Are anthropometric, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance variables related to clubhead velocity in low- and high- handicap golfers?
Keogh, J., Marnewick, M. C, Maulder, P. S, Nortje, J., Hume, P. & Bradshaw, EJ. (2009). Are anthropometric, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance variables related to clubhead velocity in low- and high- handicap golfers?. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,23(6), 1841-1850. Philadelphia,United States of America: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73cb3
The present study assessed the anthropometric profile (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry protocol), flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance of 20 male golfers. These data were collected in order to determine: a) the relationship between these kinanthropometric measures and clubhead velocity; and b) if these measures could distinguish low-handicap (LHG) and high-handicap (HHG) golfers. Ten LHG (handicap of 0.3 ± 0.5) and 10 HHG (handicap of 20.3 ± 2.4) performed 10 swings for maximum velocity and accuracy with their own 5-iron golf club at a wall-mounted target. LHG hit the target significantly more (115%) and had a 12% faster clubhead velocity than HHG (p < 0.01). The LHG also had significantly (28%) greater golf swing-specific cable woodchop (GSCWC) strength (p < 0.01) and tendencies for greater (30%) bench press strength and longer (5%) upper am and total arm (4%) length and less (24%) right hip internal rotation than HHG (0.01 < p < 0.05). GSCWC strength was significantly correlated to clubhead velocity (p < 0.01), with bench press and hack squat strength as well as upper arm and total arm length also approaching significance (0.01 < p < 0.05). Golfers with high GSCWC strength and perhaps greater bench press strength and longer arms may therefore be at a competitive advantage, as these characteristics allow the production of greater clubhead velocity and resulting ball displacement. Such results have implications for golf talent identification programs and for the prescription and monitoring of golf conditioning programs. While golf conditioning programs may have many aims, specific trunk rotation exercises need to be included if increased clubhead velocity is the goal. Muscular hypertrophy development may not need to be emphasized as it could reduce golf performance by limiting range of motion and/or increasing moment of inertia.