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n International SportMed Journal - The relationship between golf performance, anthropometrics, muscular strength and power characteristics in young elite players : original research article
Background : The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between golf performance (handicap, drive ball speed, approach and putting accuracy), anthropometrics and muscular strength and power in young elite golfers.
Type of study : Observational, descriptive and transversal study, with accidental sampling (non-randomised).
Methods : Forty-four male golfers participated in the study and the following information was obtained: anthropometrics, drive ball speed, approach accuracy, putting accuracy, medicine ball throwing speed, countermovement jump, bench press and parallel full squat. The relationship between these variables was assessed using Pearson's correlation coefficient, while a regression analysis was performed to assess which parameters were the best predictors of handicap.
Results : The main results showed that peak and average drive ball speeds were the only golf performance indicators significantly correlated to handicap (r = -0.58 to -0.61, P<0.001). Significant correlations were observed between drive ball speed and body mass (r = 0.4, P<0.01). In addition, handicap and drive ball speed correlated significantly with muscular strength and power, even when adjusted with the anthropometric characteristics (r = 0.50 to 0.70; P<0.01). Finally, the regression analysis showed that 68.7% of the total variance in handicap was explained by height, drive ball speed average and medicine ball throwing performance.
Conclusions : The high correlations found between drive ball speed, handicap and upper- and lower-body strength suggest that muscular strength and power are important. These results have important applications as it could help coaches with optimal development of physical and sport-specific conditioning and golf training programmes.
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