Alcohol use as a function of physical activity and golfing motives in a national sample of united states golfers

Jimikaye Courtney, Eric Handley, Sherry Pagoto, Michael Russell, David E. Conroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Alcohol and physical inactivity are risk factors for a variety of cancer types. However, alcohol use often co-occurs with physical activity (PA), which could mitigate the cancer-prevention benefits of PA. Alcohol is integrated into the culture of one of the most popular physical activities for adults in the United States (U.S.), golf. This study examined how alcohol use was associated with total PA, golf-specific PA, and motives for golfing in a national sample of golfers in the U.S. Adult golfers (n = 338; 51% male, 81% White, 46 ± 14.4 years) self-reported alcohol use, golfing behavior and motives, and PA. Most (84%) golfers consumed alcohol, averaging 7.91 servings/week. Golf participation, including days/week, holes/week, and practice hours/week, was not associated with alcohol use. Golfers with stronger social motives were 60% more likely to consume alcohol. Weekly walking (incident risk ratio (IRR) = 7.30), moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA; IRR = 5.04), and total PA (IRR = 4.14) were associated with more alcohol servings/week. Golfers’ alcohol use may be higher than the general adult population in the U.S. and contributes 775 extra kilocalories/week, a surplus that may offset PA-related energy expenditure and cancer-protective effects. Alcohol use interventions targeting golfers may facilitate weight loss and reduce cancer risk, especially for golfers motivated by social status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1856
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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