Salivary Cortisol, Testosterone, and T/C Ratio Responses During a 36-hole Golf Competition

Document Type

Journal Article


Georg Thieme Verlag


Computing, Health and Science


Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




This article was originally published as: Doan, B., Newton, R. , Kraemer, W., Kwon, Y., & Scheett, T. (2007). Salivary Cortisol, Testosterone, and T/C ratio Responses during a 36-hole Golf Competition. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 28(6), 470-479. Original article available here


The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of 36 continuous holes of competitive golf on salivary testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio and their relation to performance in eight elite male collegiate golfers (age 20.3 [± 1.5] years). Thirty-six holes of a 54-hole NCAA golf tournament were played on the first day of the competition. A saliva sample was taken 45 minutes prior to the round and immediately following each hole for a total of 37 samples per subject. Time matched baseline samples were collected on a different day to account for circadian variation. Six-hole areas under the curve (AUC) values were calculated for endocrine measures. Significant (p < 0.05) increases were noted for cortisol during competition, however, testosterone did not change during competition compared to baseline. Testosterone-to-cortisol (T/C) ratio was significantly lower throughout the competition compared to baseline measures. Thirty-six-hole AUC testosterone-to-cortisol ratio response was correlated (r = 0.82) to 36-hole score. There was a high correlation between pre-round testosterone (r = 0.71), T/C ratio response (r = 0.82), and 36-hole score. CSAI-2 somatic anxiety was correlated to pre-round cortisol (r = 0.81) and testosterone (r = - 0.80) response. These results indicate a significant hormonal response during 10 hours of competitive golf. Good golf performance (low golf scores) in this competition was related to low T/C ratio (r = .82). Additionally, results from this investigation validated CSAI-2 somatic anxiety with physiological measures of anxiety.




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