Factor 1: Competition Golf
Competition golf is the only time you can play in order to contribute a round to your handicap here in Australia. Most club competition golf is played in the morning, from 6am – 11am. Of these hours, the calmest part of the day is usually at daybreak. I’ve lost track of the number of times the conditions have greatly changed around about 10am for the worse.
Summary: Conditions for better golf is usually earlier in the day.
Factor 2: Human Physiology
Scientific research has shown evidence to support a wide variety of circadian rhythms in people – as we all know, some of us are morning people, some of us are night owls. New research by Dave Collins’ lab at the University of Alberta (himself a keen golfer) has shown morning people’s strength remains fairly constant all day however the strength of night owl’s peak later in the day. I realise golf is not all about strength but other research has shown the same pattern when looking at reaction time and concentration.
Summary: Nightowls have increased concentration and have better coordination later in the day.
The idea is a crazy one and needs some more specific research but the thought has occurred out of years of frustration being forced to play morning golf for my handicap to change. I’m not the only golfer who prefers afternoon golf. Hopefully future Australian golf handicapping changes will allow for all rounds of golf to contribute to a golfers handicap so those of us with an aversion to mornings can compete on an equal footing.