The health benefits of playing golf are significant. It is a sport that can be played from four years of age to 104, while even spectating at golf events is good for you.
To help promote the benefits of golf for health, for golfers and non-golfers of all ages and abilities, a first-ever Golf and Health Week proved a success earlier this year, achieving a social reach of 20.1 million.
Staged in April, using the hashtag #GolfHealthWeek, the dedicated campaign was designed to showcase all the different health initiatives taking place across Great Britain and Ireland and beyond and put a focus on them across five days. The week was chosen immediately after the Masters Tournament to capitalise on the early season interest in golf, further boosted by Tiger Woods’ impressive victory.
Focusing primarily on Great Britain and Ireland, the week was co-ordinated by The R&A on behalf of the GB&I Golf Forum Communications Group – a group made up of various golf organisations with a commitment to showcase positive work across the sport. The European Tour, the Ladies European Tour, The Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation, as well as national home associations all supported the week.
Further afield, Golf Australia were among the bodies to give their backing to give the week more international appeal. With a tailored graphic available for organisations, Golf Australia used the attached image to help promote their golf and health activity. This included a video from Shane Luke who told how golf was instrumental in his own rehabilitation – from bone cancer to competing on the biggest stage at The Australian All Abilities Championship presented by ISPS Handa.
Clubs in other countries were also directly involved in the activity, including Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, which hosted a complimentary fitness clinic on the Links driving range during the week.
A number of health-related themes were promoted during each day of the campaign, including:
- Fitness – professionals and amateurs
- Mental health (including dementia)
- Disability golf
- Golf for everyone – featuring various health projects (e.g. Parkinson’s, loneliness, stroke and other programmes that can benefit health)
- Club level – focus at golf clubs (e.g. fitness, food, drink, gym classes)
The dedicated week built on the work of the Golf & Health Project, which since 2016 has studied the many and varied health and wellbeing benefits of golf, considered any risks and had research published regularly in international, peer-reviewed journals.
The Project has the full support of the World Golf Foundation, which comprises the major golfing bodies worldwide, including The R&A, The European Tour, USGA, the Masters Tournament, and their constituent members worldwide.
View more information on the Golf and Health Project: https://www.golfandhealth.org/