Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

8

Spine and hip motion analysis during the golf swing

M. McTeigue

President, SportSense Inc., USA


S.R. Lamb

V-P Research and Development, Orthopedic Systems, Inc., USA


R. Mottram

Sports Physical Therapist, Palm Desert CA, USA


and F. Pirozzolo

Associate Professor of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

Abstract

This study analyzed the three dimensional motion of a golfer's lumbar spine during the golf swing under actual shotmaking conditions. Fifty-one PGA Tour professional golfers, forty-six Senior PGA Tour professional golfers and thirty-four amateur golfers were tested. Measurements were made using a nonrestrictive, externally mounted, instrumented spatial linkage. Motion in the three orthogonal planes of rotation was measured and plotted on a time axis related to the events of a swing. Electronic sensors were used to supply event markers to the data at the appropriate points during the swing, including take-away, top of backswing and impact position. On average, the PGA Tour Players rotated their hips and upper bodies 55 degrees and 87 degrees respectively in 0.8 seconds at the top of the backswing, while amateurs rotated to 53 degrees and 87 degrees respectively in 0.9 seconds. Significant differences were found among the three groups in the forward bending angles, the side bending angles and the mean total swing time.

Keywords: Spine Rotation, Hip Rotation, Forward Bending, Side Bending, Swing Time, X-Factor.


1 Introduction

During the golf swing, a tremendous amount of complex motion is performed by a golfer's hips and lumbar spine. Torso motion plays a preeminent role in modern swing theory, yet disagreements abound regarding preferences for the sequence of hip and upper body rotations. The amount of rotation is usually summarized as 45 degrees for the hips and 90 degrees for the shoulders. The complex bending angles of the spine are simplified by the admonition to keep the spine angle constant relative to the ball (Bowden 1975, Hogan 1957, Nelson 1976, Leadbetter 1990).

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-50-

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