Study Reveals Further Health Benefits Of Playing Golf

The fact that getting out in the fresh air and playing golf — especially when walking, although golf in carts has health benefits as well — is good for you is nothing new. In fact, the health benefits that playing golf provide is one of the most convenient excuses for golf addicts to get out an play more. 

But as it turns out, a new analysis of 400 previous studies by 25 European doctors and experts — the International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health — has revealed that there are even more wellness benefits besides the obvious cardiovascular improvements to cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

The analysis revealed that one of golf’s most redeeming qualities — time spent with your friends on the course — can also have a big impact on mental wellness.

“Social interaction is the risk factor which has been undervalued,” medical advisor to the European Tour Roger Hawkes said in a CNN interview on the analysis. “Mental health is a big thing in this day and age, and moderate physical activity is associated with a reduction in anxiety and a reduction in depression.”

The thesis of the statement was to call upon those in positions of power to reverse “perceptions that (golf) is expensive, less accessible for those from lower socioeconomic groups, male-dominated, a sport for older people, or difficult to learn.”

“We’ll always have exclusive clubs,” Hawkes said. “But we want governments and policymakers to see that there are benefits in playing golf, and that perhaps they should open up golf clubs to more types.

“Golf clubs are probably underutilized. There are times that other groups could be using those courses and getting benefits that were demonstrated for most people. It’s been criticized because it’s exclusive, and we want to try and change that.”