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Golf v Video Gaming

So many kids today prefer to sit indoors playing video games rather than getting outside, playing sports or playing with friends.

In a 2015 survey conducted by the Youth Sports Trust, 23% of young people surveyed viewed playing video games as a form of exercise. Now there is some benefits to playing video games and I am partial to a game of Call of Duty myself, but sports in the great outdoors beats video games hands down every time.

It's my job as a PGA Professional to try and get more kids off the sofa and onto the fairways and my message to parents is there is no better sport for your child to play than golf.

So here is some of the reasons golf trumps video games.


Many people probably perceive golf as being a very expensive hobby/sport, it depends to what you are comparing it with.

These are estimated costs, some people may purchase more games, more golf, balls, better clubs etc.


Xbox One - £249

Playstation 4 - £230

Games - £135 (3 x £45)

Online membership - £40 per year

Total - £405 to £424


Clubs (junior set 5 -13 year olds) £79 - £149

Annual golf club membership - £49 (City of Derry GC)

Shoes - £30

Balls - 100 x 50p - £50

10 golf lessons - £50

Accessories - £50

Total - £308 to £378



Believe it or not, you can burn up to 85 calories per hour playing video games, however from experience you usually have a selection of soft drinks and sweets while playing, so you calorie intake is probably greater than what you burn.


Forget the fact that you are outdoors getting lots of fresh air, carrying your clubs while playing golf, a 13 year old can burn as much as 300 calories per hour.


Usually when playing games online you are playing against faceless strangers who you will never meet face to face.

Golf on the other hand is a sport where you constant play with different people of all ages, abilities, religions and sex and in many cases you make friends for life.



Playing video games does have benefits, for example gaming can :

  • Boost memory

  • Increase coordination

  • Be good for cognitive health

  • Reduce stress

  • Improve and sharpen decision making


Playing golf can include all the above benefits associated with gaming and the following :

- Practice personal responsibility : Sometimes the ball doesn’t always bounce your way, but regardless of the outcome, there is no blaming your teammates for what happens.

- Have a safe place to play: The golf course is a safe place and facilitates mentoring relationships in a safe environment.

- Manage emotions: Golf closely parallels real life as one experiences the highs and lows of the game. This range of experience from birdies to triple bogeys rewards a young person’s ability to keep each shot in perspective, manage one’s emotions, maintain a positive outlook and focus on the shot at hand.

- Appreciate diversity: Golf is a game that can be played for a lifetime by anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, size or skill level.

- Learn etiquette: Young people should play golf because it is based on characteristics that are missing in our society. Golf places an emphasis on etiquette. In golf there is no judge or referee; instead, players govern themselves and fellow competitors.

So which has the greatest benefit for kids, golf or gaming?

Personally I feel golf, but the best answer is a mixture of both. Gaming in moderation combined with a sport is the best solution for your child's development.

So if your interested in getting your child involved and playing golf in 2017, look me uo on Facebook at or

Sam Smallwoods

Head Professional

City of Derry Golf Club

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