Physical Education: Golf Biomechanics

Topics: Golf, Professional golfer, Golf ball Pages: 5 (1823 words) Published: August 20, 2012
The ball flight refers to the specific path the ball acquires in the air after impact with the clubface (3rd, 2007). There are 4 different categories the ball path can fall under. These include Hook, Slice, Push, and Pull (Andrisen, 2010). According to Perry Andrisen, a PGA professional golf teacher, a hook occurs when the ball curves from right to left caused by a closed clubface on impact (Andrisen, 2010). A slice is the opposite, when the ball curves from left to right due to an open clubface on impact (Andrisen, 2010). Both a push and a pull are not as evident or extreme as a hook or slice however they do have an impact on the ball fight path (3rd, 2007). A pull is seen when the ball starts left of the target and curves right due to an open clubface (Andrisen, 2010). Compared to a when the ball starts on right of the target and curves to the left resulting in a push caused by a closed clubface (3rd, 2007).

The student participated in a drill to observe her flight path of 30 balls hit with a 6,7 or 8 iron. This image shows the student’s results. Majority of the hits are straight either swinging to the right or slightly to the left. These specific ball flight paths can be identified as either a push or pull. As stated previously this is caused by an open or closed clubface that occurs when the swing is not ideal. An ideal Golf ball flight is straight (Mann, 2010). This is result of an inside square inside golf swing as show in this picture.

The golf student’s ball flight was affected by the error in her swing. The ‘perfect’ golf swing ‘inside square inside’ shown previously determines the direction in which the shot with start (Mann, 2010). Now we will look at a video of the student’s swing. When it is in slow motion you can see that the student has minimal hip rotation, significant head movement and too much leg movement on her back swing. The student’s ball flight is both a push and a pull because of errors in the clubface path in her swing. A push is caused by a closed clubface, which is a result of an inside-square-outside path that the student was often doing (Nora, 2011). Now a comparison between the student’s swing and the ‘ideal’ swing of Karrie Webb will be shown. As you can see Karrie Webb has evident hip rotation and her swing is like a wagon wheel slanted slightly. This is good because it gives the swing path of inside outside inside.

The degree of shoulder turn has a direct impact on how the hips, legs and knee work in a golf swing (Hoskison, 2009). The student had both good and bad leg positioning through out her swing. On the back swing and follow through the students legs were right on the edges of the ‘box’. As you can see the students right leg on her back swing is right against the edge of the box compared to the follow through when her left leg is straight, on the edge of the box again. This is good leg positioning however a problem occurs with her knees. The student tends to lock her right knee during the back swing resulting in a straight stiff right leg. If the right leg buckles it is found to cause a loss of all tension and potential to create significant power and club head speed (Hoskison, 2009). When you compare this to a profession golfer such as Karrie Web, You can see the difference in the right leg on the back swing, Web’s knee is not buckled back. This is the ideal position of a golfer’s legs during their swing.

There are many other factors to consider such as head position, leg position, shoulder position/rotation and hip position and rotation (3rd, 2007). The position of the student’s head at the beginning of the training program was incorrect. The performer would lift her head and move it to the right a significant amount during her back swing. When the student straightens her left leg it lifts her head, causing the student’s swing path to lift consequently resulting in a topped ball. Joe Sullivan a former golfer states, “On the back swing you have a little natural weight...
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