Written by Benjamin Potter | Creative Director | CLICKON Media
Inspired by a University of Chicago professor’s study on stressed out athletes, CLICKON’s creative team put an experiment together that tested the effect of alcohol on people’s golf skills. One of the most potent killers in golf is overthinking. With over 10,000 thoughts crossing a golfer’s mind per round, it’s no wonder that they struggle to find fairways and greens in regulation.
During her study, Professor Bellock observed several adult athletes and contrasted their performance with that of an average 10-year-old. Results showed that the 10-year-old often fared much better because of an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex. This causes children to rely more on their senses than their mind. The adults often suffered from “paralysis by analysis” syndrome where they were literally crippled by overthinking.
In a bold new content piece, CLICKON had three experienced golfers arrive at a training facility in Los Angeles where they were put through their paces. The aim was to see if – through different levels of intoxication – we could get them to return to the childlike state that makes kids play sport with greater freedom.
In the first round, each contestant hit several golf shots sober. As predicted, their distance and dispersion was consistent with their handicaps. In round 2, we turned up the heat and gave them three shots of vodka before having them return to the testing bay. Astonishingly, all three golfers improved drastically on distance and accuracy off the tee, with one of the players gaining almost 40 yards. Round 3 was the ultimate test. Another three shots of vodka was followed by more testing, but by this time their prefrontal cortexes hadn’t become just “underdeveloped,” they had become seriously deranged. Their distance and accuracy fell off a cliff to a level now worse than round 1.
The conclusion was that alcohol has a positive effect on a person’s golf game, but too much of it can lead to a distinct drop in performance. Alcohol literally bled the tension from our participants.
The piece went live on CLICKON Golf on 07.08 to our audience of over 1.5 million golfers in North America and Europe.