Sport

Golf could soon be prescribed by doctors to boost our health

Man hits two golf balls at the same time!

Not feeling so good? Very soon, health experts could be advising you to go out for a round of golf.

The sport could soon be prescribed to patients across the UK as part of a new trial in a bid to boost health across the country.

The University of St Andrews School of Medicine has teamed up with the R&A, organisers of historic golfing institution the Open, for new initiative Golf for Health.

It’s only currently taking place in Fife, but it could soon extend into the rest of Scotland and the UK.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

There could be plenty of good reasons for it too, with the R&A citing research claiming that golfers live for five years longer than non-golfers on average.

According to the initiative, golf can help to prevent and treat chronic diseases including diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, breast and colon cancer, depression and dementia too.

Would you take up golf to improve your health?iStock

The R&A want the programme to show the "widespread physical, mental and social benefits that the sport offers".

Frank Sullivan, who is the medical school director of research at the University of St Andrews, said about the scheme: “This pilot initiative has been carefully designed to offer an accessible and social introduction to golf and to provide long-term health and wellbeing benefits for patients across Fife.

“Our focus on developing connection pathways that are acceptable and feasible to implement for all involved is crucial.”

He added: "The most effective intervention in the world will not achieve its intended outcomes if patients are not connected with it.”

Golf for Health is being run in collaboration with Fife Golf Trust, NHS Fife, Scottish Golf, PGA Scotland, the European Tour Group and Ladies European Tour.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)