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Timothy Baghurst1, Tyler Tapps1, Ali Boolani2, Bert H. Jacobson1, & Richard Gill2, 1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma; 2 Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee

It is well documents that music can positively impact athletic performance with faster tempo music generally leading to improved outcomes. However, most research has investigated explosive or endurance activities, and the benefit of music in fine motor control situations are relatively unknown. PURPOSE: Therefore, this study sought to determine whether golf putting accuracy could be improved by listening to music, and whether certain musical genres elicited better performances than others. METHODS: Participants were 22 (8 male, 14 female) university Division 1 golfers of average age 20.3 years and all with a minimum of 8 years of golf experience. Each participant completed a series of 6 trials which comprised of attempting 5 putts at 4 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. RESULTS: A one-way ANOVA revealed a significant difference between no music compared to jazz (F(6,15) = 14.47, p = .001), hip hop/rap (F(6,15) = 4.55, p = .008), classical (F(6,15) = 4.33, p = .01), and country (F(6,15) = 2.82, p = .048). Rock music was not significant but approached significance (F(6,15) = 2.67, p = .058). A second one-way ANOVA compared musical genres to each other, and participants were found to perform significantly better while listening to jazz as opposed to any other musical genre (F(1,20) = 5.04, p = .036). Although male participants were more accurate in all trials, there was no statistical significance between the male putters and female putters (F(5,2) = 6.55, p = .138). CONCLUSION: Regardless of genre, music appears to improve golf putting performance over no music. However, it is apparent that the type of music can also significantly impact outcomes, and jazz appears to be the most effective genre for this group. Future research is needed with a larger sample to determine whether such findings can be replicated. Further, other fine motor skill sports or tasks such as shooting or archery should investigate whether music and specific genres can influence performance.

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