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Competitive elite golf: a review of the relationships between playing results, technique and physique
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Sports Medicine, ISSN 0112-1642, E-ISSN 1179-2035, Vol. 39, no 9, 723-741 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Elite golfers commonly use fitness and technical training to become more competitive. The aim of this paper was to review the literature regarding the relationships between elite golfers' playing results, technique and physique. The competitive outcome is a direct function of the score. The three golf statistical measures that show the strongest correlations to scoring average are greens in regulation (GIR), scrambling, and putts per GIR. However, more detailed game statistics are needed where the distances to the targets are known before and after the strokes.

Players affect ball displacement by controlling clubhead velocity and clubface angle during club and ball impact. X-factor studies have produced ambiguous results, possibly caused by different definitions of upper torso, rotation and top of backswing. Higher clubhead speed is generally associated with larger spinal rotation and shoulder girdle protraction at the top of the backswing. It is also associated with higher ground reaction forces and torques, a bottom-up and sequential increase of body segment angular velocities, a rapid increase of spinal rotation and a late adduction of the wrists during the downswing. Players can increase the clubhead speed generated by a swinging motion by actively adding a force couple. Wrist, elbow and shoulder force couple strategies should be differentiated when investigating the technique.

Physical parameters such as anthropometrics, strength and flexibility are associated with skill level and clubhead speed. Current studies have investigated the linear correlation between arm and shaft lengths and clubhead speed, but a quadratic relationship may be stronger due to changes in moment of inertia. Fitness training can increase and perhaps decrease the clubhead speed and striking distance, depending on training methods and the player's fitness and level of skill. Future studies may focus on individual training needs and the relationship between physique, execution and its relation to accuracy of impact and ball displacement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Adis , 2009. Vol. 39, no 9, 723-741 p.
Keyword [en]
Competetive elite golf
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-7780DOI: 10.2165/11315200-000000000-00000ISI: 000269773900003PubMedID: 19691363Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-68949213734OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-7780DiVA: diva2:233317
Note

Funding Agency:

The Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports 

Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Expert performance in golf
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expert performance in golf
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The competition in elite golf is fierce. Players therefore often have psychological, physical, and technical experts supporting them. The associations between these experts focus areas and how they relate to the playing results are valuable to understand, in order to create more effective training programs. The aim of this thesis is therefore to investigate the relationships between physique, technique, and playing results in golf, and to integrate these findings with psychological research on elite golfers.

Two review studies (A and B) and three empirical studies (I, II, and III) are included. Study A and B provide a theoretical foundation where the relationship of psychological, physiological, and technical variables to playing results is reviewed. The empirical studies (Study I, II, and III) were selected based on the findings in the reviews and the applied needs.

Study I shows that some stability test results are strongly correlated to swing technique. Study II found that strength tests as measured in absolute strength or power are strongly correlated to clubhead speed for elite players, but relative strength (percentage of body mass) is not. Study III used PGA Tour ShotLink statistics collected over a year to investigate tee shot accuracy, striking distance, and hole scores. It was found that the ability to hit the ball with high accuracy and a long distance is strongly correlated with low hole scores. Furthermore, the type of fairway miss is relevant to consider as well as striking distance in relation to the distance of the hole.

These results may be used to make gap and needs profiles. Task, personal, and environmental variables should also be considered before giving training advice based on test results. Future studies should further investigate the causality between key areas and playing results, and test the validity of models that may be used to analyze and set goals for elite golfers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2012. 92 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535 ; 16
Keyword
Golf, professional, world-class, expert, psychology, physique, technique, game statistics, tournament
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-21337 (URN)978-91-7668-851-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-02-22, Hörsal G, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The Swedish National Center for Research in Sports (CIF) and The Swedish Golf Federation financially supported this doctoral dissertation. US PGA Tour and ShotLink supported Study III by collecting and sorting a large amount of game statistical data.

Available from: 2012-01-26 Created: 2012-01-26 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, John

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