Joyce, C. (2017). The most important "factor" in producing clubhead speed in golf. Human Movement Science, 55, 138-144.
Substantial experiential research into x-factor, and to a lesser extent crunch-factor has been undertaken with the aim of increasing clubhead speed. However, a direct comparison of the golf swing kinematics associated with each ‘factor’ has not, and possible differences when using a driver compared to an iron. Fifteen low handicap male golfers who displayed a modern swing had their golf swing kinematic data measured when hitting their own driver and five-iron, using a 10-camera motion analysis system operating at 250 Hz. Clubhead speed was collected using a validated launch monitor. No between-club differences in x-factor and crunch-factor existed. Correlation analyses revealed within-club segment (trunk and lower trunk) interaction was different for the driver, compared to the five-iron, and that a greater number of kinematic variables associated with x-factor, compared to crunch-factor were shown to be correlated with faster clubhead speeds. This was further explained in the five-iron regression model, where a significant amount of variance in clubhead speed was associated with increased lower trunk x-factor stretch, and reduced trunk lateral bending. Given that greens in regulation was shown to be the strongest correlated variable with PGA Tour earnings (1990-2004), the findings suggests a link to player performance for approach shots. These findings support other empiric research into the importance of x-factor as well as anecdotal evidence on how crunch-factor can negatively affect clubhead speed.
golf, 3D, x-factor, crunch-factor, clubhead speed
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