Relationship Between Variability in Clubhead Movement Using a Doppler Radar Launch Monitor and Golf Strokes Across 15 Driver Shots

Daisuke Ichikawa, Takeru Suzuki, John Patrick Sheahan, Taiki Miyazawad, Isao Okuda


Background: Due to individual patterns of body and clubhead movement in golf, a uniform assessment method has been considered difficult. Objective: This study aimed to establish a statistical model that can assess a player’s shot performance in a short time by analyzing the relationship between the golf strokes and their clubhead movement data. Methods: In this cross-sectional, observational study, we analyzed the clubhead movement data of 15 driver shots (three sets of five shots) by 14 amateur golfers (AGs) and 14 skilled golfers (SGs). After performing warm-up, participants used their own drivers to hit at a crosshair-shaped target positioned in an indoor driving range. Data were captured for each parameter relating to clubhead movement at the moment of impact using the Doppler radar launch monitor (FlightScope X3). Results: Face-to-target angles showed significant interactions between three conditions (Set 1, Set 2, and Set 3) and two groups (AGs and SGs); SGs consistently displayed smaller angles in every set than their amateur counterparts (p<0.5). A post-hoc test further increased the discrepancy between Sets 2 and 3 for AGs and SGs. In addition, a strong correlation was found between each participant’s average number of strokes and the mean clubhead speed (CHS) across 15 driver shots. A stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that CHS was a significant predictor of a player’s average number of strokes. Conclusion: SGs achieved extremely accurate clubface control during multiple hits with a high CHS. We found no trade-off relationship between a higher CHS and smaller face-to-target opening/closing in SGs.


Golf, Sports Equipment, Athletic Performance, Motor Activity, Radar

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