Differences in shaft strain patterns during golf drives due to stiffness and swing effects

Kristian M Jones, Nils F Betzler, E.S. Wallace, Steve R Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
150 Downloads (Pure)


There is much debate around the role of shaft stiffness in the dynamic response of the club shaft during the golf swing. This study used a novel complex analysis to investigate within- and between-golfer differences in shaft strain patterns for three shaft stiffnesses. Twelve right-handed male golfers, with a handicap less than or equal to five, hit six shots with three driver clubs which differed only in shaft stiffness. Clubs were instrumented to record the shaft strain in the lead/lag and toe/heel directions. The analysis combined these perpendicular components into a single complex function, which enabled the differences between two swings to be characterised by a scale and a rotation component. Within-golfer strain patterns were found to be significantly more consistent than between-golfer, p < 0.01. Whilst some golfers displayed more similar patterns than others, there were no clear groups of golfers with similar patterns of shaft strain. Between the clubs, shaft strain patterns differed in the scale component, p < 0.01, rather than the rotation, p = 0.07.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalSports Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished online - 5 Jul 2019


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