Student Exploration: Golf Range
Prior Knowledge Questions
You are in a contest with your friends to see who can drive a golf ball the farthest. Should you hit a “line drive” (low to the ground) or a shot with a very high angle? Explain.
Golf drives travel much farther than Major League home runs. Why might this be?
Have you ever hit a hole-in-one? You will have a chance to do that in the Golf RangeGizmo™, where you will see how a variety of factors affect the path of a golf ball. The movement of objects such as a ball through space is called projectile motion.
Press Play (). Did the ball go too far, the right distance, or not far enough?.
Click Reset (). Move the vinitial and θ sliders to adjust the velocity and launch angleuntil you get a hole-in-one. (With the Gizmo sound on () you will hear “Hole in one!”)
What were the velocity and launch angle values?
Can you get holes-in-one using other combinations of vinitial and θ? If so, give an example..
Get the Gizmo ready:
Click Reset and check that Atmosphere: Air is selected.
Set vinitial to 75 m/s and θ to 45.0 degrees.
Question: What launch angle will produce the longest drive?
Form hypothesis: What launch angle do you think will yield the longest drive?
Experiment: Turn on the Show grid checkbox. With the velocity set to 75 m/s, experiment with a variety of launch angles until you find the one that yields the longest driving distance.
What launch angle produced the longest drive?
How far did the ball travel?
Observe: Click Reset and turn on Show paths. Take one swing with the launch angle set to the optimum. The curved path the ball takes through the air is its trajectory.
Look closely at the trajectory. Does it appear symmetrical?.