An MP suggests golf should be available on the NHS

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 19, 2020 06:46

The MP for North Warwickshire has said that the latest research on the health benefits of golf ‘furthers the argument for golf to be available through the UK’s National Health Service’.

Craig Tracey, who is also chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf and a contributor to The Golf Business, was responding to a new international research study that has found evidence to suggest that golf provided improved muscle strength and balance in elderly participants.

The study found golf improved participants’ muscular strength, power, endurance, balance, flexibility and walking performance, novice golfers were able to play nine holes of golf by the 10th week, participants benefited from green space, social interaction and walking, and there were no adverse events.

Craig Tracey MP

Tracey said: “Muscle strength and balance exercises form an important part of the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines to tackle physical inactivity in older people.

“In parliament, we have heard about the physical and mental health benefits of golf and it is good to see evidence supporting that.

“This will go a long way to further the argument for physical activity, and specifically golf, to be available through the NHS to reduce healthcare costs long term, and promote longevity in the UK’s population.”

In 2016 the Local Government Association said that doctors in England and Wales should offer overweight patients ‘green space’ prescriptions to get them exercising outdoors, and in 2019 the-then CEO of Scottish Golf, Andrew McKinlay, called for the game to be prescribed on the NHS to help combat mental and physical health problems.

Earlier this year a US study into mortality among the over 65s found participants tended to live longer if they played golf at least once a month, and a 2012 Swedish study found that being an active member of a golf club could add three and a half years to an elderly person’s life.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 19, 2020 06:46
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  1. Frank October 19, 17:00

    I’ve just asked my GP for a repeat prescription but he said it wouldn’t cover 9 holes let alone a years 5 day membership at £1416.00

    Reply to this comment
  2. Pete USA October 19, 16:13

    YOU’RE CORRECT SIR! Our company produces a new “Hybrid” EZ-Play MD limited distance golf ball (meets golf ball standards) that provides the average golfer a quicker, more efficient, affordable, enjoyable & healthy regulation golf round. Developed for shorter courses, we now have thousands of golfer’s playing this ball throughout North America.
    Makes the compact course play like a big course, without the time & cost and provides a better walking & healthy golf format. Seniors of all ages improve their game and love it! It’s the better way to enjoy golf!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Craig C October 19, 16:10

    Social prescribing is hopefully coming to the fore. This makes perfect sense to me. And much less costly than years of medical treatments and pills. Helps with loneliness too.

    Reply to this comment
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