Cape Town - A new study released by the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that playing golf provides far more health benefits than previously thought.
Golf often gets a hard time for not being a particularly vigorous or athletic sport, but don't be fooled: it's good for your health in a multitude of ways.
That's of course provided you're not riding around in a golf cart all the time.
If you choose to walk the course for a quick nine or 18 holes, you're getting a surprisingly effective workout, one that brings a whole host of cardiovascular improvements, as well as the building of leg and core strength.
Consider the fact that to play a 5 500 metre course, you will need to walk around 3.2km just from tee to green - and that's not counting the frequent excursions involving trees, rough and walk-backs, which can easily bring it up to 4.6km.
A round of golf also help to improve your cholesterol and your blood pressure away from the game - providing you're not the kind of golfer to get too upset when things aren't going your way.
Furthermore, playing golf brings with it a reduced risk of suffering chronic conditions like cancer and diabetes, and the study also found that golfers live longer than non-golfers!
Aside from all the physical benefits, there are also significant mental health benefits too, which certainly shouldn't be underestimated in this day and age.
The study found that playing golf helps to reduce the risk of both depression and anxiety, and these benefits are derived even if you're not walking.
So next time someone gives you a hard time about playing golf, you can defend your favourite pastime using the miracle of science.