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Weight transfer styles in the golf swing : individual and group analysis

By Kevin Ball

Abstract

Weight transfer in the golf swing is considered important in the coaching literature. However, scientific studies on weight transfer have been conflicting due to a number of limitations. This thesis examined weight transfer in the golf swing using more trials per golfer, Club Velocity at ball contact rather than handicap to indicate performance and more swing events at which weight position was quantified. Also, cluster analysis was used to identify if different swing styles exist. In study 1, 62 golfers performed ten simulated drives, hitting a golf ball into a net, while standing on two force plates. CP position relative to the feet (CPy%) was quantified at eight swing events identified from 200 Hz video. Cluster analysis identified two CPy% styles: ‘Front Foot’ style and ‘Reverse’ style. Both styles began with CPy% positioned evenly between the feet, moved to the back foot during backswing and then forward during early downswing. Beyond early downswing, the Front Foot group continued to move CPy% towards the front foot to ball contact, while the Reverse group moved CPy% towards the back foot to ball contact. Both styles occurred across skill levels from professional to high handicap golfers, indicating that neither style was a technical error. In study 2, group based relationships between CP parameters and Club Velocity for each swing style was examined. For the Front Foot group, a larger CP range and a more rapid CP movement in downswing were associated with a larger Club Velocity at ball contact. For the Reverse group, positioning CP further from the back foot at late backswing and a more rapid CP transfer towards the back foot at ball contact was associated with a larger Club Velocity at ball contact. In study 3, individual-based analysis was conducted on five golfers performing 50 swings under the same test conditions. All golfers returned significant relationships between CP parameters and Club Velocity but these were individual specific. The most consistently related parameter was CP range, which was significantly related to Club Velocity for all golfers. Nonlinear techniques also were explored, with Poincare plots returning useful results for some golfers. In conclusion, analysis of weight transfer in the golf swing requires styles to be identified prior to any performance analysis. Individual-based analysis as well as group-based analysis is required to extract the most relevant information. Further, the use of more trials per golfer and more swing events should be employed in future studies

Topics: 320000 Medical and Health Sciences, golf, golf swing, weight transfer, performance analysis, human movement
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.vu.edu.au:1432
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