Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Physics



Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Crosser (Thesis Advisor)
Jennifer Heath & Joelle Murray (Committee Members)

Subject Categories

Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Engineering Physics | Fluid Dynamics | Mechanics of Materials | Physics


There are many golf balls on the market today with varying dimple sizes, shapes, and distribution. These proprietary differences are all designed to reduce drag on the balls during flight, allowing golfers to hit the ball farther distances. There are limited published studies comparing how varying the dimples affects the reduction of drag. An experiment was developed in which golf balls were pulled through a water tank to measure the drag force acting on each ball. The water was chosen to allow for testing at slower velocities than the typical necessary speeds to cause turbulence for balls traveling in air. Golf balls with a range of dimple patterns are tested and compared to determine which pattern has the lowest associated drag coefficient.