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Psychological hallmarks of skilled golfers
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Sports Medicine, ISSN 0112-1642, E-ISSN 1179-2035, Vol. 39, no 10, p. 845-855Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the psychological hallmarks of skilled golfers (professionals and amateurs with handicaps of <= 4) are investigated. Professional golfers believe that attitude, desire and motivation are important psychological qualities necessary to succeed in tournaments. They are committed to golf, have goals they strive for, make plans, evaluate their performance and systematically train towards improving their game. The study of skilled golfers' traits, as measured by 16 personality factors, has provided ambiguous results and there may be more complex associations not yet investigated in golf. The effect of mood and emotions on golf scores seems to be individual. Differences in personality may explain why mood states, measured by mood state profiles, have not shown a strong correlation to golf scores. Task focus, confidence, imagery, patience, ability to focus on one shot at a time and performing automatically have been found to be important during competition. These variables need to be further researched before, during and after the swing. The psychological processes needed before, during and after the swing differ and should be further specified. A decrease in heart rate and a lower cortical activity moment before the swing may be signs of an optimal performance state. The effect of coping strategies may vary over time, and players should be able to switch and combine different strategies. Pre-shot routine is associated with performance. However, it is not clear if consistency of total duration and behavioural content in pre-shot routine cause improved performance. Pre-shot routine may also be an effect of psychological processes, such as a different task focus. It may facilitate an automatic execution of technique, which can lead to better performance. The psychological variables needed for competitive golf should be related to the physical, technical and game-statistical variables in coaching and future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 39, no 10, p. 845-855
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-13203DOI: 10.2165/11317760-000000000-00000ISI: 000270758400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-13203DiVA, id: diva2:388317
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-11 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Expert performance in golf
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expert performance in golf
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The competition in elite golf is fierce. Players therefore often have psychological, physical, and technical experts supporting them. The associations between these experts focus areas and how they relate to the playing results are valuable to understand, in order to create more effective training programs. The aim of this thesis is therefore to investigate the relationships between physique, technique, and playing results in golf, and to integrate these findings with psychological research on elite golfers.

Two review studies (A and B) and three empirical studies (I, II, and III) are included. Study A and B provide a theoretical foundation where the relationship of psychological, physiological, and technical variables to playing results is reviewed. The empirical studies (Study I, II, and III) were selected based on the findings in the reviews and the applied needs.

Study I shows that some stability test results are strongly correlated to swing technique. Study II found that strength tests as measured in absolute strength or power are strongly correlated to clubhead speed for elite players, but relative strength (percentage of body mass) is not. Study III used PGA Tour ShotLink statistics collected over a year to investigate tee shot accuracy, striking distance, and hole scores. It was found that the ability to hit the ball with high accuracy and a long distance is strongly correlated with low hole scores. Furthermore, the type of fairway miss is relevant to consider as well as striking distance in relation to the distance of the hole.

These results may be used to make gap and needs profiles. Task, personal, and environmental variables should also be considered before giving training advice based on test results. Future studies should further investigate the causality between key areas and playing results, and test the validity of models that may be used to analyze and set goals for elite golfers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2012. p. 92
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535 ; 16
Keywords
Golf, professional, world-class, expert, psychology, physique, technique, game statistics, tournament
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-21337 (URN)978-91-7668-851-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-02-22, Hörsal G, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The Swedish National Center for Research in Sports (CIF) and The Swedish Golf Federation financially supported this doctoral dissertation. US PGA Tour and ShotLink supported Study III by collecting and sorting a large amount of game statistical data.

Available from: 2012-01-26 Created: 2012-01-26 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, John

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