I recently played in a four ball at the beautiful West Midlands Golf Club after a friend booked our round online. Booking via the internet ensured we each qualified for a free, post-game meal of pie and chips which, I can assure you, went down extremely well.
I was looking to see if the offer was still valid the other day (it is) when a link to the club’s impressive Facebook page took me first to an enormous spread advertising the offer and a host of other newsy snippets. Amongst the latter, I read the club’s synopsis of a recent academic study, undertaken by Swedish scientists, highlighting the many benefits of playing golf on a regular basis.
Upon reading the piece, it struck me the medical fraternity must grow tired of constantly reminding folks of the need to eat less and move more.
Last year, a study published in The Lancet estimated that globally, approximately one third of adults are not undertaking a sufficient level of physical activity, a costly lifestyle omission which causes 5.3 million deaths a year.
The Lancet research concluded that playing just 12 holes of golf once a week would save as many lives per year as those killed by smoking.
In the wake of this report, the Staffordshire County Golf Partnership urged people to introduce golf into their diabetes, heart and operation rehabilitation programmes for just £5 per session for a 5-week course. It’s a great idea which could be easily adapted by other regional golf bodies.
The latest Scandinavian research re-iterates the point.
Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet studied more than 300,000 golfers and concluded that the death rate for regular golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status. Incredibly, this equates to a five-year increase in life expectancy.
As a consequence, bodies such as Heart Research UK are urging as many people as possible to start playing golf, absolutely convinced of the health benefits bestowed by the game.
I assume WMGC’s glorious pie and chips, consumed in moderation, is fine though.