Objective: To evaluate if shoulder and pelvic angular velocities differ at impact or peak magnitude between professional and amateur golfers. Golf swing rotational biomechanics are a key determinant of power generation, driving distance, and injury prevention. We hypothesize that shoulder and pelvic angular velocities would be highly consistent in professionals.
Methods: Rotational velocities of the upper-torso and pelvis throughout the golf swing and in relation to phases of the golf swing were examined in 11 professionals and compared to 5 amateurs using three-dimensional motion analysis.
Results: Peak rotational velocities of professionals were highly consistent, demonstrating low variability (coefficient of variation [COV]), particularly upper-torso rotational velocity (COV=0.086) and pelvic rotational velocity (COV=0.079) during down swing. Peak upper-torso rotational velocity and peak X-prime, the relative rotational velocity of uppertorso versus pelvis, occurred after impact in follow-through, were reduced in amateurs compared to professionals (p=0.005 and p=0.005, respectively) and differentiated professionals from most (4/5) amateurs. In contrast, peak pelvic rotational velocity occurred in down swing. Pelvic velocity at impact was reduced in amateurs compared to professionals (p=0.019) and differentiated professionals from most (4/5) amateurs.
Conclusion: Golf swing rotational velocity of professionals was consistent in pattern and magnitude, offering benchmarks for amateurs. Understanding golf swing rotational biomechanics can guide swing modifications to help optimize performance and prevent injury.
Keywords: Angular velocity; Back pain; Benchmark; Biomechanics; Golf swing.