UK Parliament Hails Health Benefits For Golf Spectators

Members of Parliament have hailed the potential health benefits of spectating at golf events.

A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons welcoming recent research into the potential health benefits to spectators across the world. A study by Professor Nanette Mutrie, Dr Andrew Murray and colleagues, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that spectators take an average of over 11,000 steps while walking the course.

This study builds on a range of research conducted by Golf & Health, a project that has brought together golf organisations from across the world, and which aims to raise awareness of the health benefits that golf can deliver to people of all ages and backgrounds.

The motion “encourages others to make the most of the associated health benefits UK-held tournaments held by the Royal and Ancient (The R&A), the European Tours and the PGAs of Europe offer”.

Tabling the motion was All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group Co-Chair and Member of Parliament for North East Fife, Stephen Gethins MP. He said “this latest research from the Golf and Health project into the health benefits to golf spectators is very welcome. Golf clearly has overall health benefits for participants, but the potential for health-enhancing physical activity for golf spectators is unique in sport.”

“This research shows that those attending golf tournaments across the UK can enjoy health benefits from walking the course with their sporting heroes, and I hope that more people will be encouraged to do so. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Golf and Health Project, and with all Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group, to ensure that health benefits to both participants and spectators are clear to policymakers.”

The full text of the motion is as follows:

Early day motion 362 – POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPECTATING AT GOLF EVENTS

That this House welcomes the recent publication of scientific papers relating to the potential health benefits to the world’s over-10 million spectators attending golf tournaments; notes a recent study by Professor Nanette Mutrie, Dr Andrew Murray and colleagues published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which showed that spectators take an average of over 11,000 steps while walking the course and, as well as observing leading players in this fashion, are more likely to have an active interest in gaining physical activity and spending time with their families; further notes this builds on a review conducted by the University of Edinburgh and published 2016 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which highlighted that golf can provide moderate intensity physical activity as advocated by the World Health Organisation and the UK’s four chief medical officers; is pleased that these reports are being widely shared by player ambassadors such as Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player, Padraig Harrington as well as current world number one So Yeon Ryu; encourages others to read these reports and consider their implications; looks forward to future research in this area; further encourages others to make the most of the associated health benefits UK-held tournaments held by The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (The R&A), the European Tour and the PGAs of Europe offer; and further welcomes the the collaborative approach of the World Golf Foundation, The R&A, PGAs of Europe, the European Tour, Paths for All and the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews have shown to date and ongoing.

Find out more at parliamentary.golf

By Aston Ward