Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 408 - 414

Research article
Low Handicap Golfers Generate More Torque at the Shoe-Natural Grass Interface When Using a Driver
Paul Worsfold, Neal A. Smith, Rosemary J. Dyson 
Author Information
University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, UK

Rosemary J. Dyson
‚úČ University of Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE, UK
Email: r.dyson@chi.ac.uk
Publish Date
Received: 12-05-2008
Accepted: 23-07-2008
Published (online): 01-09-2008
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ABSTRACT

The aim was to determine the rotational torque occurring at the shoe-natural grass interface during golf swing performance with different clubs, and to determine the influence of handicap and golf shoe design. Twenty-four golfers (8 low 0-7; 8 medium 8-14; and 8 high 15+) performed 5 shots with a driver, 3-iron and 7-iron when 3 shoes were worn: a modern 8 mm metal 7-spike shoe, an alternative 7-spike shoe and a flat soled shoe. Torque was measured at the front and back foot by grass covered force platforms in an outdoor field. Torque at the shoe- natural turf interface was similar at the front foot when using a driver, 3-iron and 7-iron with maximum mean torque (Tzmax 17-19 Nm) and torque generation in the entire backswing and downswing approximately 40 Nm. At the back foot, torque was less than at the front foot when using the driver, 3-iron and 7-iron. At the back foot Tzmax was 6-7 Nm, and torque generation was 10-16 Nm, with a trend for greater torque generation when using the driver rather than the irons. The metal spike shoe allowed significantly more back foot torque generation when using a driver than a flat- soled shoe (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the metal and alternative spike shoes for any torque measure (p > 0.05), although back foot mean torques generated tended to be greater for the metal spike shoe. The golf shot outcomes were similar for low, medium and high handicappers in both metal and alternative spike shoes (metal: 87%; 76%; 54%; alternative: 85%; 74%; 54% respectively). The better, low handicap golfers generated significantly more back foot torque (metal spike: 18.2 Nm; alternative: 15.8 Nm; p < 0.05) when using a driver. Further research should consider back foot shoe-grass interface demands during driver usage by low handicap and lighter body-weight golfers.

Key words: Cleat, golf, iron, shoe, spike, traction.


           Key Points
  • Shoe to natural turf torque generation is an important component in performing a golf swing with a driver club.
  • Torque at the shoe to natural turf interface was similar at the front foot when using a driver, 3-iron and 7-iron with Tzmax (17-19 Nm approx) and torque generation in the entire backswing and downswing of 40 Nm.
  • Torque at the back foot was less than at the front foot when using the driver, 3-iron and 7-iron; Tzmax was 6-7 Nm, and torque generation 10-16 Nm with a trend to be greater when the driver was used.
  • Low handicap golfers generated significantly more torque at the back foot than the medium or high handicappers (P<0.05) when using a driver.
  • The metal spike shoe on natural turf allowed significantly more torque generation at the back foot than a flat-soled golf shoe when using a driver. Results have implications for golf shoe design.
 
 
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