Music has been reported as a positive intervention for improving psychophysiological conditions and exercise performance. However, the effects of music intervention on golf performance in association with psychophysiological responses have not been well examined in the literature. The purpose of the study was to investigate the acute effects of self-selected music intervention on golf swing and putting performance, heart rate (HR), HR variability (HRV), and anxiety. Twenty collegiate golfers voluntarily participated in this study (age = 20.2 ± 1.4 years, height = 171.7 ± 8.0 cm, body weight = 69.5 ± 14.6 kg, golf experience = 7.5 ± 2.1 years). A cross-over and within-subject design was used in this study. Participants performed a non-music trial (T1), pre-exercise music trial (T2), and simultaneous music trial (T3) in a randomized order with 48-72 h apart. The participants were attached to a HR monitor to record the HR and HRV during the measurement. The golf swing and putting performance was assessed by using the Golfzon golf simulator system. The state-trait anxiety inventory-state questionnaire (STAI-S) was used to evaluate anxiety state. All measurements were taken during baseline (phase one) and after resting or music intervention (phase two). Repeated measurement of analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Cohen's effect size (ES) were used for statistical analyses. The results show no significant differences in golf swing and putting performance (p > 0.05). However, significant decrease in STAI-S score was found in T2 (p = 0.047, ES = 0.32). A significant increase in the standard deviation of normal R-R interval (SDNN), low-frequency power spectrum (LF), standard deviation of along the line-of-identity (SD2) in T2 and T3 were observed (p < 0.05). In conclusion, a single pre-exercise or simultaneous self-selected music intervention contributes minor effects to golf performance in collegiate golfers. The positive benefits of self-selected music intervention on the psychological condition and cardia-related modulation while practicing golf is warranted.
Keywords: autonomic nervous system; golf putting; golf swing; pre-exercise music; psychology; simultaneous music.