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Health benefits of Golf

The Golf and Health Project, supported by The R&A and the World Golf Foundation and its partners, has produced and published high quality science that evidences golf’s physical and mental health benefits to provide information to existing golfers, non-golfers, golf bodies and policy makers.

Dr Roger Hawkes, executive director of the project explains in this video with the help of professional golfers, researchers and policy makers the significant public health benefits of golf.

Dr Andrew Murray’s PhD focused on golf and health, providing us with much of the original research as demonstrated in the scoping review article below which is summarised in the infographic, and explained further in the video and BJSM podcast below.

The relationships between golf and health: a scoping review
Golf and Health

In 2018, an international consensus statement on Golf and Health was published in the BJSM to help guide action by people, policymakers and the golf industry to realise the health benefits of golf while minimising injury. It is discussed in more detail in this BJSM with Dr Andrew Murray. 2018 International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health to guide action by people, policymakers and the golf industry

Furthermore, a recent international study by Professor Maria Stokes, OBE (University of Southampton) and Dr George Salem (University of Southern California) backed by The R&A has found golf can improve muscle strength and balance amongst older participants. Strength and Balance Benefits in Golf

The R&A published The R&A Golf and Health Report (2016-2020) which provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of the health enhancing benefits of golf. It summarises the scientific research and details case studies considering the impact of the golf and health movement. It also highlights future opportunities, including the possibility of golf on prescription.

Vivien Hamilton’s story from The R&A is just one example of how golf can aid recovery after serious illness.

One project which has taken these health benefits to heart is Golf In Society. This is a group that arranges golf for older adults with health conditions including dementia, Parkinson’s disease and depression to improve health in later life.

Public Health