Three Dimensional Upper Limb Joint Kinetics of a Golf Swing with Measured Internal Grip Force

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Jun 30;20(13):3672. doi: 10.3390/s20133672.


The biomechanics of a golf swing have been of interest to golfers, instructors, and biomechanists. In addition to the complexity of the three-dimensional (3D) dynamics of multi-segments of body, the closed-chain body posture as a result of both hands holding a club together makes it difficult to fully analyze the 3D kinetics of a golf swing. To identify the hand-grip joint force and torque applied by each hand, we directly measured the 3D internal grip force of nine registered professional golfers using an instrumented grip. A six-axis force-torque sensor was connected to a custom-made axially separated grip, which was then connected to a driver shaft using a manufactured screw thread. Subjects participated in two sessions of data collection featuring five driver swings with both a regular and customized sensor-embedded grip, respectively. Internal grip force measurement and upper limb kinematics were used to calculate the joint force and torque of the nine-linkage closed-chain of the upper limb and club using 3D inverse dynamics. Direct measurement of internal grip forces revealed a threefold greater right-hand torque application compared to the left hand, and counterforce by both hands was also found. The joint force and torque of the left arm tended to precede that of the right arm, the majority of which had peaks around the impact and showed a larger magnitude than that of the left arm. Due to the practical challenge of measuring internal force, heuristic estimation methods based on club kinematics showed fair approximation. Our results suggest that measuring the internal forces of the closed-chain posture could identify redundant joint kinetics and further propose a heuristic approximation.

Keywords: golf swing; internal grip force; joint; kinetics; three dimensional (3D); upper limb.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Golf / physiology*
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Torque
  • Upper Extremity / physiology*