It might not feel like it when you are scrabbling around in a gorse bush looking for your Titleist 1 but golf is officially good for your health. Dr Andrew Murray, one of Scotland’s leading sports medicine specialists, is in the middle of a five-year project looking at the benefits of the sport.

And it’s good news for all of us with a recent study in Sweden finding that golfers live on average five years longer than nongolfers, regardless of age or gender.

He said: “People think that is partly to do with physical activity, but there is also the getting out in the fresh air and the social connections and perhaps the benefits you get from that. Golf is something that can be started and played right across a lifetime and I think that is so important.

“I think golf has been substantially undersold – people think you have to do things like go running ultra-marathons to get health benefits.”

There is also good news for those who go and spectate at golf  tournaments with the reasoning that watching most sports involves sitting in your seat and eating and drinking all day.

“With golf people tend  to wander the four miles following their favourite players and potentially doing useful activity.” Supposedly one in four women in England do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per week – way below the recommended amount of 150 minutes per week but quite easily done with work, family and everything else to juggle around.

But when you think that a few holes could help  to prevent and manage chronic conditions and diseases, such as some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression then, no matter our form or the weather, we should all be getting out there.

Golf & Health

The Golf & Health Project released the above graphic to highlight all the benefits and areas of your life golf can impact. It is being supported by the World Golf Foundation to continue to do more research and gather more data.

This project also has gained a lot of pro golfers attention with the like of Brooke Henderson, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Padraig Harrington, So Yeon Ryu, Ryann O’Toole, Zach Johnson and Aaron Baddeley.

Click for more information about the Golf & Health Project

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

Handicap: 8

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