The effects of maturity status and resistance training on golf swing performance in youth golfers
Golf is a sport that requires a technical, tactical, psychological and physiological mastery to achieve success. Club head speed (CHS) is a key factor in determining scoring in golf and can be enhanced through strength and conditioning. However, which physical qualities relate to CHS and how trainable they are in response to resistance training in talented youth golfers was unknown. Using a novel questionnaire, Chapter 3 showed golf coaches were generally in support of strength and conditioning for youth golfers, yet lacked awareness on current youth training guidelines, highlighting the need for more evidence-informed coach education. The TrackMan® launch monitor is customarily used in golf coaching and research. Chapter 4 reported acceptable within- and between-session reliability for CHS, ball speed, carry distance and total distance variables, enabling coaches to identify talent and monitor longitudinal changes in golf swing performance. Chapter 5 revealed that more skilled golfers were: more mature, able to hit the ball further, produce more isometric peak force and dynamic peak power, jump further, and produce better movement competency. Additionally, maturity status explained a larger amount of variance in CHS and carry distance than handicap, while of the physical fitness variables measured, CMJ absolute peak power and IMTP absolute peak force explained 6-iron and driver CHS and carry distance. These findings will enable training programmes to target key strength and power variables to enhance golf swing performance in youth golfers. Chapter 6 showed that following a 12-week resistance training programme, there were significant interaction effects in favour of the experimental group (versus a maturity-matched control group) for 6-iron and driver carry distance, isometric peak force and dynamic peak power, horizontal and lateral jump distance, and movement competency. Collectively, these findings highlight the trainability of strength and power in youth golfers, which should contribute to enhanced golf swing performance.
- School of Sport and Health Sciences