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Hum Mov Sci. 2013 Dec;32(6):1226-38. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2013.02.003. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Perceived distance during golf putting.

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Graduate School of Health & Sport Science, Chukyo University, 101 Tokodachi, Kaizu-cho, Toyota, Aichi 470-0393, Japan. Electronic address:


This study examined the effect of anxiety states on the relationship between golf-putting distance and performance in an environment requiring high movement accuracy. Twenty-three amateur golfers attempted 15 putts at each of three putting distances, 1.25, 1.50, and 1.75m, under conditions characterized by both control demands and pressure. All attempts were recorded, and kinematic features were analyzed. Under conditions involving an audience and a monetary reward, the mean score on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Y-1 and the mean heart rate increased by 14 points and 11bpm, respectively. We grouped participants on an a posteriori basis using the median split. The backswing of high-anxiety performers shortened, the downswing speed declined, and the relative time to peak club-head velocity changed when putting under pressure from 1.25m. In contrast, no change in backswing or relative time to peak velocity was observed in low-anxiety performers, although impact velocity increased under this condition. These results indicate that the degree to which both low- and high-anxiety golfers were anxious about failure affected motor control at the 1.25-m distance, suggesting that a distortion in perceived distance may result from the interaction between putting distance and anxiety related to failure during golf putting.


2330; 2340; Anxiety level; Pressure; Putting distance; Safety margin; Speed-accuracy trade-off

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