Exploring flow occurrence in elite golf

Christian Swann, Richard Keegan, David Piggott, Lee Crust, Mark F. Smith

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


    Research on flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975) has traditionally focused on reactive, externally-paced sports (e.g., tennis) without exploring those that are self-paced and stopstart in nature. This study investigated the occurrence of flow in a sample of thirteen elite golfers by conducting semi-structured interviews discussing: (i) their experiences of flow, (ii) factors that influenced flow occurrence, and (iii) the controllability of these experiences. Results shared similarity with existing research in terms of the majority of influencing factors reported, including motivation, preparation, focus, psychological state, environmental and situational conditions, and arousal, and that flow was reported to be at least potentially controllable. Golf-specific influences were also noted, including pre-shot routines, use of psychological interventions, standard of performance, and maintenance of physical state, suggesting that flow may have occurred differently for this sample. Findings are discussed and applied recommendations are made that may help golfers put relevant factors in place to increase the likelihood of experiencing flow.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAthletic Insight's Writings of 2012
    PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781626181205
    ISBN (Print)9781626181205
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


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