RESEARCH ARTICLE


Comparison of TrackMan Data between Professional and Amateur Golfers at Swinging to Uphill and Downhill Fairways



Takeru Suzuki1, John Patrick Sheahan2, Taiki Miyazawa3, Isao Okuda4, Daisuke Ichikawa5, *
1 Musashino Art University, Health, Sports and Physical Arts, Kodaira, Japan
2 Faculty of Sport Science, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Kofu, Japan
3 Faculty of Wellness, Shigakkan University, Obu, Japan
4 Department of Human Development and Sport Sciences, Tokyo International University, Kawagoe, Japan
5 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, Kawagoe, Japan


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Suzuki et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, 2100 Kujirai, Kawagoe, 350-8585, Saitama, Japan; Tel: +81-49-239-1342; Fax: +81-49-239-1342; E-mail: ichikawa@toyo.jp


Abstract

Background:

Golfers face different environmental conditions in each game played under various constraints. Enhancing affordances through training in a constrained outdoor environment is crucial.

Objective:

To analyze club head behavior at ball impact of a tee shot by 42 professional (PGs) and 25 amateur (AGs) golfers in swinging to uphill and downhill fairway environments using the TrackMan portable launch monitor.

Methods:

We used TrackMan to compare golf club movement adaptations in 42 PGs and 25 AGs. A 330-m driving range facing both the uphill (+5°) and downhill (-5°) fairways were used. The tee shot area was the only flat ground surface, with the uneven ground between the shot area and the 200-yard fairway.

Results:

The clubhead speed and attack angle were significantly higher among PGs than among AGs. PGs could adapt their swings to the uphill fairway by increasing the attack angle (3.6°±2.4) by 3.3° compared with the downhill fairway. The attack angle did not correlate with the launch angle among the AGs in the downhill condition, suggesting that they were unable to control the height of the ball based on the far side of the fairway.

Conclusion:

PGs increased the attack angle in uphill conditions, and their awareness of the affordance, which was different from that of AGs, allowed them to change the optimal ball trajectory to avoid perceived fairway risks. Thus, the more skill a player had, the better he was at recognizing the affordance of the visual field. PGs demonstrated a better ability to adapt to environmental constraints.

Keywords: Affordance, Ball trajectory, Club head movement, Golf, Motor skills, Visual fields.