Submitted by Justin Barnes, Scott P. Barnicle and Amber M. Lee
Golf is a game played and enjoyed by millions, yet this enjoyment can quickly turn to frustration when psychological factors become overwhelming. More important, how one chooses to play and behave on the golf course may provide benefits to professional development if practiced properly. Grounded in sport enjoyment theory (Scanlan & Lewthwaite, 1986; Stodel, 2004), this study examines the difference in the psychological factors, which contribute to sport enjoyment and stress in female amateur golfers. With support from five state golf associations, this mixed-methods study (n=50) demonstrated statistically significant results regarding the socialization process of females in golf participation to better understand the purpose of a round, and to enjoy the experience more, regardless of performance. This research can help golf organizations such as the PGA and LPGA of America, PGM Programs, and developmental academies improve training and tailor instruction and marketing strategies to female recreational and professional golf populations. In addition, this research could serve as a guide to individuals, especially females who may use golf as a catalyst to enhance professional development as well as provide understanding to the positive relational impact a round of golf may have on participants.