Salivary Cortisol, Testosterone, and T/C Ratio Responses During a 36-hole Golf Competition
Georg Thieme Verlag
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
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.