The R&A - Working for Golf

Golf and Health

The health benefits of playing golf are significant. It is a sport that can be played from 4 to 104, while even spectating at golf events is good for your health.

The R&A is stepping up its efforts to widely communicate the health benefits of golf for all ages and abilities, building on significant robust research and key findings.

The Golf & Health Project, supported by the World Golf Foundation which comprises the major golfing bodies worldwide including The R&A, USGA and the European Tour, has been working hard to show the overall health benefits of the sport, both physically and mentally.

Golf & Health

The Project has sought to raise awareness of the health benefits of golf in order to increase participation among golfers and non-golfers, improve the public image of the sport and increase support for golf in the political arena.

As a partner in the World Golf Foundation, The R&A has played a key role in the activity, notably supporting the work of researchers at the University of Edinburgh – fronted by lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, the Chief Medical Officer for the European Tour.

The Golf and Health work has been supported by a number of leading golf figures past and present, including Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam and Padraig Harrington.

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London Declaration

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London Declaration

Research Review

Strength & Balance

London Declaration

The 1st International Congress on Golf and Health is to be staged in London in October 2018.

The R&A is the sole funder of the Congress, with the objective to increase interest and participation in the sport by helping players, potential players, the golf industry and policy makers understand what actions can lead to better health, through golf.

The event will include a breakfast meeting on the Health Benefits of Golf to be held at the International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress, before the ‘London Declaration’ at the Houses of Parliament.

The event is designed to highlight golf’s positive impact on health and how this can be best realised, through the support of policy makers.

The Congress builds on the 2018 International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health to guide action by people, policymakers and the golf industry, which was published in September 2018 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Click the below related inforgraphics for more information:

Playing golf can make you healthier & happier

Actions for policy/decision makers

What can the golf industry/facilities do to maximise the health benefits of golf?

Research Review

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London Declaration

Research Review

Strength & Balance

Research Review

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh – fronted by lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray – conducted the largest and most comprehensive study of golf and health.

The evidence, from 5,000 studies on golf and health, was presented in the world-leading British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2016 and found that playing golf can increase life expectancy, reduce the risk of major diseases and improve mental health.

Click HERE  to read the Scoping Review.

40% Reduction in Mortality Rates

One paper, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, found a 40 per cent reduction in mortality rates among 300,000 members of the Swedish Golf Federation, corresponding to an increase in life expectancy of about five years.

Strength & Balance

WHS_Image_13

London Declaration

Research Review

Strength & Balance

Strength & Balance

The R&A is the sole funder of a ‘Strength and Balance’ project which is researching the uniqueness of golf in offering muscle strengthening, improved balance and aerobic exercise.

The objective is to provide scientific evidence that there are ‘golf specific’ strength and balance benefits to improve quality of life and so encourage policy makers to recommend golf in this context.

Pilot studies in the USA and the UK suggest that older golfers may develop the necessary strength and balance by playing golf.

The study has been designed by two experienced and well respected leaders in their field, with the results of the research to be published and reported in 2019.

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