Sports science for golf: A survey of high-skilled golfers’ “perceptions” and “practices”

Wells, J.E.T. and Langdown, Ben (2020). Sports science for golf: A survey of high-skilled golfers’ “perceptions” and “practices”. Journal of Sports Sciences (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2020.1737350

Abstract

Despite a growing body of evidence on the positive impact of sports science for golf, there is still a paucity of research investigating the “perceptions” and “practices” of high-skilled golfers. Professional Golfers’ Association Assistant Professionals (future-qualified coaches; n = 430) were surveyed on their “perceptions” and “practices” of “sports science”, “warm-ups”, “cool-downs” and “strength and conditioning” for golf. Participants perceived the discipline of sports science as beneficial to golfers but lacked implementation in coaching settings. Warm-up protocols were also perceived to be beneficial to all aspects of golf performance; however, the duration of tournament-based (37.84 ± 20.05 min), warm-ups was significantly greater (p < 0.001) than practice rounds (26.26 ± 18.63 min) and range sessions (13.00 ± 13.38 min). Education continues to be required to raise the understanding of warm-ups for golf. There were mixed perceptions regarding the benefits of a cool-down, with 62.1% of the high-skilled golfers omitting a cool-down following tournament play and practice. Strength and conditioning was perceived as beneficial, with 78.51% engaging in some form of training throughout the year. Results confirm, however, that certain misconceptions around surveyed sports science practices still exist and it is imperative that education disseminates research findings and validated applied practices to coaches and golfers alike.

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