A new initiative, ‘Tour Fit for Golf’, has been launched in cooperation with The European Tour to help recreational golfers of all standards from beginner to scratch, young to veteran, optimise their health and thereby their golf performance.
Working exclusively with The European Tour Medical and Physiotherapy Teams, ‘Tour Fit for Golf’ brings never before available access to all the knowledge, advice and expertise enjoyed by the professionals on The European Tour.
Week by week, ‘Tour Fit for Golf’ will bring you advice and action plans to enable you to optimise your health and fitness, reduce your general health risk and maximize your golfing performance. Just by improving what you eat before during and after your round can ensure that you play to your best potential by not tiring on those last few holes.
Once visitors have ascertained that they are of a good general health and fitness on the Tour Fit For Golf website (www.tourfitforgolf.com ), they can access exclusive physical screening and exercise content developed by the European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) Advisory Board.
Using the knowledge amassed through working with the European Tour professionals since 1991, the ETPI Advisory Board has identified six aspects of the golf movement that are common among all top golfers. We will take visitors through the ETPI screening protocol and the exercises they can do to optimise their performance.
It is not just Tour Fit for Golf that thinks health matters; a recent study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden thinks so too. Their study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, found that ‘Golf Prolongs Life’.
The Institute found in a 2008 study, based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers, that the death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status, which correspond to a five year increase in life expectancy. Golfers with a low handicap are the safest. *
We are all aware that exercise is good for health, but the health benefits of specific activities such as golf were, until recently, unknown.
Professor Anders Ahlbom, who led the study with Bahman Farahmand, was not surprised at the results, given the nature of the game as a form of healthy low intensity exercise: “A round of golf means being outside for four or five hours, walking at a fast pace for six to seven kilometers, which is known to be good for the health. People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.”
The study does not rule out that other factors than the actual playing of the game, such as a generally healthy lifestyle, could be contributory to the lower death rate observed amongst golfers. However, the researchers believe it is likely that the playing of the game in itself has a significant impact on health.
“Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health” says Professor Ahlbom.
Tour Fit for Golf www.tourfitforgolf.com
* Journal Reference
B. Farahmand, G. Broman, U. de Faire, D. Vågerö, A. Ahlbom. Golf: a game of life and death – reduced mortality in Swedish golf players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, Published article online: 28-May-2008 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2008.00814.x