A dedicated campaign to raise awareness of golf’s health benefits for people of all ages and abilities tees off next month.
The first Golf and Health Week will run from 15-19 April and aims to encourage golfers, non-golfers and lapsed golfers into taking part in the sport.
Several health-related themes will be promoted during the campaign, including:
- 15 April: fitness – professionals and amateurs
- 16 April: mental health (including dementia)
- 17 April: disability golf
- 18 April: golf for everyone – featuring various health projects (e.g. Parkinson’s, loneliness, stroke and other programs that can benefit health)
- 19 April: club level – focus at golf clubs (eg: fitness, food, drink, gym classes)
While the program will be co-ordinated by The R&A, Golf Australia will promote local content across these categories during the week to showcase some of our game’s great stories to a domestic audience.
The collaborative campaign will run across digital and social media channels using the hashtag #GolfHealthWeek and include content focused on highlighting the physical and mental health benefits of playing golf and projects being delivered by golf bodies and clubs around the world, including EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association).
The campaign is also supported by professional golfers including Annika Sorenstam, Brooke Henderson, Padraig Harrington and Zach Johnson, ambassadors for the Golf and Health Project, which, since 2016, has studied the many and varied health and wellbeing benefits of golf, considered any risks and had research published regularly in international, peer-reviewed journals.
The R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “It is important that we continue to promote golf as an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities and demonstrate that playing golf can provide significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of those who participate in the sport.
“We are working closely with our affiliated national associations and partners to produce an engaging and inspiring campaign which will drive interest in playing the sport and encourage people to take advantage of the health benefits that golf can bring.”
David Gallichio, general manager of golf development at Golf Australia, said: “Golf is a sport that can be played for life, and one that assists in increasing the physical and mental health and wellbeing of its participants.
“Golf and Health Week will allow us to continue to tell this story and promote the benefits of our sport to a wide audience. The Golf and Health Project in particular has assisted us in Australia to tell the story of our sport to government and the wider community.”
To drive interest and encourage activity in the days beforehand, golfers are asked to tweet their steps achieved and calories burned from any golf they play using #GolfHealthWeek. The week finishes on Good Friday at club level, with golfers encouraged to head for the fairways over the Easter holiday weekend.
Last year, a global consensus among leaders in public health, public policy and sport backed golf in the race to tackle physical inactivity and the prevention of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer of the breast and colon.
Evidence linking golf and health, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation and supported by The R&A, was presented at Westminster following research led by the University of Edinburgh and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Previous research has also highlighted that those that play golf live five years longer than those who don’t play, while the sport has been shown to have self-esteem and self-worth benefits.
See www.golfandhealth.org/ for more information about the Golf and Health Project.