HOCKNELL, A. ... et al., 1998. Hollow golf club head modal characteristics: determination and impact applications. Experimental Mechanics, 38 (2), pp. 140 - 146.
The design of modern hollow golf club heads is a labor-intensive process involving extensive performance testing both by robotic and real golfers. This paper describes how, by correlating club head mechanical behavior with functional performance, it will become possible to use validated computational models to predict this performance as well as related contributions to the ill-defined concept of "feel." Successful use of experimental modal analysis to validate a hollow golf club head finite element model is reported. Modal tests employing noncontacting, laser-based transducers facilitated identification of the natural frequencies and corresponding modeshapes for the three main surfaces of the club head. The experimental data suggest predominantly different modal characteristics for each surface, and this compares favorably with equivalent data obtained from the finite element model. The modal data are also used to identify surfaces responsible for particular frequency components present in the club head impact sound spectrum. The potential for detailed impact performance prediction using the finite element model is further demonstrated by comparison of computed and experimental club head acceleration measurements recorded during simulated and actual club-ball impacts.