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West London College Sports and Exercise Teacher Alex is a Sports Research Scientist

Alex hiking

West London College Sports and Exercise Science teacher, Alex Brennan has recently had his research work published. Alex’s scientific paper ‘Monitoring Performance in Golf: More Than Just Clubhead Speed’ was published in ‘Strength and Conditioning Journal’ and is one of 6 pieces of research he will complete to achieve his PhD in Sports and Exercise Science.

After completing his undergraduate degree in Sports Science at the University of Essex, Alex began his Masters with Dissertation there too. Like many people, his plans changed when Covid came along and he transferred to Middlesex University to study for a PhD in 2022.

Alex has access to professional golf players through his academic network and he is able to measure many metrics. 

Alex said: “In golf you have amazing  technologies which track and measure a huge range of things, but these are not generally well understood.”

Alex explains that the hardware making the measurements, a Trackman is expensive and costs around £25,000. Although it produces around 20 metrics, Alex says: “most coaches only look at 2 or 3”.

Through his research Alex has created a framework which shows how all these different metrics link together. This is useful for coaches in creating profiles for players. 

“Club head speed (CHS) is the big one,” Alex says, “but we need to look at others to improve performance.”

Contributory factors include: spin rate, the speed the ball is released at, and the biomechanics of the player to improve performance.

The desired outcomes from the measurements are for the golfer to achieve greater distance for the ball to travel from the tee and greater accuracy. Greater distance for the professional golfer, leads to fewer shots. And the player who completes 18 holes with the least shots wins.

Due to finish his PhD in 2025, Alex currently has a year of testing and data collection to complete, followed by a year to write his findings up.

Alex says: “I need to present my research to a panel of experts to pass my PhD. Having my work published gets me off to a great start as it already gives me a strong reputation in my field.”

Alex Brennan has published two research papers on improving performance in golf:

Monitoring Performance in Golf: More Than Just Clubhead Speed

Strength and Conditioning for Golf Athletes: Biomechanics, Common Injuries and Physical Requirements

If you are interested in a course in Sports and Fitness at West London College, apply at

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