Can Watching Golf Be Good for Your Health?

Can Watching Golf Be Good for Your Health?

Boys, you may want to get this information to your wife before the next Tour event.

Remember when watching sports was seen as a Homer Simpson-like activity? All that sitting/maintaining a couch butt groove for hours, shoveling in junk food, and slowly raising blood pressure through a frustrating home team.

Apparently, watching sports isn’t an unhealthy pastime – particularly to those who watch golf.

Golf spectators can get the same benefits as the players on the course, says Dr. Andrew Murray, a sports medicine doctor at Edinburgh University. Longevity, physical, and mental health, he hypothesizes, are all boosted by watching the laid-back sport.

Murray is working on a five-year project to examine the health gains from golf for players and spectators.

“With golf, people tend to wander the course following their favourite players and potentially doing useful physical activity,” he said.

“When I was at the Open this year, there was an army of spectators walking the five miles around the course with the likes of Henrik Stenson. I noted my wife, who is 35 weeks pregnant, had racked up 12,000-odd steps, so we are looking to assess whether this is the exception, or perhaps the norm.

“There are absolutely top class golf and sports events in Scotland each year, and I guess many people don’t appreciate that by watching in person and getting these steps in, your health can benefit as well as getting to watch the big names.”

Even some golfing organizations are beginning to advocate the health positives of being a spectator of the sport. Throughout the Ryder Cup, Walk the Course incentivized spectators with prizes if they walked through various areas of the course, stopping in at various checkpoints.

After the event, the organizers said Walk the Course participants walked more than four times round the world!

At the Paul Lawrie Matchplay, observers are encouraged to size their steps up against the golfers, who usually take 10,000 to 12,000 steps.

“We think that golf may be unique, in that spectators can walk the course, see the action and get some exercise which we know helps people live longer and happier,” said the man himself, Paul Lawrie.

“We’re urging spectators to come to the Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Matchplay, watch some of the best in Europe, and potentially benefit their health.”

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