Golfers have criticized Nike’s SUMO 2 driver for the noise it makes when striking the ball, comparing it to “a cookie tray hitting a car.” Researchers found that the driver produces two sounds that were 10 times louder than most clubs, and these sounds happen to fall within the range of frequencies that the average human is most sensitive to hearing.
One golf club’s “noisy” design has made it the target of criticism since its release 10 years ago, and a recent study determined the cause of the sound, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reported.
Nike’s SUMO 2 (an abbreviation of “super moment of inertia”) driver has a head with its weight spread to the outer edges, making it less likely to twist when hitting a ball and thus more forgiving for off-center hits. Still, players have criticized the driver for the noise it makes when striking the ball, with some comparing it to an aluminum baseball bat or a cookie tray hitting a car, AAAS reported.
Now, researchers have isolated the cause for these headaches, and it all comes down to size, according to a presentation at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Salt Lake City. After recording golfers swinging the SUMO 2, the scientists plotted the spectrum of sounds produced and found that the SUMO 2 produced two sounds at 2000 hertz and 3000 hertz that were 10 times louder than most clubs. These two sounds also happen to fall within the range of frequencies that the average human is most sensitive to hearing, AAAS reported.
The golf club head’s large size appears to help radiate the frequencies produced by the top and bottom of the head vibrating to make loud noise. The researchers are beginning to collaborate with golf club manufacturers, and hope their work will eventually help players make all the right noises, AAAS reported.