same things wrong over and over, he’ll never improve his score. That’s where science comes in. From equipment design to course building to swing analysis and even to weather prediction, science has long played a part in the evolu- tion of golf. At first glance, playing golf for money looks like the easy life. After all, what could be nicer than playing 18 holes in four or five hours and then having the rest of the day off? But the reality is, most professional golfers go straight from the practice range to the course . . . and then back again. They are constantly trying to get the tiniest edge possible in an intense field in which everyone competes at an incredibly high level. Vijay Singh, a Fijian golfer who has won 34 tournaments on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour, is known for his legendary work ethic. He spends hours and hours on the range. He’s not alone. Actually, no golfer is alone on the range anymore. These days, a pro golfer is joined in his practice sessions not only by his caddie, but often also by a swing coach, a computer expert, and assorted other assistants to op- erate video cameras and provide immediate data analysis on the physics of his swing. Perhaps the most important factor in the distance a golfer hits the ball is the amount

stem in sports: science


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