This year when you insist you need a set of new golf clubs for Christmas – you can actually back your request up with scientific proof. Woods, irons, wedges, putters and chippers: are these the link to your improved golfing performance?
The link between psychology and your golf game
“Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, and 10% luck”, this is a quote from The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. Jack Nicklaus became the best golfer in the world by understanding the link between psychology and the game of Golf.
Golf is a sport that differs from many. The immense focus required by the player married to long consecutive hours in the sun, wind or rain introduce psychological difficulties that take a toll on all golfers. Although skill is most certainly required for this sport, mental strength is the ultimate determinant of the game.
Golf relies on cognitive ability more than most sports, thus the best players visualise, evaluate and plan… but is this enough? Not necessarily. Your perception of your golf clubs could be the driving force (excuse the pun) behind your success.
The ‘newness’ effect
Take a new pair of running shoes, for example, most of us are convinced that a new pair of running shoes will improve our running performance. Most of the time we are correct, but is it our new found confidence in our shoes’ ability, or is it our new shoes that make us run faster? The same question can be asked for changing up your golf clubs, and fortunately, we have an answer!
An LPGA member, Debbie Crews, who happens to be a psychologist, decided to conduct an experiment 10 years ago. Debbie studied the “newness” effect on 10 professional golfers and discovered that brain activity increased in 26 of the 32 measurements taken when each golfer got a “new” putter. Although the putter was no different or any more special than the other putters, the thought of the new putter excited the brain and improved putting accuracy.
So what exactly does this mean?
This means that there is scientific evidence allowing you to tell your friends and family that a new set of clubs will most certainly improve your 2019 golf game.
They don’t have to be over the top or expensive – according to Debbie Crews, they just have to be new! Us adults are just like kids, we are always happier with new toys. Keep your older clubs stored in a safe place for when you need to mix it up again or make your old clubs new by replacing your grips.
Change your clubs up to improve your brain activity because, at the end of the day, golf is really played on a smaller course thank you think – it’s played between your ears.