Movement and outcome variability of the golf swing of amateur golfers with driver and iron clubs

  • Kristian Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Movement variability may include a functional component but there is a lack of work which examines movement variability in the golf swing and its relationship with shot outcome measures. This research used biomechanical analysis techniques to understand variability in the golf swing. Since human movement variability and measurement error can be a similar magnitude, initial work determined the repeatability of ball launch, clubhead presentation, kinematic and kinetic measurements; using existing literature and three specific investigations. The full body kinematics, ground reaction force kinetics, address position, swing timing, clubhead presentation and ball launch of five, differently skilled male golfers with an iron and a driver club across three testing sessions were examined in a multiple single-subject investigation. These results showed individual specific patterns of variability, and differences between the participants had utility in informing a cohort investigation. Finally, the variability of ground reaction force kinetics, address position, swing timing, clubhead presentation and ball launch variables was examined in one hundred and four amateur golfers, of both genders and a range of abilities, with an iron and a driver club and in a single session. Lower handicap golfers had generally higher task performance and lower variability in outcome measures with both the driver and five-iron club. However, correlations between variability with the driver and the iron were generally low. Lower handicap golfers displayed lower or similar amounts of movement variability, but differences were small and there was significant overlap between the handicap groups. There were no clear differences in the structure of variability between the handicap groups. Movement variability did not appear to be related to outcome variability; rather the data suggest that golfers, irrespective of handicap or gender, use individual-specific movement patterns and a combination of functional movement variability and movement consistency to achieve outcome consistency.
Date of AwardApr 2019
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsDEL/CAST Award with Intel
SupervisorCarla Mc Cabe (Supervisor) & Eric Wallace (Supervisor)


  • biomechanics

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