Three-dimensional kinematics in healthy older adult males during golf swings

Sports Biomech. 2019 Aug 27;1-14. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2019.1649452. Online ahead of print.


The biomechanics of the golf swing have received considerable attention in previous research. However, existing studies have focused on young athletes, while the kinematics of older golfers remain poorly documented. This study presents kinematic data for healthy senior golfers during swings performed with a driver and six-iron. Seventeen male golfers (62.2 ± 8.8 years) volunteered for participation and a 10-camera Vicon system (Oxford, UK) recorded kinematic data (500 Hz). A launch monitor (TrackMan, Vedbæk, Denmark) recorded club head speed and initial ball speed. Joint angles and peak velocities of the trunk and lower body were extracted at the top of the backswing, ball contact, and end of the swing. Intraclass correlations and standard error of measurement determined reliability, and pairwise statistics determined between-club differences. Swings with the driver had 7.3° less trunk extension and 4.3° less X-factor at backswing, and 10.5° less trunk flexion and 3.2° less X-factor at ball impact. Older adults portray several differences in lower body kinematics between a six-iron and driver but maintain good to excellent reliability (0.728-0.997) during the swings. Comparisons with previous research also showed senior athletes produce slower club head and ball speeds than younger golfers, and that kinematic differences exist between the populations.

Keywords: Seniors; biomechanics; performance; reliability.