Golfers are happier and healthier than non-golfers

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 7, 2018 07:39

New research by The R&A has found that golfers are significantly happier and healthier than non-golfers.

Speaking at last month’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, John Bushell, managing director of SMS INC, said that soon-to-be-released research shows the physical and mental health positives of the sport.

“The message that sport is a lifelong journey was made very clear in a programme of recent research for The R&A on golf as ‘A Sport for Life’,” he said.

“I am pleased to say The R&A has allowed me to broadcast some of the key claims for the first time: 72 per cent of golfers consider themselves to be in ‘good health’ compared to 51 per cent of the general population; 80 per cent of golfers are happy with their social life compared to 60 per cent of the general public; a third more golfers feel engaged with their local community compared to the national population; golfers are two and a half times less likely to be at risk of social loneliness or to be amongst socially lonely than the national population; golfers are two and a half times less likely to describe themselves as anxious than the general population and almost four out of 10 non-golfers would consider going to their local golf club for non-golf activities.

“These figures, along with the many others arising from the report, paint a truly astonishing portrait of the power of golf. There are huge opportunities to tell more people about the sport that we are here to celebrate, from the 16-34 year olds surveyed who were the age group most likely to consider social memberships, through to pensioners for whom golf can offer vital mental and physical wellbeing benefits. The golf club can be the hub of the community for golfers and non-golfers – driving usage and revenues to the sporting infrastructure.”

At the same meeting, John’s colleague, Richard Payne, detailed that golf participation has struggled in the past year.

“I’m afraid to say the picture isn’t a pretty one,” he explained.

“Rounds played for the second half of 2017 were down six per cent compared to the same period in 2016 and that this downward trend continued into the first quarter of 2018, with possibly the worst weather conditions resulting in rounds being over 20 per cent down compared to Q1 2017!

“The light at the end of the tunnel is that our provisional figures would show that this June was almost six per cent up compared to 2017 but we need a fair wind for the rest of the year to steady the ship.

“Rounds played and levels of participation often go hand in hand and, unfortunately this is another area where another year of decline has seen the number of British adults who have played the game at least once on a full length course drop to just over 2.5 million, the lowest figure recorded in over 20 years.

“Now, I appreciate that it is hard to see how there are any positives from those figures but diving deeper into the numbers, we can see that the number of core golfers, those that are the lifeblood of the game and account for around 80 per cent of equipment purchases, has fared better and the frequency with which the avid golfer is playing has actually increased. So this would suggest that golf, for golfers, is not broken but more needs to be done to widen its appeal.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 7, 2018 07:39
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1 Comment

  1. Angus August 8, 16:38

    I would like to think so … except on those days when your game not quite on par!

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