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Less time over the ball leads to better golf, study reveals

European Tour

Spending less time over the ball has been proven to improve performance on the golf course, a study has found.

The RSM Player Performance collected data on 47 European Tour professionals over five tournaments, 304 rounds of golf and 22,579 shots.

Led by Dr Matt Bridge, senior lecturer in coaching & sports science at the University of Birmingham, the study revealed:

• Spending less time over the ball could earn a European Tour player an extra €189k per season.

• Quicker shots improve performance. A shorter time over the ball across all putts results in a 90 per cent increase in the likelihood of strokes gained. 

• Consistency of time spent over the ball leads to a greater chance of making the cut. When players are more consistent in rounds one and two they are 50 per cent more likely to make the cut compared to less consistent players.

Upon hearing results of the study, Ryder Cup player Andy Sullivan said: “Could findings like these be a potential game-changer? Absolutely. As players in a complex game with so many variables, it’s crucial that we look at the data and how even tiny changes can help improve our performance.

“Personally, for my game, the findings have given me a lot to think about, but I think they’ll also be of interest to the amateurs that are looking for ways to get their handicaps down.”

Fellow European Tour pro Paul Waring added: “The average figure of €189,000 more a year if players improve the consistency of their routines and spend less time over the ball will certainly open a lot of eyes in the European Tour locker rooms.

“Stats are so important in all sports and especially in golf, when you think of the range of elements we need to consider in our game. RSM is leading the way with player performance research and my personal results from the study have been fascinating.

“I’m looking forward to working with my coaching team to make improvements in my own routine ahead of the 2018 season.”

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