The Secret To Longevity Is Golf


In our age of sedentary lifestyles and ultra-processed foods, it can be easy to lose sight of how simple changes can make a big difference to your health. Taking up golf, for example, can help prevent and treat as many as 40 major chronic diseases, according to research. “Golf helps you live longer and be healthier and happier,” says Dr Andrew Murray, R&A Health Consultant.

It can improve strength and balance and burn up to 2,000 calories for players completing 18 holes. On average, The R&A has found, golfers live five years longer than non-golfers.

Golf, like all exercise, can also deliver a range of mental health benefits. The National Institutes of Health report that exercise reduces depression and anxiety and improves self-esteem and cognitive function. In addition, spending time in nature can elevate happiness, joy, creativity and concentration levels, according to the Mental Health Foundation. This means that golfers enjoy a dual benefit, from the exercise itself and from the surrounding scenery.

The pandemic-related boost continued for golf in 2022, with a net gain of about a half-million U.S. golfers in total. Over the past three years, the increase in the total on-course golf population is about 1.3 million, whether it’s newcomers brought into the game by family, friends, or co-workers, or perhaps one-time golfers who had given up the game but decided to give it another shot. As the NGF notes though, it isn’t all Covid-related. Participation was up even before the pandemic. We’ve now seen five straight years of participation gains in pushing the golfer base to almost 26 million. For perspective, that’s almost equal to the entire population of Australia.

Rounds across the U.S. were down in 2022, but it most definitely doesn’t tell the whole story. For anyone who has heard or read that, it simply means that rounds this past year didn’t quite match the record-setting year we saw in 2021. That year saw more play at U.S. golf courses than any in history. The big takeaway from last year is that the US had one of the top four years ever in play, with more than 500 million rounds for the third year in a row. It’s clear evidence the demand for recreational golf remains strong. Nor is it just individuals who benefit from playing golf. For areas that are home to golf courses, there are significant economic rewards to reap. The Costa del Sol – nicknamed the Costa del Golf due to its 70+ courses – draws in tourists from around the world. According to Andalucian President Juanma Moreno, the region hopes to attract a record-breaking 33 million visitors during 2023. Many will be there specifically to spend time on the fairways.

Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España provides a prime example of how golfers’ needs are prioritised. The company is building a selection of spacious townhouses and apartments at the prestigious La Cala Golf Resort in Malaga. La Cala is home to three golf courses, plus tennis, padel, football, swimming and spa facilities, making it a popular choice with golfers seeking a luxurious retreat for themselves and their families.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director, Taylor Wimpey España comments: “Golf resorts such as La Cala are about much more than playing golf. They provide stunning scenery, tranquillity and a deep connection with nature that both golfers and non-golfers can enjoy. At La Cala, there’s also the benefit of four on-site restaurants and a poolside bar, providing plenty of ways to enjoy Malaga’s superb regional cuisine.”

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