The golf coaching–biomechanics interface

Authored by: Andrew Morrison , Eric S. Wallace

Routledge International Handbook of Golf Science

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138189126
eBook ISBN: 9781315641782
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315641782.ch1

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Abstract

The fundamental goal of golf coaching is to improve the performance of the player. The successful translation of sports science knowledge to golf coaching is dependent on the coach’s level of understanding of sports science, the perceived relevance of the specific sports science discipline, and the communication process between research findings and golf coaching practice. A biomechanical understanding of a skill is often deemed essential for a coach, where the technical execution of the skill, such as in golf, is the key determinant of success. However, it is acknowledged (Coleman, 1999) that existing biomechanics knowledge has not yet been fully integrated into golf coaching practice. The problem arises from the need for researchers to exchange ideas and findings via accepted scientific methods that result in peer-reviewed publications that are neither readily accessible to nor understandable by coaches. Furthermore, questions arising from coaches’ field experiences are not usually formulated into research studies by researchers. Bridging the gap between sports science research and the coaching process that integrates biomechanics knowledge in technique analysis is an ongoing challenge. This chapter explores the knowledge levels and opinions of coaches on the role of sports science, with a focus on biomechanics, the barriers to the application of biomechanics in golf coaching, and the communication process among coach, player, and biomechanist. Key features of technique analysis, including biomechanical qualitative and quantitative methods, and a range of researched outcome variables are contextualised in relation to coaching practice. Available models and guidelines for the successful application of biomechanics in golf coaching are presented, leading to implications for the game.

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