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How to make the Perfect Golf Putt using SOLIDWORKS Motion [VIDEO]

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE created/updated July 31, 2015

This summer I’ve realized that my short game could use some work so I thought I’d take some pointers from SOLIDWORKS Motion.  With the use of Motion linked with a Design Study, SOLIDWORKS can automatically calculate the speed and direction required for that perfect golf putt.

Here is the TV coverage of my shot:

How I calculated the putt using SOLIDWORKS:

First I created the green to have a difficult lie.

Uphill lie

Uphill lie

Viewing the curvature of the green

Then I reviewed the curvature of the green and the trajectory required for the ball, determining that the ball would have to first move down and to the right, before going uphill and to the left.  Here is a view of the green with Surface Curvature Combs enabled (the scale of the combs are very small but you can see the curvature with the mesh).

Right to left - uphill

To see Surface Curvature Combs, right-click on a face and select “Surface Curvature Combs” after expanding the context menu

Applying a Motion Study

Within a Motion Study, I added Gravity and a Solid Body contact between the green and the golf ball.  The friction coefficients would need to be adjusted based on the daily green conditions of your golf course.

3D Contact

SOLIDWORKS Motion 3D Contact

The golf ball is given an Initial Velocity based on a sketch line.  When I tried a direct line between the ball and pin, there was no way I could make the putt.

Initial Velocity

Initial Velocity

Therefore I created a second sketch at an angle that I could control.  Now with two variables, speed and direction, it is much more difficult to “guess” the values that would make the perfect putt.  This is where a Design Study is required.  You can set two parameters to control, the angle dimension in the sketch and the Initial Velocity in the Motion Study.

Parameters

Parameters

Applying a Design Study

The Design Study can be set up with ranges of values for the variables and a goal of minimizing the distance between the center of the golf ball and the hole.  In this case there are 816 scenarios, but you can change the Design Study options to “Fast Results” so that only a few of the scenarios are calculated and the rest are interpolated.

Design Study Variables and Goals

Design Study Variables and Goals

Once narrowed down to the approximate speed and angle, I could run a Design Study with a tighter range and smaller step size to give a precise optimal result for the ball to fall in the hole.

Optimal Design Study

Optimal Design Study

A Step-by-step Video Guide

Here is a video demonstration to walk you through the setup and showing the results.  Now I feel like a PGA Pro!

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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