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Difference in Peak Weight Transfer and Timing Based on Golf Handicap

Queen, Robin M.1,2; Butler, Robert J.1,3; Dai, Boyi1; Barnes, C. Lowry4

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2481–2486
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827f4da6
Original Research

Abstract: Queen, RM, Butler, RJ, Dai, B, and Barnes, CL. Difference in peak weight transfer and timing based on golf handicap. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2481–2486, 2013—Weight shift during the golf swing has been a topic of discussion among golf professionals; however, it is still unclear how weight shift varies in golfers of different performance levels. The main purpose of this study was to examine the following: (a) the changes in the peak ground reaction forces (GRF) and the timing of these events between high (HHCP) and low handicap (LHCP) golfers and (b) the differences between the leading and trailing legs. Twenty-eight male golfers were recruited and divided based on having an LHCP < 9 or HHCP > 9. Three-dimensional GRF peaks and the timing of the peaks were recorded bilaterally during a golf swing. The golf swing was divided into different phases: (a) address to the top of the backswing, (b) top of the backswing to ball contact, and (c) ball contact to the end of follow through. Repeated measures analyses of variance (α = 0.05) were completed for each study variable: the magnitude and the timing of peak vertical GRF, peak lateral GRF, and peak medial GRF (α = 0.05). The LHCP group had a greater transfer of vertical force from the trailing foot to the leading foot in phase 2 than the HHCP group. The LHCP group also demonstrated earlier timing of peak vertical force throughout the golf swing than the HHCP group. The LHCP and HHCP groups demonstrated different magnitudes of peak lateral force. The LHCP group had an earlier timing of peak lateral GRF in phase 2 and earlier timing of peak medial GRF in phases 1 and 2 than the HHCP group. In general, LHCP golfers demonstrated greater and earlier force generation than HHCP golfers. It may be relevant to consider both the magnitude of the forces and the timing of these events during golf-specific training to improve performance. These data reveal weight shifting differences that can be addressed by teaching professionals to help their students better understand weight transfer during the golf swing to optimize performance.

1Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

3Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

4Hip Knee Arkansas Foundation, Little Rock, Arkansas

Address correspondence to Robin M. Queen,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.