Int J Sports Med 2014; 35(09): 785-788
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1367010
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Lower Extremity Work Is Associated with Club Head Velocity during the Golf Swing in Experienced Golfers

M. P. McNally
1  Orthopaedics, Ohio State University, Columbus, United States
N. Yontz
2  Golf, Nike Inc., Beaverton, United States
A. M. Chaudhari
3  Department of Orthopaedics and Sport Health & Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 09 December 2013

Publication Date:
27 February 2014 (online)


While the golf swing is a complex whole body movement requiring coordination of all joints to achieve maximum ball velocity, the kinetic contribution of the lower extremities to club head velocity has not been quantified, despite the perception that the legs are a primary source of power during the swing. Mechanical power at the hips, knees, and ankles was estimated during the downswing phase of a full swing with a driver using a passive optical motion capture system and 2 force plates for adult males across a range of age and self-reported skill levels. Total work by the lower extremities was calculated by integrating the powers of all 6 joints over the downswing. Regression analyses showed that total lower extremity work was a strong predictor of club head velocity (R=0.63). Secondary analyses showed different relationships to club head velocity in lead and trail leg lower extremity joints, but none of these were as predictive of club head velocity as the total work performed by the lower extremities. These results provide quantitative evidence that the lower body’s kinetic contribution may be an important factor in achieving greater club head velocity, contributing to greater driving distance and overall golf performance.