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Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf
Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf
December 2011
A publication of World Golf Foundation

As a leader in the golf industry, the World Golf Foundation has included you among the recipients of World Golf Foundation Links. For those new to the list, and as a reminder to those already receiving this e-newsletter, it is distributed three times a year and focuses on an issue of importance to the industry by assimilating links to articles from around the world on that subject. This month's topic focuses on the health and wellness benefits of golf. We hope you find this publication useful and welcome your thoughts and comments.

The health and wellness benefits of golf have been discussed more frequently in recent months and have increasingly been a part of golf's messaging to all interested in playing the game.  Because of this increased interest, the World Golf Foundation has conducted a worldwide review of the topic.

A recent literature review conducted by the Walker Research Group on behalf of GOLF 20/20 revealed several statistics regarding the health and wellness benefits of golf:
  • Calories burned:
    • playing 18 holes and riding = 1,300
    • playing 18 holes, walking and using a pull cart = 1,500
    • playing 18 holes, walking and carrying your clubs = 2,000
  • A walked 18-hole round = 5 mile walk and meets the 10,000 steps per day guideline for exercise recommended by most medical and clinical physicians.
  • Since walking is biomechanically more efficient than running, walking an 18-hole round of golf is roughly equivalent to a 3.5 to 4 mile run.
  • Exercise intensity and energy cost of playing 9 holes = 40 minutes of lawn mowing for adult men.
  • Walking three 18-hole rounds per week provides enough exercise for weight maintenance for all ages.
In addition to these findings, several other articles and reports have been produced recently that relate to golf and health.  A collection of those links are listed below and provide insight into the growing awareness of the health and wellness benefits of golf.

The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits
The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits were created through a collaboration among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children to promote healthy, active lifestyles for young people. The healthy habits are a list of nine health and wellness topics presented as a part The First Tee, formatted for easy understanding and learning by elementary-age students and chapter participants.
View an Overview of the Nine Healthy Habits

Let's Move on Course! Initiative Introduced at PGA Championship
World Golf
September, 2010

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Announces PGA as 100th Member - PGA of America extends impact of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to reduce childhood obesity
PGA of America
August, 2010

Q and A: Gary Player on American obesity, Tiger and grandkids
USA Today
March, 2011

Bill Clinton talks health, politics and his love of golf
USA Today
October 2011

Benefits of Golf
VV Daily
October 2011

Annika Sorenstam to Visit East Harlem School to Support Wellness Transformation Project
September 2011

Take up golf for fun, good health
The East African
September 2011

Golf is a great physically demanding sport
Golfers World
July 2011

Get fit by putting your heart into golf
Postcode Gazette
July 2011

Golf: A Game of Life and Death - Reduced Mortality in Swedish Golf Players
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports


While the health and wellness benefits of golf is a relatively new area of focus, the research and the articles written on the subject suggest that there is significant interest in this area. With this increased interest, there is a need to elevate awareness of the health and wellness benefits of golf, which should result in increased participation and interest in the game worldwide.


Thank you for your responses to our July edition of WGF Links, focusing on the environmental and sustainability issues pertaining to golf on a global basis. One of the objectives of this publication is to spark conversation about the major issues confronting the golf industry. In continuing this dialogue, we believe it is appropriate to inform our readers of several other golf organizations committed to enhancing the sustainability of golf.

The EGA Golf Course Committee
The European Golf Association Golf Course Committee brings together each of the Pan-European Golfing Bodies to promote sustainable golf across its respective memberships as well as the European Commission.

Danish Golf Union's Green Audit
Under a voluntary agreement between the Danish Golf Union (DGU) and the Danish Government, clubs in the country are required by law to submit an annual Green Audit. This asks for data from each course on the irrigation water, fertiliser and pesticides used, plus information on energy consumption and waste produced. The R&A has worked with the DGU to provide a standardised mechanism for inputting this data and reporting on it through its web-based benchmarking service.

Golf Course Builders Association of America
The GCBAA is dedicated to advancing and continuously improving the profession of golf course construction while serving the interests of its member companies. Its goal is to support the growth and vitality of the golf course industry while promoting the continued enjoyment of the game.

As Founding Partner of the World Golf Foundation, Shell Oil Company provides ongoing financial support and plays a lead role in charitable initiatives aimed at introducing golf to young people, preserving the history of the game and ensuring the future vitality of the game.


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