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Golf Well-Placed To Tackle Issue Of Loneliness

3.35pm 17th October 2014 - Opinion

Golfers at Thorpeness Golf Club (courtesy of Stephen Pond, Getty Images)
Golfers at Thorpeness Golf Club (courtesy of Stephen Pond, Getty Images)

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones believes golf can help tackle the issue of loneliness which is blighting the lives of many elderly people in the UK.

And with the issue hitting national headlines in recent days Jones has suggested golf clubs should even receive a grant to save government spending on trying to solve the problem.

BBC 5Live devoted its morning talk show ‘Your Call’ to the subject on Tuesday which was on the back of an interview with 93-year-old Bob Lowe from Hampshire who lost his wife three years ago which sparked a widespread reaction from listeners.

An increasing number of men are facing loneliness and isolation in their old age with the charity Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre reporting that the number of older men living on their own is expected to increase by 65 per cent in the next 16 years.

“Loneliness is a big problem for many people in Britain today,” said Jones. “It affects so many people. It’s a big issue when a lost husband or wife is left alone in the home with no social contacts I can relate when so many golf club members have lost a partner and the golf club becomes their social hub.  And I was thinking that may be there should be a government grant for this.

“We could save them from spending money on solving loneliness and golf clubs should get grants because we actually do that.  I’m not sure that there are many other sports where you can participate so actively beyond the age of 55 and 65 – certainly not football and rugby – and the social aspect of being part of a golf club also helps ward off loneliness.”

Golf has made great strides to make the sport more accessible to all members of society, irrespective of age and ability with various initiatives through the England Golf Partnership comprising The PGA, England Golf, Golf Foundation and Sport England.

Through the EGP’s Get into golf campaign and county golf partnerships, many clubs run a range of taster and beginner sessions, often at little or no cost, providing an ideal platform for anyone interested in taking up the sport or just going along to meet other people and to give it a golf.

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