Study of Professional Golfers – Positions During the Golf Swing (Cont)
Many golfers have never had a serious golf lesson, and take a haphazard and inconsistent approach to improve their golf game. They make assumptions, set random body positions, and are constantly trying something new. Even if a golfer has the correct information, and tries to implement the proper technique, chances are their address position is constantly changing. There is one level of knee-bend for a 3 Iron, and a different one for the 5 Iron. One shaft-to-spine angle for the driver, and a different one for the 7 Iron. Very few swing variables are carried over from club to club, which raises the overall system complexity. It is very hard for a golfer to systematically improve their game when they don’t have a constant and consistent foundation to work from.
Many of the best professional golfers in the world essentially set the exact same address position in terms of the orientation of the club, hands and arms, to the spine (as viewed from the side.) As the club gets shorter, they simply bend a little more from the waist. The knee bend stays the same and the angle between the shaft and forearm stays the same. However, we don’t believe that they consciously set a specific angle between the shaft and forearm. The professionals rely on their incredible skill, muscle memory, and knowing what it ‘feels like’ to be in the position that has produced the most consistency over time.
Based on our research, the top professional golfers all maintain a shaft- to forearm angle that averages about 144 degrees for every club they swing. The astonishing part is that each golfer maintained his or her particular shaft to forearm angle within 2 degrees for every club from the driver to the wedge. In our preliminary research of amateurs, we found a relative correlation between the deviation of the shaft to forearm angle from club to club and the consistency of the golfer. The lower the deviation of the shaft-to-forearm angle across all of their clubs, the more consistent the golfer tended to be. The drawing below illustrates the astonishing body orientation consistency a top professional can achieve from the driver to the wedge. We are not concluding that the shaft-to forearm in itself is the key, but it does indicate a consistent spine, arm, and shaft orientation. The exact angle does not seem to be as important as choosing an angle within the range of 140-149 and maintaining that particular angle exactly the same for every club.
This study was able to identify certain levels of consistency among professional golfers as it relates to the forearm to shaft, to spine, orientations. The primary consistency identified, is the consistency of the shaft to forearm angle that a professional golfer achieves for every club they use. This consistency was previously not explored, but we hope that this discovery will help golfers of all skill levels improve their golf game. The average angle of the shaft to forearm angle of 144 degrees proves to be a key factor in the golf swing.
Steve Bosdosh, PGA
David Kardos, M.E.
Players Lab Technician, Major Golf Equipment Manufacturer