Study: Golf More Dangerous Than Rugby, Hockey


When you think about dangerous sports, golf doesn’t jump to the top of your min and for good reason. Unlike many sports, golf’s injuries occur mostly accidentally, but according to a new study, athletes may be better off playing rugby, hockey or even combat sports.


Golf Support released the study that broke down injuries per 1,000 people and golf scored surprisingly high.’s Joel Beall had the report.

One has to be on the lookout for errant tee shots, sure, or sun exposure. But it beats the brutality of football and hockey, or having a fastball fired at your head.

At least, that was the consensus.

According to Golf Support, which has analyzed several reports on sports-related injuries, golf is more dangerous than contact sports like rugby and hockey. A 2016 paper from the National Health Statistics Report, which investigated over 8.6 million reported recreational injuries, states that golf—which was grouped with tennis, badminton and bowling—had a rate of 1.8 injuries for every 1,000 persons. Though that was behind figures from general exercise (5.3), basketball (3.3) and football (3.1), it was still a higher percentage than rugby and hockey (1.5), baseball (1.6) and, oddly enough, combative sports (1.2).


Additionally, the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that 15.8 to 40.9 percent of amateur golfers suffer an injury on an annual basis. Lower back ailments (15.2 to 34 percent) are the main culprits.

Now, before you take your child out of golf lessons in favor of the rugby pitch, take these findings with a grain of salt. Golf is paired with several other sports—meaning its singular injury rate could be a fraction of football and hockey. Moreover, far be it from us to call shenanigans on a journal of medicine…but the BJSM’s injury range for annual professional golf injuries is 31 to 90 percent.



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