Study: Playing Golf Reduces Risk Of Early Death

Contrary to how you may feel after playing a round of golf, the sport isn’t taking years off your life, it may actually be adding years to it.

At least that’s what a recent study conducted by the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institute concluded after researchers followed nearly 5,900 adults, 65 and older, for 10 years.

“The intensity level of the activity is such that it can be maintained for a longer period of time, and it’s something that maintains the interest of the individuals so people can continue it on a regular basis,” said Dr. Adnan Qureshi, the study’s lead author and neurology professor at the University of Missouri.

The study concluded that regular golfers — which were defined as people who play golf at least once per month — were 8% less likely to die from any cause than non-golfers.

The study’s full findings will be presented later this month at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

Participants in the study were tested to see if playing golf would reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and/or death among senior adults, according to

From 1989-99, participants had yearly clinical exams and visits every six months. Once the evaluation period concluded, participants were contacted to see if they had had a heart attack or stroke.

Of the nearly 5,900 tested, 384 people reported they regularly played golf. While there was no conclusive scientific difference in heart attack and stroke prevention between golfers and non-golfers, when comparing death rates, the golfers had an 8% lower death rate. 

“Due to its social nature and controlled pace, people often maintain motivation and the ability to continue playing the sport even in older age and after suffering a heart attack or stroke,” Qureshi said. “While walking and low-intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf. Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health.”