South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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A comparison of the modern and classic golf swing: a clinician's perspective

A McHardy, H Pollard, G Bayley


Objective. There is little descriptive research on the motion the body displays during the golf swing. The purpose of this research is to review the modern golf swing and
compare its motion to the classic golf swing.
Discussion. The comparison revealed subtle but significant differences in the backswing and the follow-through positions. The potential implications for power and injury,
particularly of the lower back, are discussed. The discussion describes a third swing, the hybrid swing, which is a combination of the classic and modern swing. The hybrid
swing may potentially reduce the chances of sustaining a low back injury while still retaining the power of the modern swing.
Conclusion. The golf swing has evolved over time as a result of a combination of advanced equipment, course design and human experimentation. The hybrid swing is
being taught by some golf professionals as a balance between the power-potential of the modern swing and the ‘back-friendly\' nature of the classic swing, though no studies
have so far been conducted on its efficacy. Further investigation into the three golf swings, classic, modern and hybrid, is required to determine which swing is the most effective
while also being friendly to the body. Such research will make possible the development programmes aimed at reducing golf injury rates, particularly to the lower back.

South African Journal of Sports Medicine Vol. 18 (3) 2006: pp. 80-91
AJOL African Journals Online