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Biomechanics Of Golf

 

In the human body, for each muscle used to produce motion in one direction, there is a muscle of about the same mass used to produce motion in the opposite direction.  These considerations tell us that we should e looking for at least 32 pounds of muscle to supple the power for the golf swing.  When you look for 32 pounds of muscle on an average human body, you do not find it in the arms or even the shoulders.  You have to go to the legs, the thighs and the back before you begin to approach this amount of muscle.

Large muscles of the body come into play to achieve tremendous club-head speed.  Hundred miles per hour or more is needed to hit the ball far enough to approach the possibility of shooting par golf.  The problem is to put the necessary energy into the arms and hands and ultimately into the club-head by the time the ball is hit and to do this consistently with precision.

The distance of yards hit may result in adding strokes to your game.  If the distance is a hit of 230 yards or greater, no strokes are lost.  Subtracting ten yards from maximal distance at an average of two strokes lost to par.

The flexing of the knees should be held to the least amount that will allow the golfer to rotate his hips freely.  He will find that he cannot turn properly if he stands stiff-legged to the ball.  However, he exaggerates the flexing of the knees, he may be bothered by a reflexive action during the swing of the club pending to straighten his legs.  When a well swung driver passes through the bottom of the swing, the centrifugal force produced may make the club and arms pull on the shoulders with a force up to and perhaps greater than 100 pounds.  This force has to be supported by the golfer's legs.  If the knees are bent too much, the straightening of the legs will raise the club-head to a small amount even if the reflexive action does occur.

What happens when the club-head meets the ball?  When the ball makes contact with the center of the clubface, we call it the "sweet spot".  For such a shot, there is no torque about the shaft of the club.  This minimal torque keep the clubface properly oriented without any rotational movement.  If the ball makes contact with the clubface off-center, the club-head will rotate under the torque produced by the large force between the club-head and the ball.  If the ball is hit too close to the toe of the club, the club will rotate to a toed-out position before the ball leaves the club-head putting the normal to the club-head farther to the right than was intended.  The ball will then fade to the right.

For professional golfers with a well-established swing, minimal rotation, speed and club-head mass are major factors in the overall quality of their play.

 

Should you have any further questions regarding this article, please direct your questions or comments to "Ask the Doctor" section.

 

Copyright © 2004 - 2012Taras V. Kochno, M.D.  All Rights Reserved
Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

 

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