Public health considerations regarding golf during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review

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Public health considerations regarding golf during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review

Document Title: Public health considerations regarding golf during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review - BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine

ABSTRACT

Background - Golf is a sport played worldwide by >60 million people from a variety of backgrounds and abilities. Golf’s contribution to physical and mental health benefits are becoming increasingly recognised. Countries have adopted a range of restrictions to playing golf during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aims - The purpose of this narrative review was to (1) explore the literature related to the possible health benefits and risks of playing golf during the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) provide recommendations on golf-related activity from the relevant available literature.

Results - Golf can provide health-enhancing physical activity. Regular physical activity is associated with physical/mental health, immune system and longevity benefits. Sense of belonging and life satisfaction significantly improved when golfing restrictions were relaxed after the first lockdown in the UK. Golf is an outdoor sport, where social distancing is possible, and if rules are followed, risk of COVID-19 transmission is likely to be low.

Conclusions - Policy-makers and governing bodies should support the promotion of golf because participation brings wide ranging benefits for physical health and mental well-being. When effective risk reduction measures are used, the benefits of playing golf in most circumstances outweigh the risk of transmission.

TO CITE

Robinson PG, Foster C, Murray A. Public health considerations regarding golf during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2021;7:e001089. doi:10.1136/ bmjsem-2021-001089

Golf & Health Project

By Golf & Health Project