Analysis of swing tempo, swing rhythm, and functional swing plane slope in golf with a wearable inertial measurement unit sensor


Swing tempo, rhythm and swing plane are shown to be important in maintaining the performance. However, nearly all studies utilized optical motion capture system for the planar behavior of golf swings and the movement of the club. The primary aim of this study was to develop inertial measurement unit sensor-based swing motion analysis algorithm, and validate against an optical motion camera system by comparing the estimated clubhead trajectories during the golf swing. Then, the tempo, rhythm and functional swing plane were investigated using a validated wearable inertial sensor. Fourteen male golfers performed repeated swings for three clubs (driver, 7-iron, and wedge) and at three distances (30 m, 50 m, and 70 m using the wedge). The swing tempo of all the participants was consistent across different clubs. The swing rhythm tends to decrease for club types with less carrying distance. The functional swing plane slope tends to decrease for club types with greater carrying distance. Our study demonstrated a potential application of a wearable inertial measurement unit system for analyzing golf performance parameters.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.



Inertial measurement unit




Functional swing plane


Top of the backswing


Ball impact


End of the follow-through


Ball address


Horizontal downswing


Middle of follow-through




  1. [1]

    J. H. Kim, J. K. Han, B. N. Kim and D. H. Han, Brain networks governing the golf swing in professional golfers, Journal of Sports Sciences, 33 (19) (2015) 1980–1987.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    P. A. Hume, J. Keogh and D. Reid, The role of biomechanics in maximising distance and accuracy of golf shots, Sports Medicine, 35 (5) (2005) 429–449.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    A. McHardy and H. Pollard, Muscle activity during the golf swing, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39 (11) (2005) 799–804.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    E. P. Meira and J. Brumitt, Minimizing injuries and enhancing performance in golf through training programs, Sports Health, 2 (4) (2010) 337–344.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    I. Okuda, P. Gribble and C. Armstrong, Trunk rotation and weight transfer patterns between skilled and low skilled golfers, Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 9 (1) (2010) 127.

    Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    S. A. Horan, K. Evans, N. R. Morris and J. J. Kavanagh, Thorax and pelvis kinematics during the downswing of male and female skilled golfers, Journal of Biomechanics, 43 (8) (2010) 1456–1462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    J. Myers, S. Lephart, Y. S. Tsai, T. Sell, J. Smoliga and J. Jolly, The role of upper torso and pelvis rotation in driving performance during the golf swing, Journal of Sports Sciences, 26 (2) (2008) 181–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    B. Khuyagbaatar, T. Purevsuren and Y. H. Kim, Kinematic determinants of performance parameters during golf swing, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 233 (5) (2019) 554–561.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    C. Joyce, A. Burnett, J. Cochrane and K. Ball, Three-dimensional trunk kinematics in golf: Between-club differences and relationships to clubhead speed, Sports Biomechanics, 12 (2) (2013) 108–120.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    N. F. Betzler, S. A. Monk, E. S. Wallace and S. R. Otto, The relationships between driver clubhead presentation characteristics, ball launch conditions and golf shot outcomes, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 228 (4) (2014) 242–249.

    Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    R. J. Jagacinski, N. Greenberg and M. J. Liao, Tempo, rhythm, and aging in golf, Journal of Motor Behavior, 29 (2) (1997) 159–173.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    F. Tinmark, J. Hellström, K. Halvorsen and A. Thorstensson, Elite golfers’ kinematic sequence in full-swing and partial-swing shots, Sports Biomechanics, 9 (4) (2010) 236–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    N. Zheng, S. W. Barrentine, G. S. Fleisig and J. R. Andrews, Kinematic analysis of swing in pro and amateur golfers, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 29 (6) (2008) 487–493.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    M. S. You and K. I. Lee, Analysis of biomechanical differences based on distance changes in connection with approach swings of tour-professional golfers, Korean Journal of Sport Biomechanics, 26 (1) (2016) 83–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. [15]

    C. I. Egret, O. Vincent, J. Weber, F. H. Dujardin and D. Chollet, Analysis of 3D kinematics concerning three different clubs in golf swing, International Journal of Sports Medicine, 24 (6) (2003) 465–470.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. [16]

    J. Sinclair, G. Currigan, D. J. Fewtrell and P. Taylor, Three-dimensional kinematics observed between different clubs during the full golf swing, Journal of Athletic Enhancement, 3 (3) (2014).

    Google Scholar 

  17. [17]

    Y. H. Kwon, C. S. Como, K. Singhal, S. Lee and K. H. Han, Assessment of planarity of the golf swing based on the functional swing plane of the clubhead and motion planes of the body points, Sports Biomechanics, 11 (2) (2012) 127–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. [18]

    A. Morrison, D. McGrath and E. S. Wallace, Analysis of the delivery plane in the golf swing using principal components, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 232 (4) (2018) 295–304.

    Google Scholar 

  19. [19]

    S. Sprager and M. B. Juric, Inertial sensor-based gait recognition: A review, Sensors, 15 (9) (2015) 22089–22127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. [20]

    R. Chambers, T. J. Gabbett, M. H. Cole and A. Beard, The use of wearable microsensors to quantify sport-specific movements, Sports Medicine, 45 (7) (2015) 1065–1081.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. [21]

    B. Khuyagbaatar, T. Purevsuren, W. M. Park, K. Kim and Y. H. Kim, Interjoint coordination of the lower extremities in short-track speed skating, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 231 (10) (2017) 987–993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. [22]

    K. King, S. W. Yoon, N. C. Perkins and K. Najafi, Wireless MEMS inertial sensor system for golf swing dynamics, Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 141 (2) (2008) 619–630.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. [23]

    Y. J. Kim, K. D. Kim, S. H. Kim, S. Lee and H. S. Lee, Golf swing analysis system with a dual band and motion analysis algorithm, IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, 63 (3) (2017) 309–317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. [24]

    A. Umek, Y. Zhang, S. Tomažić and A. Kos, Suitability of strain gage sensors for integration into smart sport equipment: A golf club example, Sensors, 17 (4) (2017) 916.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. [25]

    S. Madgwick, An efficient orientation filter for inertial and inertial/magnetic sensor arrays, Report X-IO and University of Bristol (UK), 25 (2010) 113–118.

    Google Scholar 

  26. [26]

    S. Coleman and D. Anderson, An examination of the planar nature of golf club motion in the swings of experienced players, Journal of Sports Sciences, 25 (7) (2007) 739–748.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. [27]

    T. Purevsuren, B. Khuyagbaatar, K. Kim and Y. H. Kim, Investigation of knee joint forces and moments during short-track speed skating using wearable motion analysis system, International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, 19 (7) (2018) 1055–1060.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) [No. 2017R1E1A1A03070418].

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yoon Hyuk Kim.

Additional information

Recommended by Editor Sehyun Shin

Yoon Hyuk Kim received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 1992, 1994, and 2000, respectively. He is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Korea.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cheon, M., Khuyagbaatar, B., Yeom, JH. et al. Analysis of swing tempo, swing rhythm, and functional swing plane slope in golf with a wearable inertial measurement unit sensor. J Mech Sci Technol 34, 3095–3101 (2020).

Download citation


  • Swing tempo
  • Swing rhythm
  • Functional swing plane
  • Golf
  • Inertial measurement unit sensor