The relationship between skill and ground reaction force variability in amateur golfers

Kristian M Jones, Eric S Wallace, Steve R Otto

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    86 Downloads (Pure)


    It is accepted that highly skilled golfers are more consistent in their clubhead presentation and shot outcomes than their lesser skilled counterparts. However, the relationships between movement variability, outcome variability and skill in golf are not particularly well understood. This study examined the ground reaction force variability of one-hundred and four amateur golfers for shots with drivers and 5-irons. Principal component analysis was used as a data reduction technique and allowed all three components of ground reaction force to be considered together. There were statistically significant trends for the higher skilled golfers to display lower variability in two of the five principal components (driver) and four of the five principal components (5-iron). A similar trend was also observed in the other principal components, but these trends were not statistically significant. Intra-individual variability was much lower than inter-individual variability across all golfers; the golfers were each relatively consistent in maintaining their own ground reaction force patterns. Lower variability in ground reaction forces may partly explain how highly skilled golfers maintain lower variability in shot outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalSports Biomechanics
    Early online date29 Aug 2021
    Publication statusPublished online - 29 Aug 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


    • Golf
    • flexibility
    • ground reaction force
    • principal component analysis
    • variability


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