Golf Balls, Perfect, Gyrostatic

Straight Flying Gyroscopic Golf Balls

A golf ball has been invented that virtually eliminates slicing or hooking golf shots! The ball will go absolutely straight!

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Using the same general method that airplanes and ships use to navigate a straight-line path through the sky or ocean, Gyro golf balls have the unique ability to go absolutely straight!

Golfing is a very frustrating game!   Consistency is obviously critical to getting better scores, but attaining consistency is really difficult!   Weekend golfers just don't play often enough to entirely avoid occasionally slicing or hooking a ball.   This invention of my gyroscopic Gyro golf ball can offer a solution to that problem, even without a professional level of proficiency and consistency in the golf strokes.

The Theory

We are all familiar with a child's toy gyroscope. Once its rotor is set to spinning at high speed, the direction of the shaft remains extremely constant.   If you remember ever trying to suddenly flip it over, it really resists that action!   The reasons for this are moderately complicated applications of Physics.   Suffice it to say that the effect exists and that it is a strong effect, as long as the rotor of the gyroscope is rotating fast enough.

This concept was invented and Engineered by June 1998. Approximately a dozen experimental balls were created during the summer of 1999 and they were tested to confirm performance as calculated and as described, and they performed impressively.   This presentation was first placed on the Internet in February 2000.

The Application

All golf clubs are designed to impart a backspin to the golf ball.   The rate of this spin is dependent on the number of the club, but even a (1) Driver imparts a backspin of several thousand RPM to the golf ball.

Now, imagine a golf ball with a doughnut shaped weight inside it, such that when the ball is on the tee, the doughnut is standing on edge, with the plane of the doughnut carefully lined up with the flag.   Once the golf ball is struck, the high-speed backspin makes this doughnut spin rapidly backwards.   This is exactly the same as a gyroscope!   The axis of the spinning golf ball has to remain constant during flight! No sidespin can occur!

This means that this Gyro golf ball cannot be sliced or hooked! It must travel exactly straight!

OK! It would not actually be possible to embed a heavy metal doughnut shaped object inside a golf ball without spectacularly affecting the ball's performance!   But it turned out to be fairly easy to embed the needed structure inside the ball.   The gyroscopic effect is rather easy to generate.

Normal golf balls are designed to be symmetric in all directions, so they are both statically and dynamically identical in all situations of rotation.   This is to keep a golf ball from wobbling in flight.   If you have ever hit a ball with a big gash in it, you know how an unbalanced ball can wobble in flight!   Some advanced aspects of Engineering need to be applied in the design of GyroBalls.

The GyroBall actually generally increases distance hit.   No energy of the golf swing would be wasted in creating sidespin, so more would be left for greater ball velocity and therefore greater distance.   This has to do with Net Force Vectors and other aspects of Physics.

Virtually any golf swing where the face of the club actually contacts the center of the ball will necessarily give it the normal backspin, which automatically causes the gyroscopic action, which assures that it goes straight toward the hole!   Even if the stroke has serious flaws in it that would normally slice or hook the ball, it should go straight toward the hole!   Even if the center of the club head does not pass through the center of the ball (missing the "sweet spot") the ball should still fly straight toward the hole!

This actually eliminates the possibility of doing a "fade" shot where sidespin is intentionally imparted to the ball.

There are still ways to mess up golf shots, but they generally involve extremely horrible technique, such as virtually missing the ball entirely!   If the edge of the club face contacts the ball, no backspin results, and it is still anyone's guess as to where the ball might go.   But, as long as the ball is actually hit fairly solidly, the gyroscopic effect absolutely has to cause the ball to only have pure straight backspin with exactly zero sidespin!

Gee!   Even if you make serious errors in a golf swing, the ball is certain to go absolutely straight toward the flag.   This is the way golf is supposed to be enjoyed!

The GyroBall has an interesting other effect.   If the fairway happens to have a sideslope where your ball first hits, it traditionally will kick sideways.   A GyroBall actually still bounces nearly straight, again because of the gyroscopic effect.   It is quite weird to see to watch a ball that you know should be kicking off sideways into the rough, instead bounce relatively straight down the fairway!   After about four bounces, the backspin is gone and it then will kick sideways, but at fairly slow speed.

This invention was proven to work amazingly well in 1999 with experimental prototype balls.

A Further Advance

The fact that a Gyro golf ball can not have sidespin has a bonus effect.   A second simple modification (which I did not experimentally test) should allow Gyro golf balls to fly 10% to 20% farther than any normal golf ball would fly!   A normal golf ball has dimples distributed over its entire outer surface.   These are present to establish dynamic stability in flight, in accordance with really complex Physics principles including the Bernoulli effect.   Unfortunately, in the process of developing this dynamic stability, the presence of the dimples creates a LOT of aerodynamic drag and so also creates turbulence and slows the velocity of the ball.

It should be possible to make GyroBalls without any dimples in the areas around the "poles" of the Gyroscopic axis.   That means, on both sides of the ball. Without dimples in those areas, the aerodynamic drag due to the turbulence of the dimples is removed.   With far less drag in flight.   The ball will be able to maintain its forward velocity better.   The actual time interval of flight would be the same, but the average forward velocity would be substantially higher.   Therefore, this version of the Gyro golf ball would land considerably farther away, giving much greater driving distance with the same stroke technique and the same club and ball composition technologies.

The net effect of the two improvement inventions together is a ball that goes arrow straight, and travels 20 to 50 yards farther along the fairway!   Such a GyroBall would be incredibly popular with nearly all golfers!

These balls have shown to have some "interesting" characteristics!   Occasionally, the place where a ball lands slopes toward the left or right.   Usually, this does not happen on well-designed courses if you stay near the center of the fairway, but it can occur to the average golfer.   A standard golf ball "kicks" off to the side when it lands on such a side-sloping area, a natural effect of the Laws of Physics.   However, the Gyroballs have a peculiar characteristic of still bouncing virtually straight!   The gyroscopic effect is so strong that it over-rides the natural kick effect!   It is the strangest thing to see, when a ball lands on the side of a fairly steep hill, and still bounces straight!   (After a couple bounces, the gyroscopic effect is ended and it can eventually move sideways, but usually at slow speed so it doesn't wander very far. There are also unexpected effects if the torus is cross-ways and a pitching wedge is used.   The ferocious amount of normal backspin does not occur, so the ball does not "bite" and can then roll forward.   These effects were not intended (and there are others!) and only discovered during testing.

This is my invention, which I first invented in June 1998.   It was first presented in this page on the InterNet in February 2000.

A variety of people have tried to steal this invention, but they each did not understand enough Physics and Engineering to do it correctly.   The concept looks very simple, but it is actually quite sophisticated.

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A US Patent is being pursued on this invention. Initial paperwork has been filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office.

If a company is interested in producing my Gyro golf balls, I would be very receptive to a joint venture.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago