In their own words: Steve Mona

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 11, 2017 15:39

The chief executive of the World Golf Foundation details the health benefits of golf

Did you know that walking 18 holes is equal to a five-mile walk or 3.5-to-four-mile run? Or that you can burn up to 2,000 calories by playing golf and walking 18-holes? World Golf Foundation is proud to support initiatives that grow and celebrate our game, such as the Golf & Health Project.

New research about the health benefits of golf spectating were recently announced by the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Golf & Health Project. The findings showed those who attend golf events could potentially experience similar exercise to those playing in the tournaments.

The study is the first to evaluate a fan’s physical activity while watching golf live. Of the spectators surveyed, nearly 83 per cent met the recommended daily step-count levels by achieving on average 11,589 steps at the European Tour’s 2016 Paul Lawrie Match Play.

Since releasing this info, Golf & Health Project research has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and BMJ Open Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Those surveyed rated exercise as an important reason for attending golf tournaments, equal to seeing star players, being part of the ‘atmosphere’ around an event and getting fresh air. Additionally, 60 per cent said they would like to be more physically active after the matches. With more than 10 million people attending golf tournaments each year, these findings are an additional vehicle to boost attendance at professional events.

Steve Mona. Photo by Stan Badz / PGA TOUR

Researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, urges golf executives to emphasise the physical aspects of golf spectating.

“Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health, adding years to life and increasing health and happiness,” said Murray. “These pilot findings show golf spectators can experience physical activity to benefit their health while watching a top-quality sport at close quarters. This could have huge implications on event attendance and encourage more people to attend a professional event or begin playing the sport.”

These reasons for attending tournaments could have benefits for event promoters in terms of engagement with spectators, local communities and funding organisations, along with wider public health implications in encouraging people to be more active, more often.

This kind of positive news is exciting to spread throughout the golf industry and to broader audiences. Kindly remind your colleagues, friends and family of the significant health gains that complement a beautiful day on the course.

Steve Mona has been World Golf Foundation’s CEO since 2008. In 2016, Steve was named to Golf Inc.’s list of ‘Most Powerful People in Golf’ for the 16th consecutive year. World Golf Foundation develops and supports initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values. Founded in 1993, it is supported by major international golf organisations and professional Tours, and provides oversight to World Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee, GOLF 20/20 and other industry initiatives in support of its mission.

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Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 11, 2017 15:39
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