Golf health benefits clear for all to see at Carnoustie
Are you attending The 147th Open at Carnoustie this week? If so, you are directly improving your health!
The health benefits of the sport, including spectating, are being significantly highlighted over the famous Angus links.
As part of The R&A’s work to more widely communicate the health benefits of golf for all ages and abilities, and building on significant robust research, Carnoustie is full of golf and health messaging. Short and sharp ‘Did You Know?’ information is the common theme.
In the Spectator Village, information towers outline the benefits of 9-hole golf and shorter formats. Did you know, for instance, in a 9-hole round, a player will walk two to three miles, take over 5,000 steps and burn over 450 calories?
Over the practice days, LED scoreboard screens on the course are also promoting the positives of golf for your health. Did you know research has suggested that if you play golf you could live five years longer?
Or that if you follow the entire spectator Red Route around the Carnoustie course you will walk over the recommended 10,000 daily steps (approx. 6km in total)?
The Golf & Health Project, supported by the World Golf Foundation which comprises the major golfing bodies worldwide including The R&A, USGA, PGA Tour and the European Tour, has been reviewing the evidence for the role of golf in health and has shown the overall health benefits of the sport, both physically and mentally.
It has also identified some of the gaps in knowledge and has commissioned research to address these issues. It has been looking at a number of areas, where golf is being used to help people with diabetes, Parkinson disease and dementia.
“The great thing about golf is that it can be played from 3 to 103,” notes Dr Andrew Murray, Chief Medical Officer for The European Tour and lead researcher for the Golf & Health Project. “We know from having conducted the study with the University of Edinburgh that golf is one of the best things that you can do for your health, helping combat serious illnesses.
“We also did some work looking at the average amount of steps that spectators take at golf events and it came out at 11,500. If you are spectating, you are getting more steps than the recommended daily amount and you are getting fresh air, which we know has additional benefits.
“So this week at Carnoustie, the scene of many defining moments The Open’s history, offers the opportunity to get out there in the great outdoors, get fresh air, spend time with friends and family. Golf has significant benefits if you just come and watch the professionals.”
The Golf & Health Project has sought to raise awareness in order to increase participation among golfers and non-golfers, improve the public image of the sport and increase support for golf in the political arena.
The work has also been supported by a number of leading golf figures past and present, including Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam and Padraig Harrington.
“It’s fantastic The R&A, the European Tour and the World Golf Foundation are leading the way in promoting these key messages, especially this week at The Open,” added Dr Murray. “The Word Health Organisation have also just launched their Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and golf is supporting the principles.”
Kevin Barker, Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said: “It’s great to have the health benefits of golf widely advertised at The Open at Carnoustie, not only on the information towers but also on the LED screens around the course and in the spectator guide. When this information is right in front of people it can make a change to behaviours.
“While people may have been watching the World Cup football on the couch, you can get the same enjoyment and excitement from coming along and watching the golf – with the additional health benefits.”
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