Golf and the promise of mental health and well-being for the elite and professional player

Authored by: Kitrina Douglas , David Carless

Routledge International Handbook of Golf Science

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138189126
eBook ISBN: 9781315641782
Adobe ISBN:


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Participation in sport is often promoted on the basis of the physical and mental health benefits that it provides (Paluska & Schwenk, 2000). Such reasoning, Bär and Markser (2013) suggest, may underlie an assumption that individuals who compete at the highest levels in sport will be immune to mental illnesses. The suicides of German national goal-keeper Robert Enke in 2009 and Wales’ most capped footballer and national team manager Gary Speed in 2011 are two incidents which reveal this assumption to be flawed. Enke’s death was followed by news that for some time he had been receiving treatment for depression. That few people knew about this is an illustration of how mental illness within sport is shrouded in silence.

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