Can listening to music help your golf game ?

Studies conducted by sports psychologists have determined that music has a great impact on the performance level of an athlete, today it is easy to find high school, college and even professional level golfers on the range practicing with their latest play list. In other sports such as the Olympics most of the swimmers had their headphones on prior to jumping in the pool to swim for gold. 

It has been suggested in several studies that the correct type of music can heighten an athlete’s performance by up to twenty percent.  A sports psychologist at Brunel University, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, has done studies to see the results of synchronous music and asynchronous music.  Synchronous music, is music that has a clear and steady beat and this what was shown to elevate a person’s performance by twenty percent where as asynchronous music, or background music, was shown to calm the nerves of athletes by as much as ten percent. These studies were not specifically done on golfers but it does make you think. 

Dr. Karageroghis believes that there are four main components in listening to music that can affect an athlete’s performance.

  1. Music can distract an athlete from fatigue, not sure this would help your golf game.
  2. Music can act as a mood altering catalyst, might calm you down and get you focused before you play golf. 
  3. Music can synchronize an athlete’s rhythm and movement, might be good for your swing tempo.
  4. Music can act as a trigger for learning certain motions, after working with a golf coach this might help the process of learning.

Even though many studies have been done on this subject there is no really clear evidence that listing to music while hitting golf balls or playing golf will actually help to lower your score.  Similar to the sugar pill, the impact that music can have on a person is a preconceived notion; music itself does not have the power to make you hit the ball further or shoot lower scores but for some individuals it may have a positive and calming affect on ones emotions which could in turn help with performance. So in summary fire up your ipod with your favourite playlist next time to you go to the range and see if music will help you get in the zone. 


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