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Vehicle speed, crash risk, thinking and braking time.
Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. The faster a vehicle is travelling, the longer it takes to stop, and the greater the risk of a crash. Speed and stopping distances don’t increase at the same rate. Small increases in speed result in bigger increases in stopping distances.
In this fact page we will cover:
- How vehicle speed is related to stopping distances
- The difference between thinking and braking time
- Why official estimates for stopping distances may be wrong
Stopping distances include the distance travelled while the driver notices a hazard and applies the brakes (thinking distance), and while the vehicle comes to a full stop from its initial speed (braking distance). The government's official estimates of stopping distances for cars are shown below.
Are the official stopping distances wrong?
Brake asked TRL to provide evidence on the time taken by car drivers to perceive, recognise and react to emergency situations.
The thinking distances given in the government's estimate of stopping distances are based on a reaction time of 0.67 seconds, which assumes the driver is alert, concentrating and not impaired. Driving when tired, distracted or impaired significantly increases reaction times, so these thinking distances should be thought of as minimums.
TRL referred to academic literature and concluded that the average thinking time is 1.5 seconds − more than double the 0.67 seconds set out in the Highway Code.
This means that average total stopping distance − including thinking and braking distance − is an extra 2.75 car lengths (11 metres) at 30mph and an extra 3.75 car lengths (15 metres) at 40mph compared with the distances used in the Code. This difference rises to an additional 6.25 car lengths (25 metres) at 70mph.
Cuerden, R. (2017). The mechanics of emergency braking. TRL
Thinking distance is the distance a vehicle travels during the time it takes for the driver to perceive a hazard, recognise that action needs to be taken and decide what the necessary action is, before applying pressure to the brakes. Thinking distance varies from driver to driver, and can be influenced by a number of factors, including driver fatigue, distraction and visual impairment.
Braking distance depends on how fast a vehicle is travelling before the brakes are applied, and is proportional to the square of the initial speed. This means that even small increases in speed mean significantly longer braking distances. Braking distances are much longer for larger and heavier vehicles, and in wet or icy conditions.
How much do you know about stopping distances?
Test your knowledge with our stopping distances calculator .
Find out more about speed and injury
Find out more about how vehicle safety technology can help drivers manage speed and reduce stopping distances.
Driving tips and other life stuff
What is stopping distance.
Many people think that stopping distance is the same as braking distance - WRONG!
STOPPING DISTANCE = THINKING DISTANCE + BRAKING DISTANCE
What is thinking distance?
Thinking distance is the distance the car travels after the person driving has seen the danger but before they’ve applied the brakes.
Thinking distance is roughly 1 foot for every 1 mph you are travelling. In other words, if you are travelling at 30mph then your thinking distance is approximately 30 feet.
What is braking distance?
Braking distance is the distance the car travels coming to a stop, once the brakes have been applied. This increases with speed.
Average stopping distance
This image from the Highway Code gives you an idea of average stopping distances according to speed
The average car driving at 20 mph will travel 20 feet before coming to a complete stop, however a car travelling at 40 mph will take 80 ft to come to a stop – that’s why it’s SO important not to exceed the speed limit.
Stopping distance: The average stopping distances should be multiplied by 2 for stopping distances in the rain and multiplied by 10 for stopping distances on ice.
All very well in theory but what about real life?
Average stopping distances are really only a rough guide. In real life, there are loads of things that can affect the distance it takes you to stop:
- Speed : How fast are you travelling?
- Gradient : Whether you are on a smooth level road, or a hill. If you are going up or down, how steep is it?
- Weather : is it good, dry, wet or icy?
- Tyres : are they good tyres, are they properly inflated, worn or a bit flat?
- Brakes : are your brakes working well and are they stopping you in a straight line?
- You : your ability as a driver! Are you ill, tired, on medication, have you been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, are you distracted, have you had an eye test recently? All of these will have an effect on your thinking distance.
What are separation distances?
Separation distances are really important - they are the minimum distances you should leave between you and the car in front to make sure you can come to a stop safely if there is a hazard or potential hazard.
The 2 second rule: Choose a fixed point such as a lamp post or bridge and when the car in front passes it start counting 2 seconds. As you finish speaking you should be reaching that same point.
Get more driving tips in the Young Driver's Guide.
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What Is Cognitive Dissonance?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
- How It Feels
- Dealing With
- Potential Pitfalls
Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions , so this conflict causes unpleasant feelings of unease or discomfort.
The inconsistency between what people believe and how they behave motivates them to engage in actions that will help minimize feelings of discomfort. People attempt to relieve this tension in different ways, such as by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding new information.
Signs of Cognitive Dissonance
Everyone experiences cognitive dissonance to some degree but that doesn't mean that it is always easy to recognize. Some signs that what you are feeling might be related to dissonance include:
- Feeling uncomfortable before doing something or making a decision
- Trying to justify or rationalize a decision you've made or action you have taken
- Feeling embarrassed or ashamed about something you've done and trying to hide your actions from other people
- Experiencing guilt or regret about something you've done in the past
- Doing things because of social pressure or a fear of missing out (FOMO) , even if it wasn't something you wanted to do
Examples of Cognitive Dissonance
What does this inconsistency-related discomfort look like in everyday life? Here are just a few cognitive dissonance examples that you may notice in your own:
- You want to be healthy, but you don't exercise regularly or eat a nutritious diet . You feel guilty as a result.
- You know that smoking (or drinking too much ) is harmful to your health, but you do it anyway. You rationalize this action by pointing to your high stress levels.
- You'd like to build up your savings but tend to spend extra cash as soon as you get it. You regret this decision later, such as when facing an unexpected expense that you don't have the money to cover.
- You have a long to-do list but spend the day watching your favorite shows instead. You don't want your spouse to know, so you try to make it look like you've worked hard all day.
Cognitive Dissonance Examples in TV Shows and Movies
Several television shows and movies contain characters experiencing cognitive dissonance. Examples to consider include:
- The Truman Show
- Stand By Me
Causes of Cognitive Dissonance
There are a number of different situations that can create conflicts that lead to cognitive dissonance.
Sometimes you might find yourself engaging in behaviors that are opposed to your own beliefs due to external expectations at work, school, or in a social situation. This might involve going along with something due to peer pressure or doing something at work to avoid getting fired.
Sometimes learning new information can lead to feelings of cognitive dissonance. For example, if you engage in a behavior that you later learn is harmful, it can lead to feelings of discomfort. People sometimes deal with this by finding ways to justify their behaviors or findings ways to discredit or ignore new information.
People make decisions, both large and small, on a daily basis. When faced with two similar choices, we are often left with feelings of dissonance because both options are equally appealing.
Once a choice has been made, however, people need to find a way to reduce these feelings of discomfort. We accomplish this by justifying why our choice was the best option so we can believe that we made the right decision .
Cognitive dissonance can be caused by feeling forced to do something, learning new information, or when faced with a decision between two similar choices.
What Influences Cognitive Dissonance?
The degree of dissonance experienced can depend on a few different factors. Among them are how highly a particular belief is valued and the degree to which the beliefs are inconsistent.
The overall strength of the dissonance can also be influenced by several factors, including:
- The importance attached to each belief . Cognitions that are more personal, such as beliefs about the self , and highly valued tend to result in greater dissonance.
- The number of dissonant beliefs . The more dissonant (clashing) thoughts you have, the greater the strength of the dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance can often have a powerful influence on our behaviors and actions. It doesn't just influence how you feel; it also motivates you to take action to reduce feelings of discomfort.
How Cognitive Dissonance Feels
Cognitive dissonance can make people feel uneasy and uncomfortable. This is particularly true if the disparity between their beliefs and behaviors involves something that is central to their sense of self .
For example, behaving in ways that are not aligned with your personal values may result in intense feelings of discomfort. Your behavior contradicts not just the beliefs you have about the world, but also the beliefs that you have about yourself.
This discomfort can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Someone with cognitive dissonance may feel:
Cognitive dissonance can even influence how people feel about and view themselves, leading to negative feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.
Impact of Cognitive Dissonance
Because people want to avoid discomfort , cognitive dissonance can have a wide range of effects. Dissonance can play a role in how we act, think, and make decisions. We may engage in behaviors or adopt attitudes to help relieve the discomfort caused by the conflict.
Some things that a person might do to cope with these feelings include:
- Adopting beliefs or ideas to help justify or explain away the conflict between their beliefs or behaviors. This can sometimes involve blaming other people or outside factors.
- Hiding beliefs or behaviors from other people . People may feel ashamed of their conflicting beliefs and behaviors, hiding the disparity from others to minimize feelings of shame and guilt.
- Only seeking out information that confirms existing beliefs . This phenomenon, known as confirmation bias , affects the ability to think critically about a situation but helps minimize feelings of dissonance.
People like to believe that they are logical, consistent, and good at making decisions. Cognitive dissonance can interfere with the perceptions they hold about themselves and their abilities, which is why it can often feel so uncomfortable and unpleasant.
Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance
When there are conflicts between cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, and opinions), people will take steps to reduce the dissonance and feelings of discomfort. They can go about this a few different ways.
Adding More Beliefs to Outweigh Dissonant Beliefs
People who learn that greenhouse emissions result in global warming might experience feelings of dissonance if they drive a gas-guzzling vehicle. To reduce this dissonance, they may seek out new information that overrides the belief that greenhouse gasses contribute to global warming.
Reducing the Importance of the Conflicting Belief
A person who cares about their health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods during the day is linked to a shortened lifespan. Since they work all day in an office and spend a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change their behavior.
To deal with the feelings of discomfort then, they might find some way of rationalizing the conflicting cognition. For instance, they may justify their sedentary behavior by saying that their other healthy behaviors—like eating sensibly and occasionally exercising—make up for their largely sedentary lifestyle .
Changing the conflicting cognition is one of the most effective ways of dealing with dissonance but it is also one of the most difficult—particularly in the case of deeply held values and beliefs, such as religious or political leanings .
Some of the ways people reduce discomfort from cognitive dissonance include seeking information that aligns with and supports current beliefs, reducing the conflicting belief's importance, and changing beliefs to reduce the feelings of conflict.
Potential Pitfalls of Cognitive Dissonance
Sometimes, the ways that people resolve cognitive dissonance contribute to unhealthy behaviors or poor decisions .
In "A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance," Leon Festinger (the psychologist who first described this phenomenon) gives an example of how a person might deal with dissonance related to a health behavior by discussing individuals who continue to smoke, even though they know it is harmful to their health.
According to Festinger, there are a few ways that a person might resolve this dissonance.
- They might decide that they value smoking more than they value health, deeming the behavior "worth it" in terms of risks versus rewards.
- They may minimize potential drawbacks, such as by convincing themselves that the negative health effects have been overstated or by believing that they cannot avoid every possible risk out there.
- They might try to convince themselves that if they do stop smoking, they will gain weight , which also presents health risks.
By using these types of explanations, the smoker is able to reduce the dissonance and continue the unhealthy behavior.
History of Cognitive Dissonance
Leon Festinger first proposed the theory of cognitive dissonance, centered on how people try to reach internal consistency. He suggested that people have an inner need to ensure that their beliefs and behaviors are consistent. Inconsistent or conflicting beliefs lead to disharmony, which people strive to avoid.
In his 1957 book, "A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance," Festinger explained, "Cognitive dissonance can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance reduction just as hunger leads toward activity oriented toward hunger-reduction. It is a very different motivation from what psychologists are used to dealing with but, as we shall see, nonetheless powerful."
A Word From Verywell
Cognitive dissonance plays a role in many value judgments, decisions, and evaluations. Becoming aware of how conflicting beliefs impact the decision-making process is a great way to improve your ability to make faster and more accurate choices.
Mismatches between your beliefs and actions can lead to feelings of discomfort (and, sometimes, coping choices that have negative impacts), but such feelings can also sometimes lead to change and growth.
American Psychological Association. Cognitive dissonance .
Cancino-Montecinos S, Björklund F, Lindholm T. Dissonance reduction as emotion regulation: Attitude change is related to positive emotions in the induced compliance paradigm . PLoS One . 2018;13(12):e0209012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209012
Festinger L. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance .
Vaidis DC, Bran A. Respectable challenges to respectable theory: Cognitive dissonance theory requires conceptualization clarification and operational tools . Front Psychol . 2019;10:1189. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01189
Hasan U. Cognitive dissonance and its impact on consumer buying behaviour . IOSR J Bus Manage . 2012;1(4):7-12. doi:10.9790/487x-0140712
Baumeister RF, Bushman B. Social Psychology and Human Nature .
Cooper J. Cognitive Dissonance: 50 Years of a Classic Theory .
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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Golf ball rollback: What is golf thinking powering down?
Reducing the distance a golf ball will travel may save some courses but removes the wow factor.
Bryson DeChambeau is regarded as one of the game's longest drivers. Photograph: Shuttershock/EPA
What fresh hell is this coming from golf? The suits who run the game have decided to reduce our length, assail our pleasure zones, attack our chest-thumping manly distances, deflate our egos all in the name of protecting golf’s records, history and course integrity. Ye gods, they are emasculating the game.
That’s not actually how the R&A and USGA put it when they released new rules on what counts as a conforming golf ball, following years of studying the impact of hitting long. The plan is to implement changes that will reduce how far a golf ball will travel in the professional game from 2028, and recreationally from 2030.
Think of it like this: from here on the older you get, the harder it’s going to be. Conjure up the image of a 80-year-old who can still shoot his age for a round and hand him a sleeve of balls that just don’t go as far. Plain and simply cruel...but maybe not.
When the new balls come into play, those with fast swing speeds like Rory McIlroy , Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler will drive it 13 to 15 yards shorter than they have been. The average tour professional will hit the ball nine to 11 yards shorter than they did before and the recreational hacker like most of us will drive the ball up to five yards shorter. With an 8-iron, 9-iron or pitching wedge we probably won’t notice any difference at all.
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[ Golf ball rollback: Are my old balls going to be made illegal? ]
On that, years of watching 18-handicap players driving the ball informs an opinion that any on given day, there can be a difference of 50, 60, 70 yards between drives because the 18-handicap player does not have a consistently repeatable swing and therefore hits the ball slightly differently on every strike, sometimes catastrophically.
A reduced distance of five yards will probably have zero impact and make zero difference to a score. So, be still thy beating heart.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy drives from the 17th tee on day four of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, southwest of London, on September 17th, 2023. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images
The change has been years in the making as golfers over that period have become more body conscious. The modern lads are athletic, work out in the gym, pay attention to diet and selectively develop the muscle groups they use every day to hit the ball.
Professional golfers are different animals to everyone else. Beware the amateur who tries to generate a club head speed like that of McIlroy. From a doughy 20-year-old to a champion on the squat rack, trainer Steve McGregor specifically trains McIlroy’s body to stand up to the torque by loading one side only in the gym to correct imbalances from constant rotation in the same direction.
Add the physiological changes to innovations by equipment manufacturers and it all adds up to the R&A and USGA taking the position that top professionals are hitting the ball too far. For that we must all suffer.
McIlroy is currently top of the PGA stats table. He has hit the ball 41,771 yards with 128 drives for an average drive length of 326.3 yards.
[ ‘Money talks’: Rory McIlroy says objections have led to universal golf ball rollback plans ]
Concern is for courses that are hemmed in, like the Old Course at St Andrews, which has water on one side and a town on the other and has nowhere to go when long hitters rock into town to try and win The Open. Other courses like Augusta have been consuming adjacent land to keep pace with the changing game.
“As some people have said, we’re running out of property. We can’t keep building new tees further back,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.
In 2000, Tiger Woods shot a winning four-day score of 19-under on the Old Course. In 2010, winner Louis Oosthuizen was 16-under. Five years later, Zach Johnson was 15-under. You can talk about little wind and soft greens but...
Scott Stallings recorded the longest drive of the year on the PGA Tour. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Last year on the PGA Tour, Scott Stallings hit a monstrous drive of 460 yards during the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Stallings’ drive was 47 yards ahead of the second-longest of the season, when Cameron Young striped one 413 yards at The American Express.
The ball change, though, is a compromise and not the first solution the governing bodies came up with. Earlier this year they had spoken about using the same ball for club players and producing a different one for the tour professionals and even gave the scheme a silly name, bifurcation.
The manufacturers then came in shouting blue murder that it would cost them tens of millions. Money talked and the universal rollback is what they came up with.
The change is a small dent on distance but suggests the game’s custodians are overlooking the drawing power of power, that people are fascinated when they go to watch the freak awesomeness of DeChambeau waving the crowd back from his line because he’s going to explode his drive over every stream, man-made obstacle and architect’s hazard to hit a par four green in one.
Maybe they have some idealised form of the game in their minds, where light touches and hitting fairways and greens in regulation with sound putting is considered more ‘golfy’ than smashing the bejaysus out of the ball and feeling good about it.
It’s dangerous tinkering because there is already a sameness about the PGA Tour offerings, one week indistinguishable from the next unless there’s a McIlroy or DeChambeau, before his defection to LIV, mincing the ball stupid yardage.
Taking distance out, even a little, is surely driving in the wrong direction.
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As war in Gaza rages, what’s behind Germany’s support of Israel?
Germany has tried to make amends for its Nazi past by backing Israel, in what some experts say is an attempt to whitewash its international image.
On November 14, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made another argument in defence of Israel.
“Israel is a democracy – this has to be said very clearly,” Scholz said in response to a comment by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Israel’s legitimacy was “being questioned due to its own fascism”.
‘complete censorship’: germany’s palestinian diaspora fights crackdown, erdogan in tense talks in germany as divisions over gaza war deepen, steinmeier says arabs in germany should distance themselves from hamas, two months of israel-gaza war: how divided is the world.
“There is no doubt about this,” said the German leader. “And we will emphasise in every conversation and at every opportunity that this is our view.”
At the time of Scholz’s remarks, more than 11,100 Palestinians had been killed by the Israeli military, which began its latest campaign in Gaza after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7.
About 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken captive in the Hamas attacks.
At the time of writing, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza had surpassed 17,000 people.
Scholz’s comments were no mere political observation.
The modern German republic, which, for generations, has tried to make amends for its Nazi past and its role in the Holocaust during the second world war, has long made Israel’s security its Staatsräson (“reason of state”) – a term first coined in an essay by Germany’s former ambassador to Israel, Rudolf Dreßler, in the early 2000s.
Israel’s war on Gaza, which has been raging for more than 60 days, has only hardened German political support for the Israeli state.
On Tuesday, officials from Saxony-Anhalt announced that applicants seeking naturalisation in the east German state would have to commit to Israel’s “right to exist” in writing, or face being refused German citizenship.
This followed weeks of reports that German authorities are cracking down on shows of support for Gaza in this current conflict.
Academic Daniel Marwecki, author of, Germany and Israel: Whitewashing and State Building, told Al Jazeera that “when German politicians today talk about Israel they [do so] from a moral standpoint”.
“All the leading German politicians think [that defending Israel] is morally the right thing to do because of the German past,” he added.
The history of ties between Germany and Israel dates back to 1948 when the Israeli state was established, following the end of the British mandate in Palestine.
Marwecki, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Hong Kong, said that a German determination to “whitewash” its international image in the wake of the Holocaust informed its post-war approach to Israel.
This included West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s agreement to pay Israel post-Holocaust reparations in the form of goods and services in 1952, as the fledgling state attempted to grow its economy.
In 1965, West Germany and Israel established formal diplomatic ties.
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 – and the end of the Cold War – a reunified Germany pursued a twin-track approach to engaging with its past where its relationship with Israel, said Marwecki, proved pivotal.
This approach, he said, focused “German memory culture … more and more on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism”, while Berlin looked to buttress its role as a mainstream European power in lockstep with the United States.
Today, the German Federation is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth-largest economy in the world.
‘You’re constantly gaslit in this country’
But not everyone in Germany backs the commitment to Staatsräson.
Advocates of Palestine in Germany say that support of Israel has gone hand-in-hand with a relentless campaign to silence pro-Palestinian voices.
Examples of this, according to activists, have been numerous. In 2019, for instance, the German Bundestag passed a motion labelling the non-violent anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement anti-Semitic.
And three years later, the state-funded Society for a Democratic Culture in Berlin (VDK) was forced by a German court to release a secret dossier that had framed German-Palestinian academic Anna Younes as an anti-Smite and terrorist sympathiser, using data gathered as far back as 2014.
Younes, having already endured much emotional turmoil during this and, she said, many other “misinformation episodes”, told Al Jazeera that Germany’s unwavering support for Israel’s relentless shelling of the Strip has left her “utterly speechless”.
“You’re constantly gaslit in this country,” said Younes, of what she calls a long-established attempt by the German state to delegitimise domestic support for Palestine. “My demoralised attitude springs from living through this for such a long time.”
Younes was born and brought up in east Berlin “right next to the wall”.
She said Germany’s support “for the genocide in Gaza” has only served to show that “Palestinian lives … Muslim lives, Arab lives and non-white lives in Europe and the Middle East” are expendable.
“This is the message that we are getting from the powerful,” added Younes, who said that nothing could dissuade her from “speaking up” for the rights of Palestinians.
Last month, a German opinion poll revealed that only 31 percent of respondents backed Scholz’s uncompromising support for the Israeli military bombardment of Gaza.
And even those who stand with Israel refuse to ignore Palestinian suffering.
One German national, Carsten, who attended a pro-Israel rally in Berlin following the events of October 7, said while “Israel’s right to exist and … defend itself [was] non-negotiable … almost everyone has significant concerns about a lot of Israel’s policies”.
The music business manager, who did not want his full name published, explained that “almost every German has ancestors or relatives who were in some shape or form involved in the slaughter of six million Jews”.
Killing innocent civilians on both sides is “clearly wrong”, he told Al Jazeera. “If people pick sides, no matter what actions ‘their side’ takes, we are doomed to gridlock, further sorrow and despair.”
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Golf officials to roll back ball for pros and weekend hackers alike. Not everyone is happy
Tiger Woods tees off on the third hole during the second round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Ludvig Aberg, of Sweden, watches his drive off the seventh tee during the final round of the RSM Classic golf tournament, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in St. Simons Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Tiger Woods places his ball on the first tee during the first round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 15th hole during the round one of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
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Golf’s ruling bodies are changing the equipment testing to make sure the golf ball goes shorter for everyone from Tiger Woods to the amateur who plays public courses on the weekend.
The USGA and R&A announced its decision Wednesday, capping more than five years of intensive study on distance that led them to believe consistent gains off the tee — some 30 yards by PGA Tour players over the last 25 years — was detrimental to the game.
“There’s virtually no denying that the game at the highest end is longer by a long shot today than it was 20 years ago,” said Mike Whan, the CEO of the USGA.
The change is not effective until 2028 for tour and elite golf, 2030 for recreational golfers.
The original proposal in March was a “Model Local Rule” that would lead to a shorter golf ball only at the elite level, which would create two sets of rules for the first time. The PGA Tour and PGA of America strongly opposed it.
Instead, the USGA and R&A are changing the test that measures how far the ball goes, leaving in tact the “Overall Distance Standard” limit of 317 yards with a 3-yard tolerance.
The new test will be a club swung at 125 mph, equivalent to ball speed of 183 mph (up from 120 mph club speed and 176 mph ball speed); with a spin rate of 2,200 rpm (down from 2,520 rpm) and a launch angle of 11 degrees (previously 10 degrees).
For the longest hitters, they expect the ball to go up to 15 yards shorter — 11 yards shorter for average tour pros, 7 yards for female tour players and 5 yards or less for everyone else.
Keegan Bradley isn’t sure about that. He said Srixon made him a golf ball that would have met proposed standards and it was flying 40 to 50 yards shorter.
“I think that the USGA … everything that they do is reactionary,” Bradley said last week in the Bahamas. “They don’t think of a solution. They just think we’re going to affect 100% of the population that plays golf. For the amateur world to hit the ball shorter is monstrous. I can’t think of anything more stupid than that.”
The PGA Tour had said it would not adopt the proposed “Model Local Rule.” It was not entirely pleased with a new equipment rule.
“Throughout the process, we have provided feedback to the USGA and The R&A and are pleased to see a number of our recommendations reflected in this most recent announcement,” the tour said in a statement. “However, we believe the proposed increase in test clubhead speed to 125 mph is disproportional to the rate of increase we see when analyzing PGA Tour radar data.”
The PGA Tour had 98 players who averaged 300 yards in driving distance, led by Rory McIlroy at 326.3 yards.
McIlroy took to social media last week when Golf Digest first reported the new test.
“It will make no difference whatsoever to the average golfer and puts golf back on a path of sustainability,” McIlroy said. “It will also help bring back certain skills in the pro game that have been eradicated over the past 2 decades.”
Woods said last week in the Bahamas he has long been in favor of bifurcation — two sets of rules — similar to aluminum bats and wooden bats in baseball. That example, however, would suggest changing the drivers.
Drivers were on the table for the USGA and R&A a year ago until they zoomed in on the ball. Their only action on drivers was to expand the test of how long the ball stays on the face of the club, known as characteristic time. There is concern that with extended use of the club, the face gets thinner and allows for more of a trampoline effect.
The big development was the golf ball — how far distance has come in 40-plus years, fear by the governing bodies how much farther it will go as players get stronger and move faster with better technique.
The PGA of America, with its 30,000 club professionals, joined the PGA Tour in saying it was happy the governing bodies did not go with two sets of rules, and even pushed back the date the rollback begins — it originally was proposed to start in 2026.
“We remain opposed to any change that may potentially lessen the enjoyment of the game for recreational golfers or diminish the unprecedented momentum the game is enjoying,” the PGA of America statement said. “It appears recreational golfers will see a greater reduction in distance than we would advise.
“While this decrease has been lessened, we continue to recommend being more moderate on the swing speed change for the golf ball conformance test.”
Manufacturers and tour officials were hopeful of providing input before the testing change was announced, especially because it doesn’t take effect for four years. Whan said the 125 mph club speed was open for feedback in 2022 and there was no point in delaying the decision with another comment period.
He also balked at the notion that distance will plateau if nothing is done now.
“Some people will argue, ‘We don’t think distance is going farther. The speed these top guys are hitting it is the fastest we’re going to see,’” Whan said. “We’ve said consistently, ‘Then you’re not spending enough time with the high-end amateur golf like we are.’ Spend a day with me at the Walker Cup and I’ll show you ball speed at a whole other level.
“There’s no logical reason to believe that speeds, and therefore distances, are coming down.”
PGA Tour data, however, indicates big hitters from the Korn Ferry Tour slow down their swing speed when they get to the PGA Tour to adapt to the way courses are set up.
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf
Last night (early this morning) at around 2:30 AM, I had to let my little 20 lb.
Posted: December 8, 2023 | Last updated: December 9, 2023
dog out in my fenced in yard. When I went out, I could hear what I believe were a pack of coyotes howling in the not to far distance. It was quit frightening, as I know they can easily jump my 5 foot fence and grab my little dog. I always stay on my deck and stand guard when letting my dogs out at night. My question ... do you think the coyotes are brave/desperate enough to jump my fence while my light is on and I am out there? Last night really scared me, as they were very close.
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- OCR Gateway
Everyday motion - OCR Gateway Stopping distances
Everyday, people and vehicles travel at different speeds and are exposed to large accelerations and forces.
It is important to be able to:
- estimate how the stopping distance for a vehicle varies with different speeds
- interpret graphs relating speed to stopping distance
The diagram shows some typical stopping distances for an average car in normal conditions.
Some typical stopping distances
Travelling at 20 mph (32 km/h):
- thinking distance = 6 m
- braking distance = 6 m
- total stopping distance = 12 m
Travelling at 40 mph (64 km/h):
- thinking distance = 12 m
- braking distance = 24 m
- total stopping distance = 36 m
Travelling at 70 mph (112 km/h):
- thinking distance = 21 m
- braking distance = 75 m
- total stopping distance = 96 m
It is important to note that the thinking distance is proportional to the starting speed. This means that it increases proportionally as speed increases – ie if speed doubles, thinking distance also doubles. However, the braking distance increases by a factor of four each time the starting speed doubles.
For example, if a car doubles its speed from 30 mph to 60 mph, the thinking distance will double from 9 m to 18 m and the braking distance will increase by a factor of four from 14 m to 56 m.
More guides on this topic
- Energy demands and resources - OCR Gateway
- Electricity - OCR Gateway
- The Universe - OCR Gateway
- The Solar System, orbital motion and stars - OCR Gateway
- Uses of waves and electromagnetic radiation - OCR Gateway
- Sample exam questions - global challenges - OCR Gateway
- Physics: Exam-style questions
- Personalise your Bitesize!
- Jobs that use Physics
- BBC: Science and Environment
- Isaac Physics
- Revisio Subscription
- Tassomai Subscription
- Science Museum