The scene in "Tin Cup" where he plays with a baseball bat

In the movie “Tin Cup”, Costner’s character has a scene where he wants to raise money so he challenges some guy to a round of golf, where Costner is only allowed to use a variety of non golf club household objects. So far so good, sounds pretty tough, assuming he has to still follow the rules of golf. But then he gets to pick it up and hit it with a baseball bat, (When closer to green a spade, and on the green a snooker cue from the ground). Surely that is a much easier way to do it, from mid air with a bat you can make it go a lot further with more accuracy and effectively the bet is Costner gets an advantage over the other guy rather than the other way around, right?

Side quesion. If I wanted to use a snooker cue to play my green shots, could I do so within the rules of golf?

No. The rules governing clubs are rather strict.

I also don’t think it is easier to place a ball with baseball bat than with a driver (assuming you can play golf).

A pro homer is usually between 300-500 FEET. The current tour average for a drive is somewhere around 270 YARDS (or 810 feet).

There’s no way this is true. Certainly further than hitting it off the ground with a baseball bat, but absolutely not further/more accurate than a guy with a golf club.

You can hit a golf ball a lot farther with a baseball bat than you can a baseball.
As a kid when I tried it the golf ball went roughly twice as far.

OK, but a professional batsman in baseball is dealing with another professional who is actively trying to stop him from hitting the ball effectively. If he tossed the ball for himself he could probably reliably hit it further, right? (and WAG, but I would guess a golf ball hit with a baseball bat to go further than a baseball hit with the same stroke.)

In any case though, I guess I misjudged the distances.

Yeah, he could hit farther than he could hit a baseball, but a couple of things here:

  1. In the movie, Costner is protrayed as a guy who can hit a golf ball pro-level distances (with a golf club).
  2. Costner is NOT shown as a pro baseball player. You and I could not hit a baseball 500 feet.
    In the end, I’ll bet the average decent-or-better golfer would be better off with his driver.

Lee Trevino when he was hustling golf before his pro career used to offer to play off the tee with a 32 oz Dr Pepper bottle. People would jump at the bet and Trevino would use the bottle for his tee shots, throwing the ball up and hitting it 120 yards down the fairway. Here is a photo of him demonstrating after he turned pro. As I recall he used to offer to putt with a garden rake and still win. He used to caddy for a rich Texan who would taunt his opponents and tell them, “why I think the caddy could beat you.” Then when a big bet was made Trevino would proceed to thrash the guy.

No. Watch clips of the home run derby - you have a batter facing his pitching coach, who is throwing the meatiest meat balls ever seen right into his wheelhouse, and 500 feet is an incredible achievement even then. If the batter were to toss the ball into the air to hit it, it wouldn’t go nearly as far (transfer of momentum/deterioration of technique).

Now factor in the fact that:

  1. A golf club has significantly more angular momentum than a baseball bat.
  2. A golf club has a club head that is specifically designed to transfer energy to the ball in the most efficient method possible - a baseball bat is pretty soft and sucks out a lot of that energy.
  3. Coster is trying to hit a moving object with a round (okay, cylindrical) bat, the golf player is hitting a stationary object.

When I was a less-serious pre-teen I used to goof around on a golf course with a few friends, one of whom was the son of the club pro. One of the things we did was tee off on a ridiculous par 5 with an aluminum baseball bat. I can confirm that we usually hit the ball further with the bat than with our drivers, and often with better accuracy too.

that’s kind of interesting although barely plausible. i’ve never tried it personally so, meh.

but my worst drives go at least 260+ (780 feet) and if i screw one it’s up in the neighborhood of 320 (approaching a 1,000) or so. i see no way that i could launch a golf ball with a bat that fracking far. and i can assure you that my aim and control would be much worse. try turning over a 300 yard shot with just a touch of draw or a 280 with a cut and i just don’t know how a bat would work.

and i didn’t cite it but i don’t think you can use a pool cue to putt. the face of the blade must be larger/longer than the width. it’s why those pelz putters had to be turned around when they first came out.

Well, crap, if you’re hitting 300-yard drives on average you’re driving at pro or near-pro levels; most amateurs would be happy averaging 250.

But you’d be surprised at how far a golf ball can go when hit with an aluminum bat. The only advice I have is to try it out for yourself; it takes a fair amount of practice, because it’s not like hitting a baseball. A sort of “underhanded” swing (sorry I can’t describe it better) seems to have the best results.

1984: Dave Pelz Three-Ball Putter

Like Karsten Solheim, Dave Pelz is an engineer by background who applied an engineer’s typical analytical thinking to the problem of putter alignment. He came up with a design that positioned three plastic golf balls behind the face.

Early models were deemed non-conforming because they were deeper front to back that the face was wide, then later because they were considered “not plain in shape.” Thus his original designs never really took off.
here’s the cite on pool cue question.

hey, i don’t doubt you it is just something that seems difficult and something i have never tried personally. i am thinking a lot of pop ups to the shortstop or ground outs to the pitcher in my specific case.

wonder what the honkers will do down at the club this afternoon when i show up with a bat.

Keep in mind that the pitcher is doing everything in his power to make sure the batter doesn’t get a free swing at the ball. If he threw every pitch belt-high down the middle with nothing on it, you’d see a lot fewer of those dribblers back to the mound.

Keep us posted!

Check out the post by racer72 in this thread:

Many years ago I took a wooden baseball bat to a driving range. Those of us that tried hitting golf balls with the bat hit them much further than anyone was hitting balls with a golf club. The farthest sign was a 300 yards and the net at about 320 yards, we were easily clearing the 50 foot tall net.

i think this is impossible. notwithstanding some forward motion from a “pitcher”. a golf club is designed to provide a “launch” effect. wood provides no such advantage. unless you are talking about a long time ago when the maximum allowed velocity was pretty uniform and all clubs were wood. but if that is the case there is no way. the maximum velocity for a golf ball would make this physically impossible.

and clearing a 320 yard fence at 50 feet means approximately 440 yards. uh, uh couldn’t happen unless you were on the moon.

My thought would be to fashion an oversized “tee” out of broom handle or something – maybe pick up some long, thin wooden dowels at Home Depot. Cut them to the proper batting height, indent one end to hold a golf ball, and mount it on a base. It’d likely do wonders for accuracy.

And those doubting how far a golf ball will travel when hit by a bat vs. a baseball aren’t taking into consideration the aerodynamics and compression in a golf ball. Those suckers are built to travel.

I think you guys are misremembering the movie. He never used a baseball bat. He used gardening implements. On the shot where he swung at it like a bat he was holding a spade or shovel.