing at least 2 clubs more than I would usually hit in the summer.

#4 TJCDAS

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:24 AM

Baseballs fly out of the park on those steamy hot summer evenings.  When the air feels heavy/thick the ball just stays up there.

#5 RainShadow

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:50 PM

My experience comes from living and playing in a couple of distincly different climates w/ markedly different atmospheric conditions.
I currently live at roughly sea level in western Washington. High humidity and cool temps, especially in the winter.
During the colder months I play it's usually between 38 and 48 degrees, with humidity around 80-100%
I hit my 6i 155-160 here in these types of conditions.
In the summer here if it's over 70 and there's high barometric pressure, I hit the same club 165-170, maybe 175.
In San Diego, most of the year if the temp is over 65 and it's not foggy, the 6 is my 170 club.
I also have lived at altitude ( Steamboat Springs, Co & Mammoth Lakes, Ca)  where it can be 55* and sunny with high pressure and the 6 is my 200 -205yrd club at 7500ft elevation.
I played with an older guy here in Wa that told me he checks the barometer before he leaves the house to play so he'll know whether to club up or down. He said it can be 1.5 club difference regardless of temp. I agree with him as that's been my observation as well.

Edited by RainShadow, 10 May 2011 - 08:52 PM.

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#6 HitEmTrue

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:11 PM

View PostRedhill, on 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM, said:

They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

Ball flies *slightly* further in HIGHER humidity.  Temperature the greater effect of the two variables.

#7 J13

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:24 PM

Rule of Thumb for golf is 3yds per 10* in temp.  Which is why Srixon says roughly 14yds.
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#8 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:34 PM

View PostRedhill, on 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM, said:

According to the Srixon web site there is a tremendous impact on ball flight and distance as influenced by temperature and humidity.

The difference, according to their web site, on total distance between a 50* day and a 90* day is 14 yards.  I assume that is the set of numbers with a driver.  They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

I've complained about my ball performance at the start of the season before and thought that most of the distance loss was due to my lack of club head speed because of the lack of flexibility and strength.  Now it seems that although those factors are part of the formula the other part is the effect of temp and humidity.

Interesting stuff and makes me feel better about those early spring rounds.

Did they really say that low humidity maximizes distance? That would be surprising since (unlike what your intuition would tell you) humid air is less dense than is dry air. One H2O molecule weighs less than either an N2 or O2 molecule.

dave

Edited by DaveLeeNC, 11 May 2011 - 08:08 PM.


#9 scifisicko

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:57 PM

Yeah humidity is huge...using flying as an example, if the dew point goes from 30 to 75 degrees (dry inland air to gulf of mexico type air), you add ~ 3,000 feet to your altitude (when calculating how much runway you need).

#10 Redhill

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:22 PM

View PostHitEmTrue, on 11 May 2011 - 12:11 PM, said:

View PostRedhill, on 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM, said:

They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

Ball flies *slightly* further in HIGHER humidity.  Temperature the greater effect of the two variables.

Wrong............... according to Srixon website "Warmer temperatures and lower humidity lead to more distance"  I think I'm going with Srixon on this one.  See Website then Environment; Temp & Humidity

http://www.srixon.co...rixonuniversity

Edited by Redhill, 11 May 2011 - 11:23 PM.


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#11 TJCDAS

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:29 PM

Srixon is simply wrong.  Density Altitude is utilized by auto racers, aviation ect.............If you are not familiar with density altitude do a little research and you will see that Srixon is incorrect.  The humidity factor has a small effect in the calculation of altitude density, temp is a much bigger factor.  Can we notice the change in humidity on golf ball distance as players most likely not, temp and altitude are bigger factors, but higher humidity will have the same effect as higher altitude on a golf balls distance.

Edited by TJCDAS, 11 May 2011 - 11:47 PM.


#12 HitEmTrue

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:09 AM

View PostRedhill, on 11 May 2011 - 11:22 PM, said:

View PostHitEmTrue, on 11 May 2011 - 12:11 PM, said:

View PostRedhill, on 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM, said:

They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

Ball flies *slightly* further in HIGHER humidity.  Temperature the greater effect of the two variables.

Wrong............... according to Srixon website "Warmer temperatures and lower humidity lead to more distance"  I think I'm going with Srixon on this one.  See Website then Environment; Temp & Humidity

http://www.srixon.co...rixonuniversity

http://www.probableg...ews06-27-05.htm
http://www1.pacific....l phenomena.htm

Quote

Yeah humidity is huge...using flying as an example, if the dew point goes from 30 to 75 degrees (dry inland air to gulf of mexico type air), you add ~ 3,000 feet to your altitude (when calculating how much runway you need).

The flight of a golf ball and flight of a plane are not the same.  The plane relies on lift to stay in the air (or to take off), while the golf ball does not get that benefit (or nearly as much of it).  More humidity = less dense air = *slightly* less drag = *slightly* more distance

A plane needs a longer runway to takeoff on a hot day, and also at a higher elevation, because there is less lift.  However, a golf ball will travel further in both those conditions.

#13 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:35 PM

View PostRedhill, on 11 May 2011 - 11:22 PM, said:

View PostHitEmTrue, on 11 May 2011 - 12:11 PM, said:

View PostRedhill, on 09 May 2011 - 10:52 PM, said:

They don't indicate the % humidity but state that high temps and low humidity will help maximize the distance.

Ball flies *slightly* further in HIGHER humidity.  Temperature the greater effect of the two variables.

Wrong............... according to Srixon website "Warmer temperatures and lower humidity lead to more distance"  I think I'm going with Srixon on this one.  See Website then Environment; Temp & Humidity

http://www.srixon.co...rixonuniversity

To quote the referenced website

"When temperature goes up or humidity goes down, air density is reduced ...."

This statement is demonstrably incorrect. Air density goes up when humidity goes down. See the 1st sentence under WATER VAPOR at http://en.wikipedia..../Density_of_air .

dave




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