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2018 International Consensus Statement on Golf and Health to guide action by people, policymakers and the golf industry
  1. Andrew D Murray1,2,
  2. Daryll Archibald3,4,
  3. Iain Robert Murray5,
  4. Roger A Hawkes6,7,
  5. Charlie Foster8,9,
  6. Kevin Barker10,
  7. Paul Kelly1,
  8. Liz Grant11,
  9. Nanette Mutrie1
  1. 1 Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Sports and Exercise Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, Edinburgh, Scotland
  4. 4 School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  6. 6 Medical Services, European Tour Golf, Virginia Water, UK
  7. 7 World Golf Foundation, St Augustine, Florida, USA
  8. 8 Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  9. 9 International Society of Physical Activity for Health, London, UK
  10. 10 Golf Development, The R&A, St Andrews, UK
  11. 11 Global Health Academy and Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew D Murray, Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, UK; docandrewmurray{at}


Scientific and public interest relating to golf and health has increased recently. Players, potential players, the golf industry and facilities, and decision makers will benefit from a better understanding of how to realise potential health benefits and minimise health issues related to golf. We outline an International Consensus on Golf and Health. A systematic literature review informed the development of a survey. Utilising modified Delphi methods, an expert panel of 25 persons including public health and golf industry leaders, took part in serial surveys providing feedback on suggested items, and proposing new items. Predefined criteria for agreement determined whether each item was included within each survey round and in the final consensus. The working group identified 79 scientifically supportable statement items from literature review and discussions. Twenty-five experts (100%) completed all three rounds of surveys, rating each item, and suggesting modifications and/or new items for inclusion in subsequent surveys. After three rounds, 83 items achieved consensus with each with >75% agreement and <10% disagreement. These items are included in the final International Consensus on Golf and Health. The final consensus presented here can inform scientific knowledge, and action plans for (1) golfers and potential golfers, (2) golf facilities and the golf industry, and (3) policy and decision makers external to golf. These outputs, if widely adopted, will contribute to an improved understanding of golf and health, and aid these groups in making evidence-informed decisions to improve health and well-being.

  • golf
  • public health
  • physical activity
  • sport
  • consensus

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  • Contributors ADM, DA, PK, LG, IRM and NM identified the method and existing Delphi frameworks to develop this study. ADM and IRM conducted the updated search and data extraction. All authors contributed to the development of outline study design and the conduct of the study.

  • Funding Work for this study was supported by an unrestricted grant from the World Golf Foundation.

  • Competing interests ADM and RAH are supported by an unrestricted grant from the World Golf Foundation. The World Golf Foundation have agreed to publish whether the results are positive or negative for golf. RAH and ADM receive fees from the European Tour Golf for clinical work. KB is the director of Golf Development at The R&A.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval School of Education, University of Edinburgh

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Further data are provided in online supplementary files. The full results of the round 1 and 2 surveys are available from the corresponding author.

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