Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Samuel J. Wilson, PhD


Golf is a popular sport for all age groups, and the golf swing is one of the hardest swings to master. It takes balance and trunk stability in order to achieve desired results. Carrying a golf bag for the standard 18-holes may decrease stability and balance from fatigue and lead to injury. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of different methods of golf bag carriage on balance. Three participants consisting of male and female college-aged individuals (18-30) with golfing experience in the last six months and no current signs of cardiovascular, metabolic, or musculoskeletal disease were observed carrying different golf bag conditions for six miles. Each participant performed under one of the five conditions for each trial. The conditions include 1) no golf bag 2) single strap golf bag 3) double strap bag worn above the sacrum 4) double strap golf bag worn below the sacrum 5) golf bag on a pushcart. Balance was then tested after every .5 mile with 3 trials with: eyes open standing on the BTrackS (San Diego, CA, USA), eyes closed standing on the force plate, eyes open standing on the AIREX Balance Pad (Power Systems Inc., Knoxville, TN, USA) positioned on the force plate, and eyes closed on the AIREX Balance Pad positioned on the force plate. Balance was quantified by the center of pressure and the root mean square of body sway. There was a significant difference between eyes open firm condition (F(6,12) = 3.04, p = 0.048, η2 = 0.603) and the eyes open foam pad condition (F(6,12) = 5.26, p = 0.007, η2 = 0.725). The results suggest that balance decreased over the duration of the 6 miles, regardless of the load-carriage condition.