Move your head, hurt your golf game

From Washington, D.C., at a seminar on Research to Prevent Blindness

Biomechanics experts have found that certain golfing grips can lessen head and eye movement during putts. Limiting these motions improves one’s game, suggests George K. Hung, a biomedical engineer at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.

Hung and his colleagues tested seven right-handed novice golfers as they putted from 3 and 9 feet. The volunteers wore a helmet with sensors that relayed head and eye movements to a computer. The scientists also monitored body position. From each distance, the volunteers putted 20 balls with a conventional grip (right hand below left), 20 cross-handed (right hand above the left), and 20 with the right hand only.

The sensor data show that the conventional grip elicits greater motion in the right shoulder than do the other grips. That, in turn, causes more head movement, which begets more eye movement as the golfer stays focused on the ball. One-handed or cross-handed putting results in less shoulder and head movement, Hung says. While little difference in performance emerged from the 3-foot putts, Hung reports that the novices sunk significantly more putts from 9 feet using the cross-handed grip than they did with the conventional grip.


If you have a comment on this article that you would like considered for publication in Science News, please send it to

More Stories from Science News on Health & Medicine