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
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 452 - 458

Research article
Golfing Skill Level Postural Control Differences: A Brief Report
James S. Wrobel2, 3, Samuel Marclay2, Bijan Najafi1, 2, 
Author Information
1 Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA
2 Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science,
3 University of Michigan, Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Bijan Najafi
‚úČ Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), Interdisciplinary Consortium for Advanced Motion Performance (iCAMP), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA
Publish Date
Received: 05-03-2012
Accepted: 22-05-2012
Published (online): 01-09-2012
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Golfers have better balance than their age-matched counterparts; however, it is uncertain if this persists during the swing as a function of skill level. The purpose of the study was to investigate dynamic postural control (center of mass (COM) motion) measured during different phases of the swing in golfers of varying proficiency. Eighteen healthy golfers were grouped by handicap: novice (no handicap, n = 7), intermediate (handicap 15-19, n = 7), and advanced (handicap 9-14, n = 4). Indoor testing was performed hitting 3 tee shots using a common driver. A five-camera (60 Hz) motion analysis system (9 markers) was used to extract kinematics data. There were no significant group differences in gender, age, or BMI. Advanced players had lower COM displacement with respect to address at the time of maximum arm speed (p = 0. 001) compared to intermediate (57%, p = 0.014) and novice (73%, p = 0.023). These changes persisted after COM distance and time normalization. Advanced golfers had improved COM linearity during the downswing (p < 0.001) compared to intermediate (30%, p = 0.029) and novice (51%, p < 0.001). Advanced players had decreased COM displacement at the time of maximum arm speed and a more linear COM path during the early downswing. Further study should focus on these changes during ball launch conditions.

Key words: Golf Balance, Body worn sensor, postural compensatory strategy.

           Key Points
  • Studies suggest that static and dynamic balance is important in golf. However, none have investigated dynamic postural control during the golf swing in golfers of varying proficiency.
  • Our findings suggest advanced players demonstrated improved postural control at the point of maximum arm speed when compared to less skilled players. Furthermore, center of mass acceleration in advanced players is closer to impact than less-skilled players.
  • We observed an increased center of mass linearity of trajectory during the early downswing for advanced players over novice players. We theorized this strategy may help advanced golfers to improve the economy of COM motion during golf swing and improve the performance of the shot.
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