Purpose: This study aimed to determine the effect of a caffeine-containing supplement on golf-specific performance and fatigue during a 36-hole competitive golf tournament.
Methods: Twelve male golfers (34.8 ± 13.9 yr, 175.9 ± 9.3 cm, 81.23 ± 13.14 kg) with a United States Golf Association handicap of 3-10 participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design in which they played an 18-hole round of golf on two consecutive days (36-hole tournament) and were randomly assigned to consume a caffeine-containing supplement (CAF) or placebo (PLA). CAF/PLA was consumed before and after nine holes during each 18-hole round. Total score, drive distance, fairways and greens in regulation, first putt distance, HR, breathing rate, peak trunk acceleration, and trunk posture while putting were recorded. Self-perceived ratings of energy, fatigue, alertness and concentration were also recorded.
Results: Total score (76.9 ± 8.1 vs 79.4 ± 9.1, P = 0.039), greens in regulation (8.6 ± 3.3 vs 6.9 ± 4.6, P = 0.035), and drive distance (239.9 ± 33.8 vs 233.2 ± 32.4, P = 0.047) were statistically better during the CAF condition compared with those during PLA. Statistically significant main effects for condition (P < 0.05) and time (P < 0.001) occurred for perceived feelings of energy and fatigue. Compared with PLA, CAF reported more energy (P = 0.025) and less fatigue (P = 0.05) over the competitive round of golf. There were no substantial differences in HR or breathing rates, peak trunk acceleration, or putting posture between conditions or over the round (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: A moderate dose (1.9 ± 0.3 mg · kg(-1)) of caffeine consumed before and during a round of golf improves golf-specific measures of performance and reduces fatigue in skilled golfers.