RSM continues researching golfers at European Championship

09 June 2017 3 min. read
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Consulting network RSM has commenced its second phase of research into elite golf players' behaviour, as part of the firm's wider sponsorship of the European Tour. The group's ambassadors Andy Sullivan and Paul Lawrie will also be in action during the competition.

The BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of golf’s world-renowned European Tour, is played each May in the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. This year’s BMW PGA, won by Swede Alex Noren – setting a course record in the process – was officially sponsored by professional services firm RSM. The firm is now also engaged in the second phase of its research project as part of the wider sponsorship deal with European Championship.

The first phase of the research, which aims to “understand how the preparation and routine of elite players can affect their performance,” saw the firm collect data related to the time players spent over the ball, for which it collected 7,672 putts, 4,434 drives, 6,693 approach shots and 1,242 tee shots.

RSM begins second phase of European Championship research

Now, RSM analysts will examine data collected by 40 volunteers related to the players’ routines prior to addressing the ball, including their pre-round preparation on the course and practice area. 20 of the European Tour players are participating in the research, including the firm’s RSM ambassadors, professional golfers Andy Sullivan and Paul Lawrie who rank T30 and T67 in the tournament respectively after the fourth round of the tour in Surrey.

Following the data collection process, the firm’s data analysis team, led by Matt Bridge from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham, will leverage various techniques to identify how various behaviours affect performance.

Remarking on the study, Bridge said, “This is the very first study of its type looking at the behaviour of elite players in Professional Tournaments and how this affects their game. Already, the data we collected during the pilot phase has revealed some surprising findings. For example, we now know that players who are under par tend to spend less time over the ball than players who are level or over par. With the new data we are collecting we will start to understand how behavioural changes can affect shot outcomes.”

Three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan, a former Ryder Cup team member and one of RSM’s ambassadors in the European Tour, said of the study, “Every player on the European Tour has their own style and technique but in such a competitive environment, we are all focused on how we can improve. I hope this study will help me better understand my game and put me in the best position to optimise my performance on the course.”