Effects of Flexibility and Balance on Driving Distance and Club Head Speed in Collegiate Golfers

Int J Exerc Sci. 2017 Nov 1;10(7):954-963. eCollection 2017.


Good balance, flexibility, and strength are all required to maintain a steady stance during the kinematic chain to produce successful golf shots. When the body can produce more power, more club head speed is generated. This formation of power translates into greater distance and accuracy. Athletes today are seeking exercise programs to enhance these qualities of their golf swing. The purpose of this study is to investigate the correlations between flexibility and balance with club head speed and driving distance in the golf swing of male and female collegiate golfers. Five male and five female collegiate golfers participated in the study. They completed multiple range of motion tests, the Balance Error System Test, and multiple flexibility tests. Subjects then participated in a short hitting session. Ten shots were hit with the subject's own driver. The Optishot simulator measured distance and club head speed generated. There was a significant negative correlation between the BESS test score and average distance for male subjects (r=-0.850, p=0.034). There were also a few trends between the balance, flexibility, and club head speed findings of both male and female subjects. This data shows there is a significant relationship between better balance and driving the ball farther. Other trends show better balance and flexibility will result in greater driving distance and club head speed. Balance and flexibility exercises should be incorporated into a golfer's practice or workout regiment.

Keywords: Balance Error Scoring System test; exercise program; kinematic chain; velocity; x-factor.