Golf shot performance characteristics influenced by ball lie

William D. Strunk, Douglas E. Karcher, Joseph R. Young, Aaron J. Patton, Michael D. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Research has evaluated golf ball lie as means to compare various management techniques, determine the influence of nitrogen fertility, and separate turfgrass species and cultivars. However, little work has been performed to determine the impact of golf ball lie on playability, and therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of golf ball lie on golf shot characteristics such as carry distance, backspin, ball speed, smash factor, club speed, and accuracy. Two golfers differing in handicaps struck balls using a seveniron from various ball lies created by ranging mowing heights from 0.5 to 4.0 inches in Agrostis stolonifera L., Poa pratensis L., and Festuca arundinacea Schreb. Ball lie was measured as the percentage of golf ball exposed within and above a turf canopy using digital image analysis, and golf shot characteristics were measured using a launch monitor. Mowing heights of the turf and ball lies were significantly correlated (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.863). Ball lie significantly affected carry distance (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.357) and ball speed (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.517), both exhibiting logarithmic relationships. Smash factor was linearly related to ball lie (P < 0.001, r2 = 0.518). Comparison of the regression coefficients for models specific to each golfer indicated that carry distance, backspin, ball speed, and smash factor were affected equally for both golfers. However, accuracy of golf shots was only significantly related to ball lie for the better golfer (P = 0.004, r2 = 0.158). Results from this study confirm conventional wisdom concerning the effects of golf ball lie on golf shot characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCrop, Forage and Turfgrass Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


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