New research finds way to improve your golf scores

October 23, 2007

Is it the swing that creates great golf scores? The stance? The power? The technology?

According to research from The University of Western Ontario, it could be your state of mind.

Alan Edmunds, a professor in Western's Faculty of Education, has teamed with kinesiology professor Craig Hall on a study that examined whether average golfers could improve their golf performance by implementing a mental strategy Edmunds developed called Auto Focus.

"We were convinced golfers' existing skills could produce consistently better scores if we replaced passive thoughts and/or contaminating thoughts/distractions with an active and purposeful mental technique," says Edmunds.

Auto Focus is a five-count mantra that golfers recite mentally when in the resting address position. When used properly, the mantra initiates the entire swing while at the same time activating a player's acute mental and visual focus.

The resting address position is the pause that happens just before the swing starts.

Unfortunately, this is the spot where many golfers get frozen over the ball.

"You start thinking about all sorts of things like the latest swing tips from the Golf Channel to "do I have the right club?" or "don't hit it in the pond!"," explains Edmunds.

In commenting on the empirical results, Edmunds says, "We found that Auto Focus improved all players' scoring averages, some by as much as three shots over an eight-week period. As importantly, the strategy also improved golfers' confidence in their ability to play well and to rescue rounds that were starting to go bad. Because players have so much time to think between shots, confidence while playing is imperative."