Golf really is good for you

By: | Fri 20 Jan 2017 | Comments

The next time there is any reluctance from your nearest and dearest as you plan or prepare for golf get them to check this out.

The health benefits of golf have long been assumed but now there is credible and organised research being done of over 500 linked research projects to prove beyond doubt the value of golf to health and well being.

The All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group welcomed representatives of the Golf and Health project to the Palace of Westminster this week (17th Jan 2017).

Executive Director for Golf and Health, and Chief Medical Officer at the European Tour Golf, Dr Roger Hawkes, and lead researcher, Dr Andrew Murray of the University of Edinburgh, made a presentation to Peers, MPs and associate members on the health benefits of the sport.  The project is supported by the World Golf Foundation, with the aim to increase interest and participation in golf.

I am a student of golfing history and came across this quote recently:

“How frequently have I, with great difficulty, persuaded patients who were never off my doorstep to take up golf, and how rarely, if ever, have I seen them in my consulting room again.

One of the reasons why I, a medical man, decided to give up medicine and take up golf architecture was my firm conviction of the extraordinary influence on health of pleasurable excitement, especially when combined with fresh air and exercise.”

Dr Alister MacKenzie

You may know this good doctor, in my view, he is the top golf designer and course architect of all time. He was responsible for Cypress Point and Augusta National in the USA, Royal Melbourne in Australia., He was tasked with a re-design of St Andrew’s and several hundred other courses all bearing his unique trademark thinking and style.

He travelled the world by train and steamer leaving us with a legacy of wonderful courses to savour for years to come.

Interesting to note that his initial concepts and thoughts were based around the military tactics he encountered whilst attending to troops during the Boer War.

He recognised the value and abilities of the Boers to conceal and protect themselves by using natural contours and terrain. This enabled a force of under 5,000 to defeat empire forces of over 20,000 by the use of better field craft and camouflage. This eventually led to him becoming an innovator in the British military responsible for setting up camouflage units that saved thousands of lives in World War 1 as aerial warfare began to develop.

Sorry, I digress. Back to the parliamentary bit.....

The parliamentary presentation focused on the considerable physical and mental health benefits of golf. Research carried out by the project has found that key benefits include improvements in life expectancy, cholesterol levels and body composition.

Golf is expected to decrease the risk of over 40 major chronic diseases, and also appears to improve wellness and self-confidence.

There are some very interesting interviews linked to this video and I will definitely be using them when I get the next “ You are going golfing again?” comment from my nearest and dearest.


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