Cleveland Golf turns to MapleSim

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Engineers from Cleveland Golf have selected MapleSim, a physical modelling and simulation tool from Maplesoft, to help them increase the performance of their drivers. In particular, they were looking for an efficient model which would allow them to explore the effects of different shaft designs on club performance.

With the help of John McPhee, NSERC Industrial Research Chair and professor of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, they used MapleSim to create a model of a driver. The shaft itself was modelled using MapleSim’s built-in flexible beam component, while the driver head model was carefully designed to include the exact characteristics of the Cleveland Golf driver head, including factors such as its mass and moments of inertia.

To simulate a variety of swings from different players, experimental measurements were taken from varsity players on the university golf team. This information was input into the model as the six degree-of-freedom motion of the grip, which in turn determined the movement of the shaft. Different versions of this base model were created by modifying model parameters to match the properties of the different club designs.

When the models were validated against the experimental data, good to very good agreement was found between the simulation and the experimental data for club head speed and the dynamic loft and droop at the instant of contact with the ball. In addition, the MapleSim models were found to run significantly faster than similar models based on finite-element techniques.