Sleep Apnea May Be Raising Your Golf Handicap

Brushy Creek photo by Drew Kolb http://www.flickr.com/photos/drewkolb/If you’re a golfer lowering your handicap and improving your game is almost an obsession.

You may well be one of those people who eat, sleep, and think ‘golf’ 24 hours a day. You may go out and spend money on drivers and putters, time on the driving range, or even pro lessons, only to see little to any real improvement in your game.

It’s quite possible you are overlooking something, something simple and perhaps, something you assumed was completely unrelated in any way to your golf game. That missing piece of your golf puzzle could very well be untreated sleep apnea.

Letting Sleep Apnea Go Untreated

Golf is a game that relies very heavily on cognitive function, special recognition, attention span and memory. These things are typically the first things to suffer when you allow sleep apnea to go untreated.

A study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that golfers who began treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure machine (or CPAP) lowered their golf handicap by as much as 31%.

This team of researchers looked at the effect of CPAP therapy on the handicap index of 41 golfers who suffered from sleep apnea. The control group had their score monitored over 20 rounds of golf, both before and after using a CPAP machine.

A Better Night’s Sleep, A Better Day on the Greens

Because more oxygen got to the brain at night, and because the amount of restful sleep the golfers actually got every night also increased, the average golf score started to improve almost immediately. Averaging out the overall improved scores within the control group, an average percentage of improvement was determined.

So, if you suffer from sleep apnea and you haven’t been diagnosed or treated, and you are also a golfer, this should be an even better reason to get proactive about it. Remember as well that it’s not just your golf game that’s sure to improve but your health and the overall quality of your life as well.

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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