Effects of Orthotic Intervention and Nine Holes of Simulated Golf on Club-Head Velocity in Experienced Golfers

 David E. Stude, DC,a  and Jeff Gullickson, DCb



Objective: This study was an initial investigation evaluating the effects of orthotic intervention on club-head velocity (CHV) among a group of experienced golfers before and after 9 holes of simulated golf.

Setting: Northwestern College of Chiropractic, Bloomington, Minnesota. Participants: Twelve experienced golfers were included in the study. Method: CHV was measured with a device used by many Professional Golf Association and Ladies Professional Golf Association teaching professionals before and after wearing orthotics and before and after completing 9 holes of simulated golf. Subjects wore custom-made, flexible orthotics daily for 6 weeks and then were retested with the same objective measurement parameters.

Outcome Measure: CHV (swing speed in miles per hour) was measured in all subjects before and after wearing custom-fit, flexible orthotics for 6 weeks and before and after completing 9 holes of simulated golf.

Results: There was an approximate increase in CHV of between 3 and 5 mph, or a relative increase in CHV by up to 7%, after subjects had worn custom-made, weight-bearing, flexible orthotics daily for 6 weeks. A 5-mph increase in CHV is equivalent to an approximate increase in golf ball travel distance of 15 yards, a significant increase for the tour player for whom small increases in performance can reflect large position changes on the roster board. In addition, the use of these custom orthoses eliminated the effects of fatigue associated with playing 9 holes of golf (relative to CHV) and therefore may improve the likelihood for more consistent golf performance.

Conclusion: The use of the custom-fit, flexible orthotics in this study had a positive influence on CHV in experienced golfers. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:168-74)

Key Indexing Terms: Biomechanics; Orthotic Devices; Golf; Sports



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