September 2012

Lower extremity work contributes to golf swing velocity, performance

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Lower extremity work during a golf swing is positively correlated with both club head velocity and golfer skill level, according to research from the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

Investigators assessed low-er extremity (LE) work in 41 experienced golfers of varying skill levels, whose club head speeds ranged from 35.3 m/s to 46.6 m/s, as each used a driver to hit golf balls into a net.  Total LE work was defined as the sum of the work done by the hips, knees, and ankles.

Club head velocity was strongly correlated with total LE work and work done by the lead leg, and moderately correlated with work done by the trail leg. Elite college golfers performed significantly more total and lead-leg work than mid- and high-handicap golfers.

“The lead leg may have a greater role than the trail leg, but looking at total work as a whole might be more indicative of performance,” said Michael McNally, MS, laboratory manager for OSU Sports Medicine, who presented the findings in August at the annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics.


McNally MP, Yontz NA, Chaudhari AMW. Lower extremity work is associated with club head velocity during the golf swing in experienced golfers. Presented at the 36th annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics; Gainesville, FL; August 2012.

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