Human Machine Interaction and Sensing of the Golf Swing

From The Theme

What if we could identify the vital elements of a repeatable, expertly performed movement or task, and translate these elements into a training tool?

We set out to evaluate the biomechanical data of an elite golfer’s swing, in order to create training tools – visual, auditory, or even sensory — which could permit the learning golfer to imitate and emulate the essence of the perfect swing. We hypothesized that insights from the golf swing movement could be translated to helping patients, such as children with muscular difficulties, learn movements as well. Our project involved integrating motion-capture data and muscle activity, in an effort to understand the primary mechanics of swing generation. Once fundamental parameters were identified, we could begin to create visual and auditory representations of golf swing attributes, eventually incorporating them into a biofeedback like training device.

Our analysis of golf players and golf swings found that swing biomechanics were highly consistent among a group of professional players. At certain phases of their swings, their movements were almost indistinguishable from one another. We were able to identify biomechanical factors highly correlated to golf swing power generation, which may provide a basis for strategic training and injury prevention in golfers, as well as gait improvement in disabled children.

Meister, D.W., Ladd, A.L., Butler, E.E., Zhao B., Rogers, A.P., Ray, C.J., Rose, J. “Rotational Biomechanics of the Elite Golf Swing: Benchmarks for AmateursJournal of Applied Biomechanices, 2011, 27, 242-251.

Stanford Medicine News Story: July 2011

San Francisco Chronicle Article: February 2006

Amy L. Ladd is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery (Hand Surgery) and, by courtesy, of Medicine (Immunology & Rheumatology) at the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Ladd graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in History, received her MD from SUNY Upstate Medical University, completed Orthopaedic Residency at the University of Rochester, and completed the Harvard Combined Hand Surgery Fellowship. She was a fellow at L’Institut de la Main in Paris, France prior to joining the Stanford University faculty in 1990.

Jessica Rose is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital and the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Rose directs the Motion & Gait Analysis Lab at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary diagnostic service for patients with gait and upper limb movement disorders. Dr. Rose’s research investigates early brain and motor development in preterm children and the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying motor deficits in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Erin Butler is currently a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth University. Erin is interested in the neural reorganization related to sensory and motor impairments among children with cerebral palsy. In collaboration with researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, Erin uses various neuroimaging techniques, including magnetoencephalography, diffusion tensor imaging, and resting-state functional MRI, to investigate the reorganization of the somatosensory and motor systems among children with cerebral palsy.

Jonathan Berger is the Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music at Stanford University. Berger’s recent works deal with both consciousness and conscience. His chamber operas, Theotokia and The War Reporter explore hallucination and haunting memories, while his monodrama, My Lai portrays the ethical dilemmas of an individual placed in an impossible situation. Berger is an active researcher with over 60 publications in a wide range of fields relating to music, science and technology.

Kingsley Willis passions are deeply rooted in film. From an early age, he aspired to be a film director. Desiring to learn every aspect of production from lighting, shooting, editing, special effects and directing, he decided to major in Art History at Stanford University (class of 2001) to learn film theory and teach myself the practical and technical aspects of film by working at the student television studio and directing numerous short films both live action and computer generated.