An Exploratory Study on Peak Performance in Golf

in The Sport Psychologist

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Patrick J. CohnUniversity of Virginia

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A qualitative study investigated the psychological characteristics of peak performance in golf. Nineteen professional and collegiate golfers (ages (19–38) participated in structured open-ended interviews. A content analysis of the interviews revealed that certain psychological qualities of peak performance exist among golfers. During peak performance the golfers were highly focused and immersed in the task at hand, performed effortlessly and automatically, felt physically relaxed and mentally calm, and felt in control of themselves and their performance. In addition, the golfers had no fear of negative consequences, maintained high self-confidence, and experienced fun and enjoyment. These results corroborate other studies examining peak performance with athletes in different sports. The results are discussed and suggestions are made for striving toward a unique and superior mental state.

Patrick J. Cohn is with the Department of Health and Physical Education, Ruffner Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2495.

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