Scottish European tour professionals experiences of playing and developing towards the European tour
: through the lens of a constraints-led approach

  • Peter Arnott

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


It has been suggested that sports expertise is the ability of skilled athletes to guide their anticipatory responses by using the available predictive information and being mediated by the constraints placed upon them. It is, therefore, important that, during development, the performance constraints experienced are 'representative' of the experiences of competition (see Brunswick, 1956). However, it can be said that the amateur level of golf is not representative of the constraints experienced at the professional level, which creates an issue for golfers transitioning between these levels.

The purpose of this current study was to capture the constraints affecting performance of current and former Scottish European Tour golf professionals (SETP) when developing towards and then playing on the European Tour (ET).

The participants in this study consisted of seven former and current European Tour golf professionals (ETP) (1-10 years tour experience), each of whom took part in an in-depth semi-structured interview. All of the interviews were transcribed and then subjected to line-by-line thematic analysis to identify key themes. These were confirmed with measures of both inter-rater and participant reliability.

Four main themes were identified: (1) Golf Courses; (2) Practice on the European Tour; (3) Playing on the European Tour, and (4) Sociocultural Constraints. The major findings of this study suggest that potential European Tour players should seek training and competitive environments that are more representative, in order to facilitate an easy transition from Amateur to Professional Golf, potentially increasing the likelihood of success. It is important to develop these findings and to explore the effectiveness of a representative task design for golfers developing towards or playing on the European Tour.
Date of Award22 May 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorRoss Lorimer (Supervisor) & Ashley Williams (Supervisor)


  • Constraints-led
  • European Tour Golfer
  • Skill Acquisition
  • Ecological Psychology
  • Representatitive Learning Environment

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