It’s no secret that an athlete’s body is a complex machine that requires synergy between the brain and all of the muscles controlled by it. Actions are planned by the brain and evolve over time. This is called temporal processing. Temporal processing is the brains “inner clock” that perceives the timing of events and the relationship in which the body responds to these events. The golf swing is directly impacted by temporal processing due to the need for perception of the golf ball and the action used by your body to hit it.
Listening to music has proven to be an invaluable training tool to improve timing, mental clarity, and mood. Is this something that can be transferred to golf? Timing, mental clarity, and mood are three of the biggest factors in golf, so why not? If a golfer can improve their muscle memory in conjunction with their timing and find a source of focus then I see this as a no-brainer (pun intended).
The question is –what puts wiggle in your step? Metal, R&B, Jazz, Rock? Which genre will provide the most consistent beat in order for your mind and body to sync up? For me, it’s not the direct tempo of the beat that is important, but rather the affect it has. I can’t see the point in trying to play the same song repeatedly in order to match the speed of your swing to the tempo of the song. It really comes down to what style of music puts your body in a natural rhythm. What makes you subconsciously sway in a fluid fashion? What clears your head amidst clutter?
Some take the approach of trying to replicate the situations that they may encounter on the course. With the environmental variables such as a flat range, perfect lays off a matt, and no hazards or tight tree lines would listening to music further hinder the ability to transition from the range to the course? Honestly, the only way to find out is to try and find your groove.
Does music help to improve everyone’s game? I guess this really just depends on the type of person you are and what helps you improve. I’m pretty sure I’d wear a pink tutu if I knew it would help me hit my 4-iron better. For now, I’ll be out on the range with Ms. Norah Jones working on a jazzy smooth swing.
As always, Can someone find my leotard?
By Staff Writer - Bruce McFarlane
Follow Bruce on Twitter @imronburgondy