Laterality and performance: Are golfers learning to play backwards?

Runswick, Oliver R. and Mann, David L. and Mand, Shivraj and Fletcher, Alan and Allen, Peter M. (2021) Laterality and performance: Are golfers learning to play backwards? Journal of Sports Sciences. ISSN 1466-447X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2021.1997011

Abstract

When using a bimanual tool to strike an object, most people place their preferred hand closer to the striking end. In sports, a player is deemed to adopt a “right- or left-handed” stance depending on the hand that is lower on the club or bat. Research has suggested there is an advantage in going against this convention by placing the preferred hand at the top in a “reversed-stance”. This study aimed to establish if the reversed-stance advantage exists in golf, whether it is underpinned by the preferred hand or dominant eye, and why players adopt such a stance. We tested hand preference, eye dominance, and full swing stance in 150 golfers (30 for each handicap category) and conducted follow-up interviews with 12 reversed-stance players. Professional or category 1 golfers were 21.5 times more likely to adopt a reversed-stance. The advantage could not be explained by ambidexterity or the dominant eye but could be explained by the position of the preferred hand. Reversed-stance players cited a variety of reasons for adopting it and were more likely to display a left-hand preference. Findings offer initial evidence of a reversed-stance advantage in golf and can inform work identifying its origins and mechanisms.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Motor learning, expertise, handedness, ocular dominance, bimanual tool use
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2021 11:50
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 15:23
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707089

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