Coffee has many benefits like combating fatigue, helping you burn fat and the ability to make you happy; however there is a new benefit that come as a surprise.

Caffeine helps you improve your golf game by shaving strokes off your score, according to a small study.

Lead author, Petey. W Mumford of the Auburn University in Alabama said that there are not many studies which look at how caffeine could affect your golf game as most studies focus on endurance sports.

As golf tournaments involve endurance, stamina and mental and physical fatigue as professional golfers would have to walk up to 8km over a time period of four hours just for a round of golf.

Researchers studied 12 male golfers with a handicap (“a measure of a golfer’s current ability over an entire round of golf, signified by a number. The lower the number, the better the golfer is) of three to 18 as they played for two days in-succession for a 36-hole tournament.

As the golfers were already used to consuming coffee daily, researchers told them to refrain from any source of caffeine on each golf day and were told to eat two meals, two hours prior to play.

Once they arrived they had to provide a urine sample and were fitted with a device to track their health throughout the day.

Players were randomly selected to take a caffeine supplement of 155 milligrams (equivalent of one cup of coffee) or a placebo. Their first dose was given before they were driven to tee-off point by a research assistant who gathered in-round golf data and carried their clubs.

Before playing, the golfers had to fill-in an energy and mood questionnaire, after playing 9 holes they had to walk without the use of a golf cart and were administered with another dose of caffeine supplement or placebo.

They also ate a normal meal to balance out any decreases in blood sugar, and had to complete a second mood and energy questionnaire.

Results?

“For each round of golf, the players in the caffeine group had an average score of almost 77 strokes compared to more than 79 for the placebo group, as reported in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Men in the caffeine group also reported more energy and less fatigue on their questionnaires.”

Getting your score lower by one stroke could make a big difference as it could be the deciding factor on whether you get into the tournament or not.

For more accuracy, researchers conducted an accuracy assessment and found that ‘players in the caffeine group tended to get more balls on the green and have less distance remaining to the hole than the placebo group.’

If you’re thinking about using coffee as a supplement to better your golf game, researchers do suggest that you need to consult a doctor before implementing it as part of your diet; as high doses could increase your heart rate and high-blood pressure.

Sources: Medical Daily, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Alice Paulse