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Is golf more mental or physical?

Golf more mental or physical?  

59 members have voted

  1. 1. In your opinion, is golf more of a physical or mental game?

    • More physical.
      40
    • More mental.
      19


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How many times have you seen one forum member change the views of another forum member with a differing opinion - on any forum? Especially with this question with both sides offering up anecdotal evidence to prove their POV. Very rare IME, but carry on...

Edited by Midpack

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33 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Science overwhelmingly supports my position here.

The science is inconclusive. This is an article that summarizes previous studies into using neurofeedback into enhancing athletic performance. Though the research claims that there is increased performance, in most cases their is actually no documented measured data to support it.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.629.8087&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Quote

However, it seems the plethora of claims regarding the use of neurofeedback training to enhance performance is matched only by the paucity of research showing a clear effect. For instance, attempts to increase low frequency EEG oscillations in archers has been associated with improved accuracy, despite no clear pattern of changes in the EEG (Landers et al., 1991). Suppression of theta activity has been associated with increased attentional performance, but again there was no reported change in baseline levels of the EEG (Beatty et al., 1974). Meanwhile, attempts to increase alpha had no discernible effect on memory performance (Bauer, 1976), and alpha/theta training had no effect on creativity (Boynton, 2001). Research examining the effects of low beta neurofeedback training on cognitive performance has met with some intriguing results (Egner & Gruzelier, 2001, 2004; Rasey et al., 1996; Vernon, Ahmed, et al., 2004; Vernon, Egner, et al., 2004; Vernon et al., 2003). Nevertheless, a range of methodological flaws and a failure to document clear changes in the EEG following neurofeedback training limit such findings. A similar picture emerges for research utilising neurofeedback to enhance artistic performance (Egner & Gruzelier, 2003; Raymond et al., 2005). As such, whilst the findings outlined previously are suggestive, a clear connection between neurofeedback training and enhanced performance has yet to be established.

It should be stressed that it is not the aim of this review to suggest that neurofeedback training cannot enhance performance, merely that the evidence to date is equivocal.

I wouldn't claim that you have the scientific backing on this one.

This is one of the few studies that I could find. A Google search is surprisingly sparse on actually studies on this. You'd think there would be more academic research on this. There are more people claiming they have a program to enhance athletic performance versus actual studies.

https://www.uvic.ca/home/about/campus-news/2017+can-brainwaves-predict-baseball-performance+ring

This was a small study just done on baseball hitters. This was on 15-19 year olds. At least by this one study, they found that higher beta brain activity meant lower performance in hitting a baseball. Beta brain activity is associated with higher attention and concentration.

Basically, there is a lot more studies that need to be done before anyone claims this is conclusive. Especially on people of different ages and sports.

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And this best selling book must have been complete hogwash according to many here...

9780394505343.RH.0.x.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Consider this as well: Michael Jordan is one of if not the best basketball players of all time. He sucked at baseball. Why?

Another way to look at it is that Michael Jordan was #1 in basketball.  In baseball he was probably in the top 1,000 or so (guessing).  In golf his 1.9 index puts him at around 25,000th among the 700,000 USGA members.  (Probably in the top 0.5% or so among all golfers, including non-USGA.)  So despite his world class athletic ability, Michael Jordan is a mere mortal on the golf course.   

 

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54 minutes ago, Midpack said:

And this best selling book must have been complete hogwash according to many here...

9780394505343.RH.0.x.jpg

 

The hardcover is $1.99 on Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/inner-game-of-golf-w-timothy-gallwey/1100396676/2691162109625?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+betterworldbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP24221&k_clickid=3x24221

They must have sold a billion copies to get the hard cover down to that price, and yet the average handicap is still only 15 with the average player scoring around 100.

Looks like the book didn't really improve anyone's game all that much?

 

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59 minutes ago, Midpack said:

And this best selling book must have been complete hogwash according to many here...

9780394505343.RH.0.x.jpg

 

I think the poll was about whether MORE physical or mental - doubt if anyone said it was all physical.

Gallwey (Tennis, then Golf) was about getting out of your head - I used my Tour Tempo App yesterday - to gain a physical rhythm to my swing and get my mind out of the swing - it does that. But not Gallwey.

Edited by Mr. Desmond

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4 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

I also think there would be a mental component to the effect Iacas would have as well because the 18 would know much more clearly what they are trying to do.  Knowing what you want to do with the club is a big mental part of things and imo that's diff from a mental desire to improve.

Again, that's not what is being discussed in terms of mental game.

To me what mental game means in the context of this thread is more along the lines of ability to focus, controlling your emotions or not letting your emotions negatively affect your game.

1 hour ago, Jack Watson said:

15 handicapper gets in the zone = shoots 79
I get in the zone = shoot 68
PGA Tour player gets in the zone = shoots 59

Why are all these scores different? It's because of the golfer's physical abilities. I can go hang out with Buddhist monks for 10 years and I'm never going to shoot 59 because my physical abilities aren't good enough. The physical is the dominant part of the equation.

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1 minute ago, mvmac said:

Again, that's not what is being discussed in terms of mental game.

To me what mental game means in the context of this thread is more along the lines of ability to focus, controlling your emotions or not letting your emotions negatively affect your game.

15 handicapper gets in the zone = shoots 79
I get in the zone = shoot 68
PGA Tour player gets in the zone = shoots 59

Why are all these scores different? It's because of the golfer's physical abilities. I can go hang out with Buddhist monks for 10 years and I'm never going to shoot 59 because my physical abilities aren't good enough. The physical is the dominant part of the equation.

And again, @mvmac has clearly closed this debate. It's physical guys. Done.

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Well,  I tried...

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

You can't redefine a term like mental in the middle of a discussion.  When that happens I'm out.

Denial is also a mental concept.

In individual sports we cannot escape personal responsibility via denial and the assertion that the mental side has minimal effect on performance is comical.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, mvmac said:

Why are all these scores different? It's because of the golfer's physical abilities. I can go hang out with Buddhist monks for 10 years and I'm never going to shoot 59 because my physical abilities aren't good enough. The physical is the dominant part of the equation.

Great point. These mental concepts might be able to explain why athletes are able to have outlier events, but they have to physically be capable of those events to begin with.

If a 13 year old golfer is in the zone versus a PGA Tour golfer in the zone, there is ZERO percent chance the 13 year old golfer beats the PGA tour player. They could have the exact same measured brain activity. The 13 year old loses. He doesn't have the same physical ability as a PGA Tour player.

Maybe mental training can help squeeze out a few extra rounds at that high end range, but it isn't going to change the golfers baseline ability.

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47 minutes ago, Lihu said:

The hardcover is $1.99 on Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/inner-game-of-golf-w-timothy-gallwey/1100396676/2691162109625?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+betterworldbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP24221&k_clickid=3x24221

They must have sold a billion copies to get the hard cover down to that price, and yet the average handicap is still only 15 with the average player scoring around 100.

Looks like the book didn't really improve anyone's game all that much?

 

I take it you didn't notice that it was originally published in 1981. Of course it's only $1.99 36 years later...:whistle:

45 minutes ago, Mr. Desmond said:

I think the poll was about whether MORE physical or mental - doubt if anyone said it was all physical.

Gallwey (Tennis, then Golf) was about getting out of your head - I used my Tour Tempo App yesterday - to gain a physical rhythm to my swing and get my mind out of the swing - it does that. But not Gallwey.

Actually some people inferred that the mental was (almost) trivial. That's a stretch IMO, but there's no point in continuing to trade anecdotal evidence while pretending one POV is wholly objective while the other isn't (both sides). I believe it's way more than 50% physical, but the mental aspect isn't trivial IME.

Edited by Midpack

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3 minutes ago, Midpack said:

I take it you didn't notice that it was originally published in 1981. Of course it's only $1.99 36 years later...:whistle:

I was joking. . . :-D

. . .but here it is 36 years later and the average score is still about 100. :tumble:

Edited by Lihu

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2 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I was joking. . . :-D

. . .but here it is 236 years later and the average score is still about 100. :tumble:

FIFY. Hopefully your on course math is better, or "joking" again.

Edited by Midpack

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2 hours ago, skydog said:

I haven't had a chance to read much of this thread but I would say it can be both. At times the physical can far outweigh the mental and in other cases it's the other way around.

Anybody who says it's all or mostly physical has never had the putting or chipping yips. I had them bad in my junior playing days (state and high school tournaments) and it's crippling and can far outweigh whatever physical ability a golfer may have. Think back to Ernie's yips at Augusta a couple of years ago. That is when the mental side of the game far outweighs the physical side.

Golf is unlike other sports that are based on reaction AND repetition. The golf swing is about repetition and muscle memory but it lacks the reaction component since the ball isn't moving- this is where the mental demons or strengths of a golfer are allowed to live and thrive.

If you would have read the entire thread, you would have noticed that "yips" has been mentioned and shot down numerous times, there are physical explanations as to why the "yips" happen. It is not mental. There is a swing fault that is causing it, whether that be alignment, putting stroke etc.

NO, that can't "far outweigh whatever physical ability a golfer may have" .... You mean to tell me that you could have beaten Ernie Els with putting "yips" or Tiger Woods with chipping "yips" since those "yips" would have outweighed their physical ability?? Not a chance.

The fact that the golf ball is not moving proves even more so how much more physical it is. Instead of hitting a baseball where you have to see the ball, trying to mentally process how fast it is going, how high or low, inside outside, etc and then deciding whether or not to swing and swinging at the spot you think the ball is going to cross the plate, you just have to stand there and swing at a ball in a fixed non moving position. Try to hit a 90 mph baseball blindfolded and then try to hit a golf ball blindfolded. You obviously would hit the golf ball long before you'd ever hit the baseball, because hitting a golf ball is almost exclusively physical in nature your mind doesnt need to see the ball in order to physically hit it.

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6 minutes ago, Midpack said:

Actually some people inferred that the mental was (almost) trivial. That's a stretch IMO, but there's no point in continuing to trade anecdotal evidence while pretending one POV is wholly objective while the other isn't (both sides). I believe it's way more than 50% physical, but the mental aspect isn't trivial IME.

I'd agree with this.

1 minute ago, Midpack said:

FIFY. Hopefully your on course math is better.

Yeah, I typed wrong and corrected it too late. :-P

LOL, I depend upon other people to keep score for me, or GG. :whistle:

Edited by Lihu

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13 minutes ago, Midpack said:

I take it you didn't notice that it was originally published in 1981. Of course it's only $1.99 36 years later...:whistle:

Actually some people inferred that the mental was (almost) trivial. That's a stretch IMO, but there's no point in continuing to trade anecdotal evidence while pretending one POV is wholly objective while the other isn't (both sides). I believe it's way more than 50% physical, but the mental aspect isn't trivial IME.

Agreed, I don't think the mental side is trivial - if your confidence is shot, you're toast. If you're in your head with swing thoughts, you are toast or inconsistent. You've got to find a way to turn off thoughts and let the swing occur unhindered.

Edited by Mr. Desmond

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