England Golf has launched a new campaign to position the sport as a tool for reducing stress levels and improving individuals’ mental health.
Launched to coincide with Stress Awareness Month in the UK, ‘Switch off with Golf’ will aim to encourage lapsed golfers to pick up their clubs and reduce screen-time.
Well-documented research has shown how social media and other tech-based communications can add to stress levels, while England Golf cited research that 74% of British adults have felt so stressed at some point over the past year that they have felt unable to cope.
The governing body added that it is “determined to drive home that golf doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive”, with the campaign set to highlight short courses, the driving range and par three playing opportunities, as well as the longer nine- and 18-hole courses.
TV presenter Dan Walker and Professor Greg Whyte, who competed for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in the modern pentathlon before becoming a sports scientist, will be the faces of the initiative.
Walker said: “We’ve all got busy lives and it’s hard to fit things in sometimes, but it is possible. The great thing about golf is that feeling when you hit one ball, just smash it, and even if it doesn’t go down the middle, that feeling is beautiful. If you’re busy at home and busy at work, there are still so many ways to switch off with golf.”
Whyte added: “We know that 85% of adults experience stress on a regular basis and over two-thirds of those actually feel overwhelmed by that stress. Physical activity and outdoor activity are incredibly potent stimuli for positive lifestyle changes because it impacts all areas of health simultaneously by improving physical, mental and social health.
“Golf is a fantastic stress reliever in whatever way you chose to play it. You can really tailor the game to suit your needs so on a day where you want to play all day, go and play 18 holes, but if you’ve got 15 minutes and want to destress, you can head to the range.”