The Golf Ball Lift


  • golf balls
  • grassy field
  • clipboard
  • measuring tape
  • graph paper and pencils
  • rulers and marking pens
Golf Ball Lift Movies
Click for QT movie. (570K)
Click for QT movie. (310K)


one Discuss with the students the affect of Bernoulli's Principle on a golf ball as it 'flies' through the air. Make sure to cover the terms under Words to Know so that the students have a working knowledge of their definitions.

two Proceed to a grassy field and have each of the students line up on one end with several feet in between. Pass out 5 golf balls to the first 5 students. Have them toss the balls one at a time into the air with a forward thrust. Have the other students observe the progression of the balls and their flight. Measure the various distances that the balls go. Mark on a clip board sheet.

three After the first 5 students complete their throws stop and discuss with the entire group the lift and gravitational forces that were dominant in the flight.

four Continue with the next 5 students until all have had a turn to toss the balls.

five Return to the classroom and ask the students to graph their 5 golf balls on the graph paper noting the lift, 'flight', and descent to the ground. Have the students graph the distances that their balls 'flew' through the air as well, noting the style of throw and if there was any spin to the ball.

six Ask the students to write an explanation of what happened to their golf balls. Have each student read their explanation to the class.

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Last modified: Mon Mar 23 23:39:35 PST 1998

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