‘Life in the Travelling Circus’: A Study of Loneliness, Work Stress, and Money Issues in Touring Professional Golf

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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John FryMyerscough College

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Daniel BloyceUniversity of Chester

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This article examines the effects of globalization on the well-being of migrant professional athletes. Interviews with 20 touring professional golfers reveal that players experience many of the personal problems—such as loneliness, isolation, low decision latitude, low social support, and effort-reward imbalance—which have been identified as “strong predictors of mental ill-health” (Leka & Jain, 2010, p. 65). Feelings of loneliness and isolation developed as players were regularly apart from family and friends, and spent most of their time with other golfers whom they had somewhat superficial relationships with. These feelings coupled with, for many, uncertain income generated through golf added further to their work-related anxieties. Overall, results highlight the importance of considering how workplace anxieties and vulnerabilities impact on athlete migrants’ health and well-being.

Fry is with the Centre for Research in Sport Performance, Myerscough College, Preston, United Kingdom. Bloyce is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to John Fry at jfry@myerscough.ac.uk.
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