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A comparative study on the effectiveness of two grips for teaching beginning golf Alderman, Richard Brian

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate which of two grips, the Vardon overlapping grip or the Spread grip, produces the best results in range, accuracy, velocity and the angle of impact when teaching the golf swing to the beginning golfer. Also investigated were the results produced when the beginner was taught a second grip after six weeks of instruction. The McKee test, representing the elements of the golf swing, was selected to examine the hypotheses. Thirty-three University of British Columbia first and second year students enrolled in the service program of the School of Physical Education and Recreation were randomly selected and divided into two groups. Following the initial tests, the first experimental group, called the Vardon Group, underwent an eight week period of golf instruction, learning the Vardon grip in the first six weeks and the Spread grip in the last two weeks. The second experimental group, called the Spread Group, underwent an identical type of instructional program, except the Spread grip was taught for the first six weeks and the Vardon grip was taught over the last two weeks. Both groups were retested at the end of six weeks and at the end of eight weeks in the same manner. Both groups averaged gains in performance that were statistically significant over the first six week period in the elements of range and the angle of impact. Over the last two weeks of instruction, only the Spread Group exhibited a gain in performance that was statistically significant and this was in the element of accuracy. Over the total eight week period of instruction, the Vardon Group averaged gains that were statistically significant in the elements of range angle of impact and accuracy, whereas, the Spread Group exhibited Improved gains in performance that were statistically significant in the elements of range, angle of impact and velocity. A statistically significant difference between the groups over both the six week period and eight week period was exhibited in the element of accuracy only. The Spread Group, using the Spread grip in the first six week period, and the Vardon grip in the last two week period, improved it performance whereas, the Vardon Group decreased in performance over both periods of instruction. It was concluded that only in the element of accuracy can the Spread grip be construed as superior to the Vardon grip when teaching the golf swing to a group of beginners over an eight week period of twice-weekly instruction.

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