Putting is paramount to performance in golf and differentiates low and high achievers in the sport. In the present study, we compared the heart rate, respiration rate, and galvanic skin response for missed and holed putts performed by 13 skilled male golfers from a 12-ft (3.65-m) distance. Contrary to our expectations, no significant effects were observed for heart rate and respiration rate, likely because skilled athletes (a) engage in preperformance routines and are able to control their breathing rhythms, which in turn influence their heart rate; and (b) physiological responses are idiosyncratic, akin to the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning framework. Congruent with our expectations, we observed a significant effect for galvanic skin response, with higher values observed for missed putts. This effect was robust to individual differences and suggests that biofeedback interventions aimed at enhancing awareness of autonomous physiological responses can be beneficial for performance enhancement in golf putting.

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