Putting Performance and Kinematics Differ with Skill Level in Female Golfers
Yen-Lei Wu1, Chen-Fu Huang1, *, Christian Marquardt2, Hung-Tsung Wang3
1 Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
2 Science&Motion Sports GmbH, Flörsheim, Germany
3 Graduate Institute of Sports Training, University of Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Female professional golf tours are gaining popularity around the world; there are key performance factors that are related to high performance on the female professional tour, like “driving distance and accuracy” and “putting per round”. However, there is a lack of research on the putting kinematics of female golfers with a lack of understanding the differences between the skill levels of female golfers.
This study aimed to assess the putting performance and kinematics across three skill levels of female golfers.
A total of one hundred and forty-nine right-handed female golfers were divided into three groups based on their playing skill levels: 64 professional tour golfers, 46 national team level golfers, and 39 college level golfers. Each participant executed seven putts on a straight, three meter indoor artificial turf. The three-dimensional kinematic data of each putt were captured using a high-precision ultrasound system (70Hz*3) (SAM PuttLab, Science&Motion Sports).
Significant differences were found between the three groups of female golfers in the face angle at impact (p<0.000), putter path at impact (p<0.000), vertical impact spot (p<0.000), rise angle (p<0.000), backswing duration (p<0.000), impact duration (p<0.000) and downswing duration (p<0.000). Additionally, the female professional golfers were more efficient than amateurs golfers on putter path (g=.-645), vertical impact spot (g=.707), rise angle (g=.878), shaft angle (g=-.602), backswing duration (g=-.512), impact duration (g=-.873), and downswing duration (g=.752). There were no differences between skill groups with horizontal impact spot, velocity at impact, backswing displacement, downswing displacement and face rotation from the top of backswing to impact.
Our findings concluded that female professional golfers have a precise face angle and putter path relative to the target, with an upward stroke through impact, and a high impact spot on the putter, a shorter duration of the backswing time and time to impact, and a longer downswing. The study did not find significant differences in velocity at impact and swing phase displacement between the skill levels, which were found in previous studies on male golfers. There were differences in putting kinematics found between female and male professional golfers. Overall, female professionals have better putting performance, more precise direction, and optimized putting distance parameter control. These findings can be used as a guideline for golf coaching of female golfers. Future studies can focus on different distances, slopes, and additional skill levels.
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