The Biomechanical Approach

Ryan Lumsden, the renowned biomechanist who is recognized internationally as the leading authority in 3-D biomechanical measurement and the practical application of collected data. Jon Wallet, HKGA Golf Development Director, talks to him while they were hosting a training camp for the national squad players in Hong Kong

Ryan Lumsden interprets biomechanical data with Chloe Chan

Jon Wallet: How important is to 'quantify your game' for junior golfers to excel? 

Ryan Lumsden: Measurement of all aspects of a developing players’ game is essential. With all the assessment tools and technology now available, the current generation of juniors expect you to provide evidence-based information in relation to their game. If you cannot show them how they are improving or help them understand how the work you set is going to improve performance they are not inspired to do the work.

JW: How do you utilize and interpret biomechanical information to help junior golfers to establish technical priorities?

RL: The interpretation of the data is the key - over the past 15 years I’ve analysed thousands of elite players. Through this experience, I have learned a lot from these players but you also start to see the patterns and correlations between certain movements and shot outcomes. Applying this knowledge and experience helps us to prioritise the key things they should focus on, which more often than not influences the things they have been trying to achieve but in a simpler way as they are focusing on causes rather than effects.

JW: What is the role of biomechanic plays in the development path from talented junior to tour player to tour event winner? Any example?

RL: I’ve been fortunate to be part of the team with a number of players through their journey from junior to tour winner, a number of whom became world No. 1 amateurs. Examples would be working with Minjee Lee from when she was 13, and Thomas Pieters through the VVG Program, and Lydia Ko through NZ Golf. Effectively regular screenings, skills testing and biofeedback becomes an essential part of keeping players and their coaches on track with their physical and technical development so they are ‘ready’ when they reach Tour level. I believe that this is a ‘must-have’ in a cutting-edge Player Development Program and without it a National Association is putting their players at a disadvantage when they come to compete internationally.

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