Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Group Co-Chairman Stephen Gethins MP with Dr Roger Hawkes and Dr Andrew Murray.   ()
Group Co-Chairman Stephen Gethins MP with Dr Roger Hawkes and Dr Andrew Murray. ()

Members from the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group welcomed representatives of the Golf and Health Project to the Palace of Westminster yesterday evening to discuss the health benefits of the sport.

Executive Director for Golf and Health, and Chief Medical Officer at the European Tour Golf, Dr Roger Hawkes, and lead researcher, Dr Andrew Murray of the University of Edinburgh, made a presentation to Peers, MPs and associate members.

Launched in 2016, the project supported by the World Golf Foundation is a unique initiative focused on academic research highlighting how the game can benefit peoples’ lives, with the aim to increase interest and participation in golf.

The presentation focused on the considerable physical and mental health benefits of golf with research carried out by the project finding key benefits including improvements in life expectancy, cholesterol levels and body composition. 

“It is clear that golf has overall health benefits, which for many years have been underplayed,” said Dr Murray.

Golf can provide health benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds, providing moderate intensity physical activity.

"This has a key role in improving life expectancy, helping to prevent major chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart attacks, and improving mental health. 

“The Golf and Health project has brought together golf organisations from across the world, including partners such as the Royal and Ancient, the PGAs of Europe and the European Tour, and I hope that the work undertaken will raise awareness and support for the sport. This is only the start, there is much more research to be done.”

The meeting was chaired by Vice-Chair of the Group, Baroness Nye of Lambeth, who said, “the Group was delighted to welcome Andrew and Roger to Parliament, and to hear about the significant health benefits that golf provides. 

“Golf is a sport for people of all ages, and I hope that the findings of the Golf and Health project can help to improve the public image of the sport and increase support for golf among policymakers. The Parliamentary Golf Group is committed to growing the game, and I also hope that the clear health benefits of golf will help to drive increased participation in the sport.”

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The Golf & Health Project is very important to the development of our sport and the European Tour is committed to showcasing how golf, no matter what level you play, benefits people’s health and wellbeing.”

Group Co-Chair and Member of Parliament for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins MP, added: “The work of the Golf and Health project in showing the huge range of health benefits of golf is very welcome.”

“Golf clearly plays an important role in maintaining a healthy, active population, and I look forward to seeing further research from the project on areas such as the mental health benefits of golf, physical benefits to older players and the positive effects of spectating.

“The Parliamentary Golf Group will continue to work closely with the project to ensure that the health benefits of the sport are clear to policymakers.”

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