Benefits of golf practices for physical progress of female students

PhD, Associate Professor A.N. Korolkov1
V.G. Chebin2
V.B. Anisimov3
R.R. Khayarov3
1Moscow City Pedagogical University, Moscow
2Golf Club "Eagle Hills", Krasnoyarsk
3Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk

Keywords: women’s sports, academic sports, individualizing, physical qualities, cluster analysis, health.

Background. Golf has lately been on the rise in our country both as a popular health physical activity and sport discipline. The Russian Golf Association has approved the National Golf Development Program for the period up to 2020 to facilitate progress of the discipline at the Children and Youth Sport Schools, groups and sections in the advanced education school system; and run mass golf sport events in the student/ school communities with every health group being represented including people with health impairments.

With the growing popularity of the mass golf sport in Russia, the theoretical and practical provisions for the sport are being advanced as well, with the following federal standards for golf discipline approved for the last few years: Sample Golf Training Program; Physical Education Program for Golf-prioritizing Educational Institutions; Golf Training Aid for People with Disabilities; plus many other theoretical and practical provisions [3, 6-8].

As provided by a few study reports [4, 5], mass sporting initiatives facilitate progress of elite sports and the sports-driven health improvement projects with multiple benefits both for golf elite and amateur/ mass sport groups. It should be mentioned that presently the foreign golf communities are dominated by academic golfers, with their numbers exceeding 50% of the total golf population in some countries [3]; and that is the reason why the Russian Federation should give a special priority to the academic golf development initiatives. It is important in this context that lately golf was listed in the Russian Golf Competitions and University Games programs. It is clear that the situation requires from academic golf to be advanced by the progress facilitating theoretical and practical provisions including special projects and training models, with the academic golf discipline designed to complement the standard academic Physical Education curricula. 

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a new academic golf model for the 18-20 year old female students; find the physical qualities and physical fitness factors required for progress in academic women’s golf sport; and assess benefits of the student golfers being split up into the primary fitness groups for the golf training model being duly customized for the physical fitness classes.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the academic female golfers (n=57) from Siberian Federal University (SFU) in Krasnoyarsk. As required by the standard golf basics mastering course [1], physical fitness and coordination qualities of every golfer were tested on a phased basis every semester by the following tests: standing long jump test; prone push-ups test; body twists with elbows touching opposite knee; 1kg stuffed ball both-hands throw test; complicated Romberg test; and the standing leans test. The test data were input into digital table forms for five semesters of 2015-17 to form a database of 1710 test rates.

Results and discussion. The new golf training model was found beneficial for progress of the trainees as verified by virtually in every test showing significant progress. Thus the standing long jump test rates were good enough for the GTO bronze badge; prone push-up test rates for the GTO silver badge; and the standing lean test rates – for the GTO gold badge; with a special progress made in the vestibular balancing qualities – i.e. the total physical fitness of the sample was significantly improved. We also computed the Spearman correlation ratios to rate the pre- versus post-experimental (pre-1-semester versus post-5-semester) progress.

Furthermore, the correlations of the test data arrays were found to grow with the golf trainings. Thus the pre-experimental test data analysis found only 7 monotonous correlations out of 15 possible – versus 12 correlations found by the post-experimental tests. This means that the pre-golf physical fitness rates including the coordination qualities were largely uncorrelated/ disharmonized, and the gold trainings facilitated the key physical qualities and fitness rates being harmonized to form the basic skills, with one physical quality/ skill driving progress of the other in fact. It may be pertinent to mention that the same finding was made by the tests of the all-round physical fitness of the professional golf players [2]. It is important to emphasize that multiannual golf practices facilitate the physical qualities, skills and coordination abilities of the players being developed on a harmonic basis.

The pre- versus post-experimental test data arrays were analyzed by the standard factorial analytical toolkit to find changes in the factorial structure of the pre- versus post-training physical fitness rates. The pre-experimental physical fitness rates were dominated by five factors covering virtually 100% of the dispersion range including: all-round physical fitness rates produced by standing long jump, push-ups, body twist and standing lean tests; special physical fitness rates produced by the stuffed ball throw test; and specific physical qualities related factor determined by the speed, flexibility, and the trunk/ upper limb muscle groups fitness rates.

The factorial structure of the physical fitness was found to change with the trainings as demonstrated by post-experimental (post-5-semester) test data factorial analysis. We found only 3 factors covering 84% of the dispersion range, with the first factor referring to the all-round physical fitness tested by virtually every above test; second factor referring to the golf-specific physical fitness that could be good enough prior to the experiment in some players as rated by mostly by the body twist and upper limbs physicality tests; and the third factor was also golf-specific and referring to the body twisting qualities and abdomen/ dorsal muscles fitness rates. The long-term golf practices, therefore, were found to excel the golf-specific physical fitness with improvements in the all-round (golf-unspecific) physical fitness – mostly in the flexibility, speed and strength domains, plus the golf-specific physical qualities.

The cluster analysis with the Euclidean distance metrics and divisive dynamic condensation tools applied to profile the input data – made it possible to group the sample into four clusters within the orthogonal coordinate system of the factor space, with every cluster having its own average test data range.

The sample clustering facilitated the cluster training systems being duly customized for the groups to develop their key muscle groups and improve the golf-specific physical qualities, fitness and skills. Grouped with Cluster I were the students lagging behind in the standing long jump and body twist tests. Cluster II was composed of the students leading in the standing long jump, body twist and standing lean tests. Cluster III was composed of the students rated medium by the standing long jump and body twist tests. And Cluster IV was formed of the students rated excellent by the latter two tests. The cluster analysis showed benefits of the approach to split up women golfers into the physical-fitness-specific clusters based on the specific test data to facilitate progress in every cluster by the individualized and specific physical training models.

Conclusion. The proposed golf training model complementing the standard academic Physical Education service curricula was found beneficial as verified by the physical progress of the sample. It is important that every physical quality, skill and coordination ability was found to excel on a harmonized basis. The multiannual golf practices were found to shape up the specific physical fitness with its high flexibility, strength and speed rates plus special physical qualities critical for competitive progress. It was found beneficial to have a sample split up into the stage-specific clusters based on the specific physical fitness tests. Such clustering was found to facilitate the physical training systems being effectively customized to the actual physical fitness to offer specific progress paths for the groups.


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The article analyzes the multiannual study data on benefits of golf practices for physical progress of female students at Siberian Federal University in Krasnoyarsk city. Physical fitness of the 18-20 year-olds was tested for five semesters, with the test data processed by the descriptive statistic tools and analyzed by the correlation/ factorial/ cluster analyses. The study data and analyzes have demonstrated benefits of the golf practices as verified by the physical progress of the sample in a variety of physical and movement coordination qualities and skills. The long-term golf practices were found to shape up the specific physical fitness with its high flexibility, strength and speed rates plus special physical qualities critical for competitive progress. It was found beneficial to have the sample grouped into the stage-specific clusters based on the specific physical fitness test rates. Such clustering facilitates the physical training systems being effectively customized to the actual physical fitness to offer specific progress paths for the groups.