Variability and control structure are under-represented areas of golf swing research. Thisstudy investigated the use of the abundant degrees of freedom in the golf swing of highand intermediate skilled golfers using uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis. The varianceparallel to (VUCM) and orthogonal to (VOrth) the UCM with respect to the orientation and locationof the clubhead were calculated. The higher skilled golfers had proportionally higher valuesof VUCM than lower skilled players for all measured outcome variables. Motor synergy wasfound in the control of the orientation of the clubhead and the combined outcome variablesbut not for clubhead location. Clubhead location variance zeroed-in on impact as has beenpreviously shown, whereas clubhead orientation variance increased near impact. Both skilllevels increased their control over the clubhead location leading up to impact, with morecontrol exerted over the clubhead orientation in the early downswing. The results suggestthat to achieve higher skill levels in golf may not lie simply in optimal technique, but maylie more in developing control over the abundant degrees of freedom in the body.
Bibliographical noteAccepted Jan 2016