My Math Forum Complete circle on a golf hole

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 August 9th, 2017, 11:15 PM #1 Senior Member   Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 456 Thanks: 29 Math Focus: Number theory Complete circle on a golf hole Is it possible for a golf ball to complete a circle on a golf hole?
August 10th, 2017, 12:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Loren Is it possible for a golf ball to complete a circle on a golf hole?
The ball rolling around the rim of the hole once?

August 10th, 2017, 02:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Loren Is it possible for a golf ball to complete a circle on a golf hole?
Technically, yes, because the golf ball experiences friction with the surface it travels on, so if it the golf ball starts performing circular motion because of the sloping part of the rim of the hole, it will eventually slow down and drop into the hole. However, I don't know whether this happens much in practice (I find golf quite boring to watch!).

 August 10th, 2017, 09:33 AM #4 Senior Member   Joined: May 2015 From: Arlington, VA Posts: 456 Thanks: 29 Math Focus: Number theory Wouldn't friction at the rim cause the ball to follow a non-circular path, one with varying height?
 August 10th, 2017, 11:21 PM #5 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: UK Posts: 960 Thanks: 342 Unless the ball is sliding, the only friction at the rim is air. There would be a small amount of rolling resistance too. But, the biggest cause of a non-circular path is probably the dimples (and the ability to get the ball to reach the rim at just the right speed and angle, obviously). From above, it would look pretty circular though. Traverse the rim is certainly possible, just not perfectly circular on a plane perpendicular to the rim. Thanks from Benit13 and Loren

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