At the start of 2020, the CFD team was presented with a different type of challenge. The TV network NBC/Golf Channel was planning its coverage of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Producers asked us if we could show what was happening with the wind at the course’s famous and notoriously difficult 17th hole.
We created a 3D model and ran simulations to find that the wind swirls around the tee, which is why it can be so confusing for the players. This matches what professional golfers often say about the tee on the 17th; that it can feel like the wind is coming from all directions, making club and shot choice very tricky.
During the tournament in March 2020, our more advanced visual portrayal of the wind flow was shown on screen during live coverage of the event. I am a huge sports fan, so it was a very proud moment for me to be able to bring together my personal interests and expertise.
My changemaker is also from the world of sport. Marcus Rashford has used his fame in such a positive way to campaign for free school meals, bringing about real change for so many people.
Our WSP changemakers are using Computational Fluid Dynamics to answer the questions around the mysterious wind patterns at famous golf courses.