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The effect of experience, slope and club selection on human kinematic variability and performance outcomes in golf

About This PhD Project

Project Description

To determine the effect of task constraints on the variability in technique and performance outcomes in golf.

Golf demands consistent performance, so understanding how various task constraints (e.g. club selection and slope) affect technique and shot outcomes is of interest. Golf courses are designed to incorporate natural features such as slopes to make the course more challenging. Previous golf studies typically take place in controlled laboratories with shots taken into a net from a flat surface whilst kinematic and kinetic data are collected. However, a game of golf is more than likely to include uneven ground, requiring shots to be played from an uphill/downhill, side hill or a combination of slopes. Understanding how novice and expert golfers respond to such task constraints merits investigation.

The project will use a combination of kinematic (motion capture) and kinetic (force plates) data collection in conjunction with a Motek CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation ENvironment) system to create the environmental changes. The effect of expertise, club selection and slope on such measures as swing path, swing plane and alignment can then be determined. How the kinematics (technique) serve to reduce/create movement variability under the various conditions can then be assessed, e.g. under which conditions are the technique and shot outcomes more variable and what is the source of the variability. In addition, it is envisaged that eye/gaze tracking will be used to determine perceptual differences created by the changing task constraints.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sport Science, but with a strong background in either Biomechanics or Motor Control.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Biomechanics, Motor Control, Motion analysis, Mathematics

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