Investigating the relationship between movement competency, strength, flexibility and balance with Golf swing club-head-speed in competent male golfers
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Increased golf club head speed (CHS) has been shown to result in greater driving distances and is also correlated positively with golf performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between functional movement ability and field-based measures of movement competencies with golf CHS. A correlation design was used to assess the following variables: anthropometrics; functional movement screen (FMS); sit and reach distance; squat jump height; countermovement jump height; seated medicine ball throw; rotational medicine ball throw; anterior plank hold; dominant and non-dominant side plank holds; Y-balance and grip strength. Golf performance was measured through nine maximal efforts, three with each testing club (pitching wedge, 5 iron and driver) where CHS, ball speed and carry distance were all noted for the correlation analysis. Twelve male university golfers volunteered to participate in the study (age: 20.4 ± 0.9 years, height: 180.5 ± 4.4 cm, mass: 83.3 ± 6.5 kg, handicap: 6.3 ± 3.1). Moderate significant correlations were reported between driver CHS and anterior plank (r = 0.619, p < 0.05), non-dominant side plank (r = 0.690, p < 0.05), squat jump (r = 0.591, p < 0.05), rotational medicine ball throw (r = 0.640, p < 0.05), hurdle step (r = 0.612, p < 0.05) and rotary stability (r = 0.697, p < 0.05). Additionally rotary stability had a moderate significant correlation with 5 iron CHS (r = 0.589, p < 0.05). Driver CHS had greater correlations with physical abilities and was significantly different to 5 iron and pitching wedge CHS in an independent samples T-Test (p < 0.01). Multiple stepwise linear regression revealed non-dominant side plank as the only independent variable to display significant variance with driver CHS accounting for 48% variation. This highlights the importance of the core during the golf swing. The results of this study highlight the associations of certain field-based tests and golf CHS. Additionally, tests results showing significant moderate correlations could provide a strength and conditioning coach with the basis of a golf specific movement screening battery to assess and monitor the physical abilities of their golf athletes. iii Table 1. Key Definitions and Abbreviations Terminology (Abbreviation, if appropriate) Definition Club Head Speed (CHS) The linear speed of the club head’s geometric center immediately prior to contact with the golf ball (mph) (Trackman, 2016) Ball Speed The velocity of the golf ball’s center of gravity immediately after separation from the club face (mph) (Trackman, 2016) Carry Distance The linear distance from where the ball started and where the trajectory crosses a point that is the same height as where the ball was hit (yards) (Trackman, 2016) Functional Movement Screen (FMS) A pre-participation movement screen consisting of seven individual exercises to elicit dysfunctional movement patterns, highlighting subsequent injury potential. (Cook et al. 2006a) Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) A measurement of the reliability of ratings
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