Golf and engineering have long gone hand-in-hand together, and as a result, we as golfers have enjoyed some tremendous advances in golf club technology.
While the club builders and designers at the biggest OEMs on the planet were able to lure some of the best engineers away from more traditional work, YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober has applied his engineering acumen into content creation.
Boasting over 6.3 million subscribers on YouTube, Rober has gone viral numerous times — most recently with his dummy box that would blast package thieves with glitter (worth the watch) — but never in the golf world until this week when he attempted to build a rocket-powered golf club.
NEW VIDEO- @smartereveryday and I made a rocket powered golf club and proved the engineering design process isn’t always linear (proof below). FULL VID LINK- https://t.co/xAiLJOEeAI pic.twitter.com/y5tRNCnSFA
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) March 31, 2019
Rober and his team of engineers went through various trials, errors and learning experiences before they realized a few things that separates even the fasted human swing speeds from rocket-powered swing speeds.
After reinforcing the shaft, 3D printing an optimized rocket attachment and lengthening the driver, the experiment worked, producing a golf club that was swinging at 150 miles per hour, launching a ball into the stratosphere.
For comparison’s sake, Cameron Champ leads the PGA Tour in 2019 with an average clubhead speed of 129.83 mph, which translates to an average of 318.6 yards per drive.
Naturally, simply concocting the rocket-powered golf club and bombing a drive with 150 mph swing speed wasn’t enough. Rober and his friends went on to mess around with their new toy, allowing Rober to swing a modified version with a rocket attached as well as the robot hitting balls through panes of glass and large fruits.
While there isn’t much to be gleaned from a golf tech perspective, the experiment was an interesting look into how outside engineers problem solve a game that can never be perfected.