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Golf and
Health
The R&A has worked hard to communicate golf’s health benefits to a global audience – including non-golfers – and underline the role the sport plays in health and social wellbeing.


We have sought to: raise awareness of the health benefits of golf to encourage interest in participation by people of all ages and abilities; improve the sport’s image; and increase advocacy for golf by government agencies and public health bodies.

Working with the likes of the World Health Organization (WHO), the DP World Tour, other golf organisations and respected sports medics like Dr Andrew Murray, we have been involved in new scientific research in the following areas:
  • sponsoring the First International Congress on Golf and Health in London in 2018 and delivering an International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health
  • the sole funder of a Strength and Balance Study
  • supporting a Spectator Study
  • supporting activity to highlight golf’s benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic

What are the Health Benefits from the Research?

  • On average, golfers live five years longer than non-golfers
  • Golf can help prevent and treat 40 major chronic diseases
  • Golf can help strength and balance, improve quality of life and provide aerobic exercise
  • On a regular 18-hole course, most players will walk between four and five miles, burning up to 2,000 calories
  • If you play golf for at least 150 minutes per week you are meeting WHO global exercise guidelines
  • Spectators walk between 5-6 miles on average and burn more than 1,000 calories per day
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Golf and Health | Case Studies

Golf-Health Case Study - Championships

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Golf-Health Case Study - Rachel Ingram

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Golf-Health Case Study - Stewart Harris

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R&A Covid-19 Support Fund

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Golf on Prescription

The Golf on Prescription pilot in Fife has the potential to grow further in 2023, according to leading medics involved in the programme.
The message that golf is open to all has to go out loud and clear.
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“Golf is a lifetime sport, people can start off fairly early on in childhood and carry on for quite a long time, even with some disabilities, so we think the sport is a good exemplar to encourage people to be more active.”
Frank SullivanProfessor of Primary Care Medicine and Medical School Director of Research at the University of St Andrews
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“Golf helps you live longer and be healthier and happier. Anyone can play of all ages and abilities.”

Dr. Andrew Murray

R&A Health Consultant

Health

Golf is Good For You

By maximising the uptake, use and impact of scientific research, it has been consistently highlighted that golf is a health-enhancing activity:
  • at The Open, AIG Women’s Open and leading amateur championships
  • in a comprehensive R&A Golf and Health Report (2016-2020) for global use and translated into Chinese and Japanese
  • raising awareness with global government ministers/ heads of state, national federations and bodies such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf (UK)

Iona Investigates


Golf’s widespread physical, mental and social health benefits have been brought to life in a new video series from The R&A in which broadcaster and presenter Iona Stephen uncovers how playing the sport can help you become fitter, healthier and happier.  At a time when record numbers are now playing golf worldwide, ‘Iona Investigates’ is a three-part series where Stephen learns how people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds are reaping the rewards of playing the sport.
Iona Stephen on a golf course

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