Statistics Show Golf Is More Dangerous Than Rugby And Boxing

Latest statistics are showing recreational sports like Golf are more dangerous than Rugby.

Golf is more dangerous than Rugby and boxing
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Latest statistics are showing recreational sports like Golf are more dangerous than Rugby.

Statistics Show Golf Is More Dangerous Than Rugby And Boxing

When the question is asked 'What’s the most dangerous sport?', golf doesn’t usually come to mind.

Golf is considered a low-risk injury sport that is enjoyed by an estimated 60 million people worldwide.

Related: Golf voted most boring sport to watch

However statistics from show that injuries in golf are not as rare as first thought. Also the severity of the injury is often underestimated as well.

The majority of these injuries occur in the lower back which account for 15% to 34% of all golf injuries, followed by injuries to the elbow (7%-27%), shoulder (4%-19%) and wrist (10%).

Louis Oosthuizen receives treatment after hitting a tree root during the 2017 PGA Championship

As well as injuries to the body, each year an estimated 40,000 golfers seek emergency treatment due to head injuries caused by errant golf balls and flying club heads.

Golf Support's findings included the National Health Statistics, which investigate 8.6 million injuries in different sports.

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The results threw up some surprises. Statistically speaking, general exercise such as running, jogging and weightlifting were the most dangerous sport/physical activities at a rate of 5.3 injuries per 1000 persons.

Basketball was second with 3.3 per 1000, followed by American Football with 3.1, cycling with 2.5 and football with 2.1.

At the rate of 1.8 injuries per 1,000 was recreational sports, which includes golf. These were found to be more 'dangerous' than rugby, hockey and other team sports that have a rate of 'only' 1.5 per 1,000 persons.

Gary Swift, Managing Director of, commented: “Results of the research analysing the risk of injuries per sport, and in particular golf, reveal that the risk is much higher than commonly thought.

"There is a lot of material on how to improve your golfing skills but there is very little on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of injury while enjoying the game."

Jason Day has a history of reoccurring back injuries

A further investigation found that 16-41% of amateur golfers get injured each year, while the lifetime rate of injury ranges from 25-68%.

Study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine also revealed that the rate of injury is even higher in the professional ranks with 31% to 90% annually and 31% to 89% in a lifetime.

Related: Survey shows new positive UK golf participation numbers

Swift added: “Considering that almost 7 in 10 amateurs and 9 in 10 professionals will suffer a golf related injury at least once in a lifetime, I strongly believe that the issue should receive more attention than it currently does.”

High risk of severe injuries aren’t just associated with errant golf heads and balls though but also associated with the use of golf buggies.

According to a study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, golf buggies are responsible for as many as 15,000 injuries a year, however, not all of the injuries are related to golf.

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