Browsing Sport and Exercise Sciences by Authors
'Friends as enemies': A sociological analysis of the relationship among touring professional golfersFry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (SAGE, 2015-08-06)This paper examines the relationship among male touring professional golfers from a figurational sociological standpoint. The paper is based on 20 interviews from players with experience playing at various levels on the EPGA professional tours and a level ‘above’ that. The results indicate a workplace culture where many begin to adopt the attitudes and behaviors that encourage the development of networks of temporary ‘we-group’ alliances. The ‘touring’ aspects of professional golf means many players strive to forge these alliances to help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and homesickness while away for long periods of time. Such stresses are intensified given the globalization of sport generally and the associated increases in labor market migration that has become commonplace. The urge to develop friendship networks constrains players to behave in a manner expected of them rather than in a way that reflects their actual emotions, such as maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times like spells of poor performances and time away from their families. The relationships among players on tour is, however, non-permanent and/or partially changeable. Players are ‘friends’, characterized by togetherness and camaraderie, while, at the same, showing evidence of tensions and conflict as they are ultimately in direct competition with each other for a share of the overall prize money. Key words: professional golf, workplace relations, sport labor migration, figurational sociology, friendship networks
‘Life in the Travelling Circus’: A Study of Loneliness, Work Stress, and Money Issues in Touring Professional GolfFry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Myerscough College; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2017-06-31)This article examines the effects of globalization on the well-being of migrant professional athletes. Interviews with 20 touring professional golfers reveal that players experience many of the personal problems – such as loneliness, isolation, low decision latitude, low social support, and effort-reward imbalance – which have been identified as “strong predictors of mental ill-health” (Leka & Jain, 2010, p. 65). Feelings of loneliness and isolation developed as players were regularly apart from family and friends, and spent most of their time with other golfers whom they had somewhat superficial relationships with. These feelings coupled with, for many, uncertain income generated through golf added further to their work-related anxieties. Overall, results highlight the importance of considering how workplace anxieties and vulnerabilities impact on athlete migrants’ health and well-being.
Professional golf - A license to spend money? Issues of money in the lives of touring professional golfersFry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Pritchard, Ian; Myerscough College ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (SAGE, 2014-11-14)Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines issues of money that are central to touring professional golfers’ workplace experiences. Based on interviews with 16 professionals, results indicate the monetary rewards available for top golfers continues to increase, however, such recompense is available to relatively small numbers and the majority fare poorly. Results suggest that playing on tour with other like-minded golfers fosters internalized constraints relating to behaviour, referred to as ‘habitus’, whereby many players ‘gamble’ on pursuing golf as their main source of income despite the odds against them. Golfers are constrained to develop networks with sponsors for financial reasons which has left some players with conflicting choices between regular money, and adhering to restrictive contractual agreements, or the freedom to choose between different brands.