Mental imagery combined with physical practice of approach shots for golf beginners

Percept Mot Skills. 2005 Aug;101(1):203-11. doi: 10.2466/pms.101.1.203-211.


Recent research on motor skills of golf have pointed to the usefulness of mental imagery. In golf, such training is rarely used as a teaching technique for beginners on the grounds that only top professionals stand to gain from mental imagery. This study tested whether mental imagery combined with physical practice can improve golf performance for the approach shot. 23 volunteer beginners, 8 women and 15 men, M age 23.4 yr. (SD = 3.7), enrolled in the University Physical and Sporting Activities Department, were divided into three groups, using a combination of physical practice of the approach shot plus mental imagery, physical practice only, and a third group engaging in various sporting activities instead of either mental or physical practice of the chip shot. Analysis showed that the beginners' approach shot performance improved most in the group combining physical practice and mental imagery when compared with the group just physically practising the approach shot. It seems mental training can be used effectively to improve performance even with beginners.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Golf / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Imagination*
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Practice, Psychological*
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Statistics as Topic