Strength and balance in recreational golfers and non-golfers aged 65-79 years in community settings

David A Wilson*, Simon Brown, Paul E Muckelt, Martin B Warner, Sandra Agyapong-Badu, Danny Glover, Andrew D Murray, Roger A Hawkes, Maria Stokes

*Corresponding author for this work

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Inactive older adults tend to have decreased strength and balance compared with their more active peers. Playing golf has the potential to improve strength and balance in older adults. The aim of the study was to compare the strength and balance of recreational golfers with non-golfers, aged 65-79 years. Grip strength, single leg balance, and Y Balance Test (YBT) were assessed. Golfers (n = 57) had significantly (right, p = .042; left, p = .047) higher maximal grip strength, than non-golfers (n = 17). Single leg stance times were significantly longer in golfers (right, p = .021; left, p = .001). Normalized YBT reach distances were significantly greater for golfers than non-golfers for composite, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions on both right and left legs. Playing golf appears to be associated with better grip and both static and dynamic balance in 65-79 year olds, indicating that a study of the effects of playing golf is warranted through a larger, fully powered, longitudinal study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257–264
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of aging and physical activity
Issue number2
Early online date9 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the participants for their time in taking part in the project. The authors thank the golf clubs (GC) that hosted the study, in particular: Cams Hall GC, Corhampton GC, Hayling Island GC, Rowlands Castle GC, and Southwick Park GC. The authors are very grateful to representatives from golf clubs for their support and enthusiasm in recruiting their fellow members, taking part in promotional events (such as Golf and Health events at the Houses of Parliament) and/or contributed to writing up the project: Chris Cheesman, Moira Hoath, Claire Kane, Sarah Moore, Irene Reed, Joyce Warburton, Susie Wilkinson, Neil Blackey, and Roger Thompson. The authors thank the community-based centers that hosted testing in sedentary groups, including Sainsbury’s in Portswood, where the Saints Foundation held classes, and thank Paul Hedges and Marion Gealer (Saints Foundation) for enabling our access to recruit participants, and Linda Fair, a public representative who assisted with publicizing the project on Radio Solent. The authors are very grateful to The R&A for funding the project. They thank the Centre for Sport, Exercise, and Osteoarthritis Research Versus Arthritis for input to the study by members of the Centre at the University of Southampton.


  • aging
  • Y Balance Test
  • handgrip


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