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Driving forward golfing technology

Developing technology in a bid to achieve the longest golf drive are  (L-R) Nick Middleton (Founder Zen Oracle Golf), Karl Woodward (Guinness World Long Drive Recorder Holder), Dan Fleetcroft (project Engineering Design Director), Dr Derek Marriott (Project R & D Director), , Mike Maddock (project Engineering Director)

Developing technology in a bid to achieve the longest golf drive are (L-R) Nick Middleton (Founder Zen Oracle Golf), Karl Woodward (Guinness World Long Drive Recorder Holder), Dan Fleetcroft (project Engineering Design Director), Dr Derek Marriott (Project R & D Director), , Mike Maddock (project Engineering Director)

South Yorkshire firms are harnessing Formula One technology in a bid to beat the world record for the longest golf drive.

The project is the brain child of Sheffield-based Zen Golf, which has joined forces with Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre-based Performance Engineered Solutions and Newburgh Engineering.

The team is using its expertise to create a driver that will propel a golf ball more than 408 yards and 10 inches to claim the record.

PES says the initiative will push the boundaries of innovation, combining technologies to showcase the capabilities of British engineering.

Engineering design director Dan Fleetcroft said: “What’s going to be interesting is using experience from engineering in Formula One and putting that into the golf driver.

“In F1 every potential performance gain is explored to its fullest. We’ll be looking for any area where we can find that extra something to help hit the ball a little bit further.”

The Zen Golf record attempt has links with the Bloodhound SSC – the British bid to raise the world land speed record to more than 1,000 miles an hour.

The new golf club is being called the Bloodhound Driver after the car and the golfing record attempt will take place in 2015 on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa; where Bloodhound SSC will also make its record bid.

The connection goes further than that, however, as the golf club will be made at Newburgh Engineering, in Rotherham, which is also making components for Bloodhound SCC.

Newburg’s chairman, Vince Middleton, is also Zen Golf’s chairman and the cousin of Zen’s founder, Nick Middleton.

It is Nick who has put together the record attempt team, which includes the current world-record holder, British golfer Karl Woodward.

Nick Middleton said: “The club will be a completely new design, with grip, shaft and club head all being created from the archetypal clean sheet of paper.

“This is an opportunity for British design and engineering to show that it still leads the world - and in the most spectacular way possible.”

 

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