Effects of Vision on Head-Putter Coordination in Golf
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Low-skill golfers coordinate the movements of their head and putter with an allocentric, isodirectional coupling, which is opposite to the allocentric, antidirectional coordination pattern used by experts (Lee, Ishikura, Kegel, Gonzalez, & Passmore, 2008). The present study investigated the effects of four vision conditions (full vision, no vision, target focus, and ball focus) on head-putter coupling in low-skill golfers. Performance in the absence of vision resulted in a level of high isodirectional coupling that was similar to the full vision condition. However, when instructed to focus on the target during the putt, or focus on the ball through a restricted viewing angle, low-skill golfers significantly decoupled the head--putter coordination pattern. However, outcome measures demonstrated that target focus resulted in poorer performance compared with the other visual conditions, thereby providing overall support for use of a ball focus strategy to enhance coordination and outcome performance. Focus of attention and reduced visual tracking were hypothesized as potential reasons for the decoupling.
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