Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Biodynamics


Tim Lee




The goal of this study was to examine the impact of manipulating focus of attention on golf pitching performance in skilled and less skilled golfers. Twenty skilled (handicap less than 6) and twenty less skilled (handicap greater than 20) golfers were asked to pitch 80 golf balls towards a target under two different attentional conditions. The participants were counterbalanced to focus of attention exposure and performed l0 shots at four distances under both foci of attention. In order to reduce the influence of prior perforrnance on shot execution, vision was occluded from the participants upon club contact with the ball. vision was restored after the distance and angle of the ball from the hole was measured, thereby limiting the knowledge of results. The two foci of attention conditions in this study included an extemal and an internal focus of attention. ln the external focus of attention participants were told to concentrate on hitting the pylon target' In the intemal focus of attention condition, golfers were instructed to concentrate on their form, by bending their knees and not gripping the club too tightly. participants were reminded after every third trial of their instructions. In addition, golfers were asked to comment on their performance after each shot based on a 5-point Likert scale. In the case of an extemal focus of attention, golfers were asked to comment on where they felt the ball made initial contact with respect to the target center. In the internal focus of attention condition. participants were asked to comment on how much body force they had utilized in the shot just executed. This was done in an attempt to foster the appropriate focus of attention, and to ensure that participants were indeed attending to their assigned focus. Results of this study indicate that focus of attention manipulation can indeed influence performance on a golf pitching task. Skilled golfers appear to benefit from an extemal focus of attention. Contrary to popular focus of attention theory, however, it appears as though novices may benefit from being instructed to focus on their body movements rather than the effects of their movements.

McMaster University Library