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

Andrew McHardy, Henry Pollard, Greg Bayley

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)80-92
    Number of pages13
    JournalSouth African Journal of Sports Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • lower back injury
    • sports medicine


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