Sports Science

Morning is not the best time for low golf scores

Updated: 2011-05-23T04:41:33Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Golfers have a brand-new excuse for why they didn’t do better on the links.

It was too early in the morning.

According to the New York Times, golfers are not at their best in the morn.

“From a circadian rhythm standpoint, 6:30 in the morning is the worst possible time to play golf,” said Dr. Charles Czeisler, the director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told the Times. “It would be the absolute nadir of performance preparedness. You will be less flexible, your coordination will be off a little, your judgment will not be as good and your short-term memory would be affected.

“I know it’s less crowded so it might be more enjoyable, but it’s very far from the optimal time to play if you’re talking about performance.”

It was noted that there have been studies done that show that the best time for athletes is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. That’s the peak time for muscular strength, mental acuity, flexibility and the most favorable body temperatures for athletic activity.

While golfers have to get to the course when they have the time, the morning hours leave much to be desired.

“People try to fix that by downing a couple of cups of coffee, but that probably isn’t a good idea for golf,” Czeisler told the Times. “Caffeine adversely affects fine motor movements and can produce tremors in your hands. Any precise golf maneuver could be affected.”


| Pete Grathoff, pgrathoff@kcstar.com

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