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 (2009) 08, 235 - 246

Research article
Kinematic Analyses of the Golf Swing Hub Path and its Role in Golfer/Club Kinetic Transfers
Steven M. Nesbit , Ryan McGINNIS
Author Information
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA

Steven M. Nesbit
‚úČ Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA
Email: nesbits@lafayette.edu
Publish Date
Received: 03-09-2008
Accepted: 17-03-2009
Published (online): 01-06-2009
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ABSTRACT

This study analyzed the fundamental geometric and kinematic characteristics of the swing hub path of the golf shot for four diverse subjects. In addition, the role of the hub path geometry in transferring the kinetic quantities from the golfer to the club were investigated. The hub path was found to have a complex geometry with significantly changing radii, and a constantly moving center-of-curvature during the downswing for all subjects. While the size and shape of the hub path differed considerably among the subjects, a three phase radius-based pattern was revealed that aligned with distinct stages of the downswing. Artificially controlling and optimizing the hub path of the better golfer in the group indicated that a non-circular hub path was superior to a constant radius path in minimizing the kinetic loading while generating the highest possible club head velocity. The shape and purpose of the hub path geometry appears to result from a complex combination of achieving equilibrium between the golfer and the club, and a purposeful configuring of the path to control the outward movement of the club while minimizing the kinetic loading on the golfer yet transferring the maximum kinetic quantities to the club. Describing the downswing relative to the hub path phasing is presented and was found to be informative since the phases align with significant swing, kinetic and kinematic markers. These findings challenge golf swing modeling methodologies which fix the center-of-curvature of the hub path thus constraining it to constant radius motion.

Key words: Golf biomechanics, golf swing kinematics, golf swing kinetics


           Key Points
  • The golf swing hub path was found to have a complex geometry with significantly changing radii, and a constantly moving center-of-curvature during the downswing.
  • The hub path differed considerably among subjects, however a three phase radius-based pattern was revealed that aligned with distinct stages of the downswing.
  • The shape and purpose of the hub path geometry appears to result from a complex combination of achieving equilibrium between the golfer and the club, and a purposeful configuring of the path to control the outward movement of the club while minimizing the kinetic loading on the golfer yet transferring the maximum kinetic quantities to the club.
 
 
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