Assessment of the impact sound in golf putting

The influence of impact sound in putting on players' perceptions of “feel” is explored in this paper. Tests were conducted to investigate the impact sound characteristics of five different ball types using two different putter types. The first test studied the impact sound of purely the ball, while the second test investigated the influence of putter construction and impact location on impact sound for the different ball types. Trends were found between sound spectra peaks in the 2 – 4 kHz range and the compression values of the balls. In addition, frequency content was more dependent on putter type and impact location than on ball construction in the 0 – 2 kHz range. The final test employed a paired comparison technique to investigate players' perceptions of sharpness and loudness of impact sound, ball speed from the clubface and ball hardness. Relationships between the subjective data and the sound characteristics of the balls were then examined. It was found that the ball the players' perceived to have the sharpest and loudest sound, to feel the hardest and to come off the clubface the quickest also had the largest calculated values of loudness and sharpness and had a spectral peak at a higher frequency than the other balls.