Science of Golf: Newton 1 & 2

From 0 to 175 mph in a fraction of a second, today’s top golfers can turn a golf ball into one of the fastest projectiles in sports. Science of Golf: Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion showcases the insights of Suzann Pettersen, a professional golfer on the LPGA Tour who turns force and motion into dollars.

Pettersen may not be thinking about Newton’s Laws of Motion while stalking her competitors on the golf course but she obviously knows that “there’s nothing that beats hitting a pure golf shot.” I dare to say that most athletes think little about the science behind the critical actions of their sport. But it can be just the thing to help your students connect what they read and experience in the classroom to real life. NBC Learn and its partners think so. The Science of Golf is the latest installment of NBC Learn’s Emmy Award-winning “Science of Sports” series. Developed in partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Chevron, the Science of Golf is available cost-free on www.NBCLearn.com.

The companion NSTA-developed lesson plans give you a lot of ideas for how to use the videos as a centerpiece, or simply incorporate them into what you already do. Look through the lesson plans and adapt any part that is most useful to you. We all know that everyone’s situation is just a bit different, so download the Word doc and modify at will to make it your own. After you give them a try with your students, let us know what you think! Suggestions for improvements are always welcome. Just leave a comment and we’ll get in touch with you.

Video
SOG: Newton’s First & Second Laws of Motion is about how the First and Second Laws of Motion influence what happens to the golf ball.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12
SOG: Newton’s First & Second Laws of Motion guides students in exploring the interaction between mass and force or the efficiency of a more massive golf club. It also provides ideas for STEM exploration plus strategies to support students in their own quest for answers.

Image of Suzann Pettersen courtesy of Keith Allison.

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