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.
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- ground reaction force
- principal component analysis