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11-12-2014

Want to Improve Your Putt? Try Listening to Jazz

Listening to jazz music while putting can boost your performance on the putting green, according to new university research.

Ali BoolaniWhile any kind of music improves performance compared to listening to no music at all, jazz is the most effective musical genre for improving putting, according to a study, which was recently published in the Journal of Athletic Enhancement.

The 22 participants in the research were university Division I golfers, an average of 20 years old with at least eight years of golf experience. Each of them completed a series of six trials, which comprised attempting five putts at four pre-designated locations around a hole. In a randomized order, participants were required to listen to either no music or a musical genre that included classical, country, rock, jazz, and hip hop/rap while putting.

Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies Ali Boolani says that music can enhance performance in other sports too. "Other research has shown that country music improves batting, rap music improves jump shots and running is improved by any up-temp music. But the benefit of music in fine motor control situations was relatively unknown. Hopefully, this is the first step in answering this question."



Boolani conducted the study along with Assistant Professor Timothy Baghurst, Assistant Professor Tyler Tapps, and Regents Professor Bert H. Jacobson of Oklahoma State University, and student Richard Gill of Tennessee State University.

The paper indicates that future research will be needed with a larger sample to see if the findings can be replicated.

See the research abstract in the Journal of Athletic Enhancement: Vol. 3: Issue 5 at http://scitechnol.com/the-influence-of-musical-genres-on-putting-accuracy-in-golf-an-exploratory-study-vMmE.pdf .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Listening to jazz music while putting can boost your performance on the green, according to new university research. Above, Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies Ali Boolani listens to jazz on the green.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/aboolani-putting.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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