Harrington backing DP World ‘Walking Map’ Initiative

Bernie McGuire

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The game of golf has always been about finding the shortest route around a golf course but that is not necessarily what organisers of next week’s 11th edition of the DP World Tour Championship are encouraging.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking 10,000 steps per day in order to improve overall health and defending DP World Tour Championship champion Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Co. will rack up more than that each day on the 7,675-yard host Earth course at Jumeirah Estates.

Following the successful introduction of a ‘walking map’ at this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, DP World Tour Championship organisers have decided to follow suit with the special map included in the daily draw sheets sold at the program booth.

One of those backing the initiative is European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington, even though he will not be teeing-up in Dubai.


“Golf can put a big smile on your face and research shows that golf can help improve self-esteem and provide a range of mental health benefits,” said the Dubliner.

Tom Phillips is the European Tour’s Head of Middle East operations and in speaking to Albawaba News, he said: “We’re encouraging people to come and follow the specially marked trail and get some great exercise while enjoying the action.

“The course measures around seven kilometers so you’re guaranteed a good workout in beautiful surroundings at the same time as seeing some of the best players in the world up close.”

The European Tour’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Murray, who was one of the brains behind the initiative at the Scottish Open, said:
“We know from the 2018 International Consensus on Golf and Health, (presented at a World Health Organisation affiliated meeting) that golfers live longer than non-golfers, and can get well-being and physical health benefits from playing the sport.

“Our research at European Tour events in Scotland shows that spectators take an average of 11,500 steps, getting out and watching the golf. So, while they may not win trophies, this is well in excess of the 10,000 steps per day advised to improve health.”

Other European Tour stars have regularly acknowledged the health benefits of golf. Henrik Stenson said: “Despite the frustration of missed putts, golfers overall live longer. A study from Sweden showed golfers live 5 years longer, regardless of age or income,”

The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where $US3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.

The top five ranked players in the Race to Dubai will also share $US5 million bonus with the winner pocketing a cool $US2 million.

And it will be Open Champion, Shane Lowry looking to take the shortest route that could hopefully see him be crowned European No. 1

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