Heart rate variability, postural sway and electrodermal activity in competitive golf putting

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2021 Jul;61(7):1027-1032. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11518-4.


Background: Stressful conditions during competitive golf putting may result in impaired performance, producing physiological changes. Nevertheless, simultaneous measurements of postural sway (PS), heart rate variability (HRV) and electrodermal activity (EDA) during a competitive golf putting have not yet been examined. This study aims at describing if changes in PS, HRV and EDA during golf putting, might affect the golfer's performance.

Methods: Based on EGA-handicap, 40 amateur golfers were divided in 2 groups. They competed in an indoor round of golf putting. PS, EDA, HRV and putting performance (SCORE) were recorded at basal and during competition.

Results: During the putting round, a significant increase in low-frequency power (LF) and decrease in high-frequency power (HF) was found in Group A, leading to an increased LF/HF ratio. The heart rate increased significantly more in Group A than in Group B, but the stress index (SI) remained lower in this group. EDA significantly increased in both groups, with no statistical difference between groups. No statistical difference in SCORE was observed.

Conclusions: Despite the significant differences observed between the two groups, both at baseline and in response to competition, no variation of the studied variables was associated with a better putting performance.

MeSH terms

  • Galvanic Skin Response
  • Golf*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans