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Br J Sports Med. 2017 Jan;51(1):12-19. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096625. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

The relationships between golf and health: a scoping review.

Author information

1
Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
2
Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
3
Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
4
Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
5
European Tour Performance Institute, Virginia Water, UK.
6
Sports and Exercise Medicine, University College London, London, UK.
7
Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the relationships between golf and health.

DESIGN:

Scoping review.

DATA SOURCES:

Published and unpublished reports of any age or language, identified by searching electronic databases, platforms, reference lists, websites and from consulting experts.

REVIEW METHODS:

A 3-step search strategy identified relevant published primary and secondary studies as well as grey literature. Identified studies were screened for final inclusion. Data were extracted using a standardised tool, to form (1) a descriptive analysis and (2) a thematic summary.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

4944 records were identified with an initial search. 301 studies met criteria for the scoping review. Golf can provide moderate intensity physical activity and is associated with physical health benefits that include improved cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic profiles, and improved wellness. There is limited evidence related to golf and mental health. The incidence of golfing injury is moderate, with back injuries the most frequent. Accidental head injuries are rare, but can have serious consequences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Practitioners and policymakers can be encouraged to support more people to play golf, due to associated improved physical health and mental well-being, and a potential contribution to increased life expectancy. Injuries and illnesses associated with golf have been identified, and risk reduction strategies are warranted. Further research priorities include systematic reviews to further explore the cause and effect nature of the relationships described. Research characterising golf's contribution to muscular strengthening, balance and falls prevention as well as further assessing the associations and effects between golf and mental health are also indicated.

KEYWORDS:

Evidence based review; Exercise; Golf; Health; Sport

PMID:
27697939
PMCID:
PMC5256129
DOI:
10.1136/bjsports-2016-096625
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

ADM and RAH received an unrestricted grant from the World Golf Foundation to fund this research. The World Golf Foundation agreed to publish findings whether positive, negative, or no associations or effects were found. RAH and ADM are remunerated for clinical work for the European Golf Tour.

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