This paper discusses the inertia tensors of iron golf club heads and their influence on the swing of a golfer and the behavior of the golf club. Inertia tensors of various five-iron club head configurations were determined using solid modeling and were compared with equivalent solid ellipsoids. A golf swing and club behavior analysis was performed using a computer model comprised of a 3D parametric flexible model of a golf club driven with data from a recorded golf swing, and an impact function. The impact results were verified experimentally. The analysis without impact determined that altering club head inertia had a minor effect on the torque required to swing the club and the deflections of the club head at the time of impact. The analysis with an eccentric impact found that altering club head inertia had a major effect on transmitted forces and torques and a moderate effect on deflection of the club head.
The authors are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 18042.