Do you want to be a professional golfer?

Practice 10,000 hours, and you’ll be well on your way, according to one study by the University of Zurich.


It's a safe guess that Tiger has a lot of gray matter in his brain. (Image: VonDrehle/Flickr)

tigertiger1In the study, MRI results indicated that there were significant differences in the structure–and the total volume of gray matter–of professional golfers and advanced golfers with handicaps between 1 and 14.

According to the study, and based on interviews with the golfers, the change in brain structure comes somewhere between 800 and 3,000 hours of practice. This is the point when effective muscle memory takes over, and all the hours of trial-and-error repetition begin to pay off.

Golfers who start young and practice regularly can grow brain cells while shrinking their handicap, says Dan Peterson of Live Science Sports.  So, bottom line: If you begin playing as a kid and can devote 10,000 hours to the game, you, too, can be like Tiger.

Good luck with that.