The purpose of this study was to investigate how the ball position along the mediolateral (M-L) direction of a golfer causes a chain effect in the ground reaction force, body segment and joint angles, and whole-body centre of mass during the golf swing. Twenty professional golfers were asked to complete five straight shots for each 5 different ball positions along M-L: 4.27 cm (ball diameter), 2.14 cm (ball radius), 0 cm (reference position at preferred ball position), – 2.14 cm, and – 4.27 cm, while their ground reaction force and body segment motions were captured. The dependant variables were calculated at 14 swing events from address to impact, and the differences between the ball positions were evaluated using Statistical Parametric Mapping. The left-sided ball positions at address showed a greater weight distribution on the left foot with a more open shoulder angle compared to the reference ball position, whereas the trend was reversed for the right-sided ball positions. These trends disappeared during the backswing and reappeared during the downswing. The whole-body centre of mass was also located towards the target for the left-sided ball positions throughout the golf swing compared to the reference ball position, whereas the trend was reversed for the right-sided ball positions. We have concluded that initial ball position at address can cause a series of chain effects throughout the golf swing.
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