Modelling and Analysis of the Golf Swing using Rigid Body Dynamics

A. Subic, Z. Gradinscak, and B. Nation (Australia)


golf swing, dynamics, modelling


Golf swing represents a complex dynamic process that is not easily described in analytical form alone. Typically, dynamic models of the golf swing incorporate data obtained from experimental measurements such as stroboscopic photography. The dynamics of the standard golf swing can be modelled successfully using a double pendulum rigid body dynamics model. This approach has been implemented in many studies involving investigation of swing patterns and trajectories of the club head, acceleration and deceleration of wrist motion, prediction of impact parameters and ball trajectories etc. This paper presents a computer model of the golf swing and of the golf Swing-O-Meter developed using rigid body dynamics simulator Working Model. Swing-O Meter is a device used for measurement of club head speed and prediction of total travel distance of the golf ball. A particularly innovative aspect of this work is the application of the developed computer models for evaluation of Swing-O-Meter accuracy by comparing the measurements obtained from the Swing-O-Meter model and from golf swing simulations for standard input data. The developed models are versatile as they allow for a range of what-if analysis relating to the golf swing. For example, the paper explores the relationships between the input torques at the golfer’s shoulder and wrists during various stages of the golf swing. Also, it investigates the impact parameters and the flight of the ball upon impact. Distances recorded by the Swing-O-Meter are compared with those actually achieved, and a more realistic simulation model incorporating the Christopherson’s model for the golf ball trajectory is suggested.

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