The Effect of a Hypnosis Intervention on Performance and Flow State of an Elite Golfer: A Single Subject Design

John Pates, Andrew Cowen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article


This study examined the effects of a hypnosis intervention on the performance and flow state experiences of an elite European Tour male golfer. The experimental effect was assessed during 11 competitive golf events. Performance and flow data were analyzed using a single-subject design combined with a procedure to monitor the golfer's internal experience (Wollman, 1986). The results indicated there were two overlapping data points between baseline and intervention for his performance score and one overlapping data point for his flow score. The qualitative data revealed hypnosis may help golfers self-regulate on the golf course during competition. In the field of applied sports psychology, hypnosis based interventions are rarely used as a performance enhancing technique. This is surprising because there are a number of controlled studies that indicate hypnosis interventions have a notable performance enhancing effect on different athletic populations. For example, research conducted by Barker and Jones (2005, 2006, 2008) has highlighted that hypnosis can be used to enhance the performance of footballers, cricketers and martial artists. In addition, other researchers have discovered hypnosis improved the performance of badminton
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Golf Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • flow
  • golfers
  • hypnosis
  • performance

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