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Motor abundance and control structure in the golf swing.

Wallace, E.S.; Morrison, Andrew; McGrath, D.


E.S. Wallace

Andrew Morrison

D. McGrath


Variability and control structure are under-represented areas of golf swing research. This study investigated the use of the abundant degrees of freedom in the golf swing of high and intermediate skilled golfers using uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis. The variance parallel to (VUCM) and orthogonal to (VOrth) the UCM with respect to the orientation and location of the clubhead were calculated. The higher skilled golfers had proportionally higher values of VUCM than lower skilled players for all measured outcome variables. Motor synergy was found in the control of the orientation of the clubhead and the combined outcome variables but not for clubhead location. Clubhead location variance zeroed-in on impact as has been previously shown, whereas clubhead orientation variance increased near impact. Both skill levels increased their control over the clubhead location leading up to impact, with more control exerted over the clubhead orientation in the early downswing. The results suggest that to achieve higher skill levels in golf may not lie simply in optimal technique, but may lie more in developing control over the abundant degrees of freedom in the body.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 12, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 16, 2016
Publication Date 2016-04
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 17, 2017
Journal Human Movement Science
Print ISSN 0167-9457
Electronic ISSN 1872-7646
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Pages 129-147
Keywords Golf; Synergy; Redundancy; Kinematics; Coordination
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 23, 2016


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