Correlation between maximum in-shoe plantar pressures and clubhead speed in amateur golfers

Disagreements exist in the literature regarding the manner in which weight should be dynamically shared during the golf swing, both within-feet and between the back- and target-foot, to generate maximal clubhead speed. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preferential foot-loading locations underlie weight sharing by examining the correlation between clubhead speed and maximum plantar pressure (PP) distributions. Thirty-two amateur golfers with handicap indexes ranging from 2.7 to 25 performed 10 driver swings on artificial turf following a warm-up. PP distributions were recorded at 100 Hz, and clubhead speed was recorded using a ball-tracking Doppler radar system. Maximum PPs were extracted from a 2-s window approximately centred on ball contact and were regressed against clubhead speed. Significance was assessed over the entire foot surface using statistical parametric mapping (SPM), a spatially continuous technique. SPM revealed, at relatively high anatomical resolution, significant positive correlations between clubhead speed and PPs in the lateral target-foot (P < 0.05). This suggests that not only weight transfer but also weight-transfer location may be an important determinant of clubhead speed in amateur golfers.

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