Purpose: The golf swing is a complex whole-body motion for which a proximal-to-distal transfer of the segmental angular velocities from the pelvis to the club is believed to be optimal for maximizing the club head linear velocity. However, previous experimental results about such timing (or kinematic sequence) are contradictory. Nevertheless, methods that were used in these studies differed significantly, in particular, those regarding the component of the angular velocity vector selected for the identification of the kinematic sequence. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of angular velocity vector component selection on the identified kinematic sequence.
Methods: Thirteen golfers participated in this study and performed driver swings in a motion capture laboratory. Seven methods based on different component selection of segmental angular velocities (vector norm, component normal-to-sagittal, frontal, transversal and swing planes, segment longitudinal component and a method mixing longitudinal and swing plane components) were tested.
Results: Results showed the critical influence of the component chosen to identify the kinematic sequence with almost as many kinematic sequences as the number of tested methods for every golfer.
Conclusion: One method seems to show the strongest correlation to performance but none of them can be assessed as a reference method for the identification of the golf swing kinematic sequence. Regarding the limited time lag between the different peak occurrences and the uncertainty sources of current materials, development of simulation studies would be more suitable to identify the optimal kinematic sequence for the golf swing.