Stereotypically the preserve of retirees, Macmillan Cancer Support believes the health credentials of golf are undervalued. Using their own research, backed up by findings published in the British Journal of Sports Science, they found that a typical round will take between 11,245 and 16,667 steps. Carry your clubs and that'll burn 1,564 calories. Plus, a round amounts to 240 minutes of moderate activity – well beyond the Department of Health’s recommendation of 150 minutes per week. And with that comes all the cardiovascular benefits, earned in a single afternoon. Well, if you know how to play, that is.
You may have mastered the green, but if it takes you four shots to get there then you might as well head back to the club house. Lower your handicap with help from one of the best. Emulate Lee Westwood's Ryder Cup winning swing using these top tips, and drive fear into your opponent.
"Set up with your feet shoulder-width apart and your head over the ball, slightly 'open' so your front shoulder is to the left of the line to the target. This enables more power generation."
"I advise what I use: a classic 'one-piece takeaway'. The club, hands and arms move back at the same time as one unit. If you're a recreational player it will reduce your margin for error."
The top swing
"Both your left arm and your shoulders should be at about 45 degrees. This creates a distinct right angle between your left arm and the club shaft, which will give you more power and leverage."
"Keep your shoulders stable to reposition the club for delivery into the ball with the face flush. This will prevent a slice or hook. At this point, absolutely focus your eyes on the back of the ball."
"Let your arms flow through without resistance: the body helps to slow the club down naturally. If you commit to a shot with full rotation, your finish will be balanced." And your ball out of the woods.