Matching golfers’ movement patterns during a golf swing

The golf swing is a multidimensional movement requiring alternative data analysis methods to interpret non-linear relationships in biomechanics data related to golf shot outcomes. The purpose of this study was to use a combined principal component analysis (PCA), fuzzy coding, and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) data analysis approach to visualise associations within key biomechanics movement patterns and impact parameters in a group of low handicap golfers. Biomechanics data was captured and analysed for 22 golfers when hitting shots with their own driver. Relationships between biomechanics variables were firstly achieved by quantifying principal components, followed by fuzzy coding and finally MCA. Clubhead velocity and ball velocity were included as supplementary data in MCA. A total of 35.9% of inertia was explained by the first factor plane of MCA. Dimension one and two, and subsequent visualisation of MCA results, showed a separation of golfers’ biomechanics (i.e., swing techniques). The MCA plot can be used to simply and quickly identify movement patterns of a group of similar handicap golfers if supported with appropriate descriptive interpretation of the data. This technique also has the potential to highlight mismatched golfer biomechanics variables which could be contributing to weaker impact parameters.