Campaign to raise awareness of health benefits of golf to take place

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire March 19, 2019 13:09

A major week-long R&A backed campaign to raise awareness of the health benefits of playing golf will begin the day after the Masters ends next month.

The first ever Golf and Health Week will take place from April 15 to 19, and will aim to encourage golfers, non-golfers and lapsed golfers of all ages into taking part in the sport.

The collaborative campaign will run across digital and social media channels using the hashtag #GolfHealthWeek and include content focused on highlighting the physical and mental health benefits of playing golf and projects being delivered by golf bodies and clubs.

Focusing primarily on Great Britain and Ireland, it will be co-ordinated by The R&A with the support of the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour, The Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation, as well as national associations including England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union.

A number of other organisations have expressed interest in supporting the week, including EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), the PGAs of Europe and Golf Australia.

The campaign is also to be backed by professional golfers including Annika Sorenstam, Brooke Henderson, Padraig Harrington and Zach Johnson, who are ambassadors for the Golf and Health Project.

The dedicated week builds on the work of the Golf and 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.

Previous research has also highlighted that those that play golf live five years longer than those that don’t play, while the sport has been shown to have self-esteem and self-worth benefits.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: “It is important that we continue to promote golf as an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities and demonstrate that playing golf can provide significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of those who participate in the sport.

“We are working closely with our affiliated national associations and partners to produce an engaging and inspiring campaign which will drive interest in playing the sport and encourage people to take advantage of the health benefits that golf can bring.”

To drive interest and encourage activity in the days before the dedicated week, golfers will be asked to tweet their steps achieved and calories burned from any golf they play, again using #GolfHealthWeek. The week then finishes on Good Friday at club level, with golfers to be encouraged to head for the fairways over the Easter holiday weekend.

“Wales Golf welcomes this initiative from The R&A and we are looking forward to playing a full part,” said chief executive Wales Golf chief executive Richard Dixon.

“Golf is a sport with life-long health benefits, nowhere is that more true than Wales – from the links courses to those in the hills and valleys.

“I am sure golfers in Wales will look forward to being involved in this initiative. We have projects in Wales which have shown great improvements in people’s health and wellbeing.

“We will be using the week help promote the lasting benefits and promote clubs schemes that will encourage more people to take up the this great game.”

The main themes to be promoted during the week of the campaign will be:

  • Monday 15 April: Fitness – professionals and amateurs
  • Tuesday 16 April: Mental health (including dementia)
  • Wednesday 17 April: Disability golf
  • Thursday 18 April: Golf for everyone – featuring various health projects (such as Parkinson’s, loneliness, stroke and other programmes that can benefit health)
  • Friday 19 April: Club level – focus at golf clubs (such as fitness, food, drink, gym classes).

Members of parliament have also hailed the inaugural Golf and Health Week.

A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons by All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group co-chair, Stephen Gethins MP, welcoming the announcement, and expressing hope “that more people will be encouraged to take part in this fantastic sport and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that participation offers.”

He said: “Thanks to the Golf and Health Project, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation and supported by The R&A, we now have robust scientific evidence that golf delivers health benefits for people of all ages as health-enhancing physical activity and a preventer of a range of non-communicable diseases.

“I hope that Golf and Health Week will help to promote the sport as one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, as well as highlighting the significant health and wellbeing benefits that participants enjoy.”

Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire and All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group co-chair, Craig Tracey MP, who has a regular column in The Golf Business, said: “Golf and Health Week is a very welcome initiative, which I am sure will encourage more people to get involved with the sport and enjoy the health benefits that golf provides.

Craig Tracey MP

“The All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group looks forward to working with stakeholders from across the sport to promote Golf and Health Week, and to continue to introduce more people to the game.”

The full text of the motion is: ‘That this House welcomes the announcement of the first ever Golf and Health week taking place from 15-19 April, which aims to encourage golfers, non-golfers and lapsed golfers into taking part in the sport; recognises the significant and robust scientific research undertaken into the health benefits of the sport by the Golf and Health Project, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation and supported by The R&A; hails the many and varied health and wellbeing benefits of golf; congratulates The R&A on coordinating Golf and Health Week, as well as the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour, The Professional Golfers’ Association, the Golf Foundation, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union for supporting; encourages all to get behind Golf and Health Week, to highlight the physical and mental health benefits of playing golf through projects delivered by golf bodies and clubs; and hopes that more people will be encouraged to take part in this fantastic sport and enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits that participation offers.’

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire March 19, 2019 13:09
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3 Comments

  1. matt March 20, 14:10

    Great initiative by The R&A

    Reply to this comment
  2. Geoff March 21, 12:05

    The Nation’s Largest Organization of Certified Golf Teaching Professionals

    Reply to this comment
  3. Vijay March 21, 14:16

    Congrats and all the best

    Reply to this comment
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