South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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A new approach to the study of Gold Putting

G Dias, MS Couceiro, FM Clemente, FML Martins, RM Mendes


The aim of this study was to apply non-linear techniques in the analysis of golf putting performance. How players adapt to the variability that emerges from the putting execution and how they self-organize their performance toward the task constraints was investigated. The sample consisted of 10 adult male golfers (33.80±11.89 years) who were volunteers, right-handed and experts (10.82±5.40 handicap), including the European champion of pitch and putting (season 2012/2013). The putting movement was analysed using auto tracking methodologies by autonomously comparing the current frame with the previous frame using a MatLab software program. The results indicated that golf putting performance can be described as a non-linear, stable and regular system in which each player discovers active solutions to overcome the constraints of the task. It was concluded that non-linear techniques, like approximate entropy and Lyapunov exponent are extremely useful for analysing human movement within a sport context.

Key words: Non-linearity; Variability; Golf putting; Motor control; Performance.

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