A cutting-edge animated health campaign has been launched exclusively in Wales to encourage people to play golf to improve their health and lifestyle.
‘Golf is Good’ is a new global project by The R&A, being piloted in Wales in partnership with Wales Golf, which builds on recent scientific research to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of playing the sport through creative storytelling.
Using animated video, the campaign tells the story of how three characters from different backgrounds are inspired into golf and go on to reap the mental, physical and social benefits – with research revealing that golfers, on average, live five years longer than non-golfers.
The R&A, working with sport, fitness and wellbeing agency MATTA and animators Ritzy, has initially targeted Wales for the pilot campaign ahead of a wider global roll-out.
The initiative, endorsed by the British Heart Foundation, respected medical professional Dr Andrew Murray and the University of Edinburgh, will run across Wales this summer to encourage new and lapsed golfers into the sport.
Hannah McAllister, CEO of Wales Golf said, “We’re delighted Wales has been chosen to pilot the ‘Golf is Good’ campaign. Our clubs and members are aware of the positive health benefits of playing, but the fact there is scientific research to back this up as part of the campaign illustrates how important playing golf is, whether that’s competitively or non-competitively.
“We’re working with The R&A to help people across Wales get back into golf for their health and wellbeing and we have a range of options for people to play flexibly, find a club or a coach.”
Further scientific research has indicated that golf, as a physical activity, can help prevent and treat 40 major chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, breast and colon cancer, depression and dementia.
The sport can also help strength and balance, improve quality of life and provide aerobic exercise. The social benefits of playing also contribute to a healthy lifestyle, including social interaction and regular connection with the outdoors.
In recent years, The R&A has strived to communicate such benefits more widely and underline the role the sport plays in health and social wellbeing.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at the R&A, said: “We look forward to the pilot health campaign being rolled out across Wales this summer. The sport can provide a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to have fun, get fit and socialise with family and friends – something that is important in modern society.
“We need to position golf as a leisure pursuit that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone and encourage advocacy for the sport as a moderate intensity physical activity by government agencies, public health bodies and health professionals.”
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends that everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, so a brisk round of golf is ideal.
Head of BHF Cymru, Rhodri Thomas, said, “Being active has many health benefits. It improves your heart and lung health, your breathing, your bone and muscle strength, and your mental wellbeing. Before starting out in a new sport, especially if you have a medical condition, it’s important to chat with your doctor about what’s right for you, but don’t be afraid to exercise.
“Keeping active is much better than doing nothing. We encourage everyone to find an activity they enjoy, which means they’re more likely to stick with it. Golf is great because it gets you out in the fresh air and is a social, low-impact activity.”
The campaign will be visible across Wales, including in golf clubs, on television and digital media. Wales Golf has a range of resources and pathways to help people get into golf, or to help them continue their golfing journey.
Read the full research and find out more about getting into golf or playing more here: https://www.walesgolf.org/golf-is-good/