The effect of experience, slope and club selection on human kinematic variability and performance outcomes in golf PhD

Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Entry requirements:
3 years
5 years
Reference number:
Start date:
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
29 January 2019



in the world for sport-related subjects

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017


in the UK for Sports Science

The Complete University Guide 2018


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

To determine the effect of task constraints on the variability in technique and performance outcomes in golf.

Golf demands consistent performance, so understanding how various task constraints (e.g. club selection and slope) affect technique and shot outcomes is of interest. Golf courses are designed to incorporate natural features such as slopes to make the course more challenging. Previous golf studies typically take place in controlled laboratories with shots taken into a net from a flat surface whilst kinematic and kinetic data are collected. However, a game of golf is more than likely to include uneven ground, requiring shots to be played from an uphill/downhill, side hill or a combination of slopes. Understanding how novice and expert golfers respond to such task constraints merits investigation.

The project will use a combination of kinematic (motion capture) and kinetic (force plates) data collection in conjunction with a Motek CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation ENvironment) system to create the environmental changes. The effect of expertise, club selection and slope on such measures as swing path, swing plane and alignment can then be determined. How the kinematics (technique) serve to reduce/create movement variability under the various conditions can then be assessed, e.g. under which conditions are the technique and shot outcomes more variable and what is the source of the variability. In addition, it is envisaged that eye/gaze tracking will be used to determine perceptual differences created by the changing task constraints.


Primary supervisor: Dr Michael Hiley

Secondary supervisor: Dr Glen Blenkinsop

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Michael John Hiley or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Sport Science, but with a strong background in either Biomechanics or Motor Control.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: 

  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Control
  • Motion analysis
  • Mathematics

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. Please quote reference number: SSEHS/MJH