The purpose of this study was to analyse the effects of clubhead presentation on golf ball launch conditions and the subsequent shot outcome. Clubhead presentation was measured using a three-dimensional motion capture system for both male and female golfers across a range of skill levels. A Doppler radar was used to track the golf ball during its flight, yielding speed, launch angles, spin rate and distance. Importantly, the measurements of clubhead and ball quantities were taken independently so that any inter-relationships could be evaluated without recourse to any preconceived models. This article provides values for the median launch conditions and shot outcome, and the associated variability in these quantities for golfers was grouped by handicap category and gender. It was shown that the variability in certain outcome quantities was more linked to golfing ability than others. Linear regression was used to demonstrate that differences inclubhead presentation resulted in changes to ball launch conditions as one might expect from physical analysis. Furthermore, the link between the variability in clubhead presentation and the variability in shot outcome was demonstrated. In particular, the importance of impact location variability in determining launch angle and total distance variability was shown.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology|
|Early online date||16 Jul 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Nov 2014|
Bibliographical noteReference text: 1. Hume PA, Keogh J and Reid D. The role of biomechanics in maximising distance and accuracy of golf shots. Sports Med 2005; 35: 429–449.
2. Brown D, Best R, Ball K, et al. Age, centre of pressure and clubhead speed in golf. In: Thain E (ed.) Science and golf IV: proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of golf. London: Routledge, 2002, pp.28–34.
3. Hocknell A. High-performance driver design: benefits for all golfers. J Sports Sci 2002; 20: 643–649.
4. Chu Y, Sell TC and Lephart SM. The relationship between biomechanical variables and driving performance during the golf swing. J Sports Sci 2010; 28: 1251–1259.
5. Williams KR and Sih BL. Changes in golf clubface orientation following impact with the ball. Sports Eng 2002; 5: 65–80.
6. Jorgensen TP. The physics of golf. New York: Springer, 1999.
7. Pelz D, Pelz E, Evans S, et al. Golfer performance: amateurs vs. pros. In: Crews D and Lutz R (eds) Science and golf V: proceedings of the fifth World Scientific Congress of golf. Mesa, AZ: Energy in Motion Inc., 2008, pp.146–153.
8. Tuxen F. Optimization of driving distance – importance of determining the attack angle. In: Crews D and Lutz R (eds) Science and golf V: proceedings of the fifth World Scientific Congress of golf. Mesa, AZ: Energy in Motion Inc., 2008, pp.469–476.
9. Sweeney M, Mills P, Alderson J, et al. The influence of club-head kinematics on early ball flight characteristics in the golf drive. Sports Biomech 2013; 12: 247–258.
10. Betzler NF, Monk SA, Wallace ES, et al. Variability in clubhead presentation characteristics and ball impact location for golfers’ drives. J Sports Sci 2012; 30: 439–448.
11. The Council of National Golf Unions (CONGU). Unified handicapping system. Liverpool: CONGU, 2007.
- launch conditions
- clubhead speed
- club path
- impact location
- impact position
- shot outcome
- driving distance