Institute for Senior Golf Science

Institute for Senior Golf Science

  • Mission 

    To develop novel, safe, and effective golf training programs for seniors whom do not current golf, in order to expand golf participation among older adults and under-represented groups—for example, Veterans.



    Position Statement:

    Golf participation may be the most comprehensive and effective activity intervention for the improvement of overall fitness and the maintenance of functional independence in older adults. Regular participation is likely to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, joint power production, flexibility, balance, cognitive function, and overall quality of life in seniors.




     give driverWhy This Research is Important

    Aging is associated with decreased cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscular strength, endurance and power. Furthermore aging is associated with increased body fat, impaired balance and mobility and slowed reaction time. These physiological changes increase the risk of falls in older adults. These changes can also affect the older adult’s ability to complete activities of daily living, thus reducing their quality of life. In order to maintain functional independence across the lifespan, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that older adults regularly engage in cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance testing.

    Golf is a recreational activity that includes regular walking over uneven and often hilly terrain interspersed between high power golf swings, precise putts and various changes in body position including bending over to pick up a ball. In older adults, this walking is of moderate to high intensity and can thus be used to promote cardiovascular health. The golf swing is a high speed yet precise movement that requires coordinated movement of major muscle groups through a large range of motion. A successful golf swing is also dependent upon bilateral weight shift, rotation of the head and trunk and control of the momentum developed during the swing, thus challenging the dynamic postural control of the individual. On the other hand, the putt requires the individual to maintain a still position in order to appropriately modulate the power required for the putt —challenging the static postural control of the individual. Given the balance, speed, strength, cardiovascular, flexibility and motor skill requirements of golf, we believe that golf is a unique intervention that can be used to promote well-being and improved quality of life in older adults.

    Heroes Golf Intervention for Veterans Exercise Study (GIVE) 

    Given the balance, speed, strength, cardiovascular, flexibility, cognitive, motor skill, and social requirements of golf participation, we believe that golf is a uniquely comprehensive intervention that can be used to promote well-being and improved quality of life in older Veterans. Thus, we plan to investigate the feasibility, adherence, efficacy, and safety of a 12-week golfing program designed for ambulatory older-adult (age 60-80) Veterans. We are collaborating with the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Administrations’ Heroes Golf Course (HGC), to conduct the investigation and will use professional golf instructors who regularly train Veterans novel to golf participation.

    Primary Study Aims:
    1. To enroll a sample of 25 healthy, ambulatory, older-adult (60-80 years of age) US Veterans whom do not currently golf, into a 12-week     senior golf program designed for older-adults.
    2. To examine the efficacy (change in walking biomechanics, strength, flexibility, functional performance, balance, & quality of life) of the       golf program.
    3. To examine the safety (reported adverse events) of the 12-week senior golf program.
    4. To examine the adherence, of a 12-week golf program, designed for older-adult Veterans.

    Research Support Needs:
    1. 14 Golf Club Sets(senior)
    2. 14 sets of bags, shoes, balls, tees
    3. Heroes Green Fees
    4. Golf Instruction Fees
    5. Golf Tracker System
    6. Inertial Sensors
    7. Research Assistant Support

    Study Contributors:
    1. Bandini Foundation
    2. FlightScope
    3. Movement Performance Institute
    4. USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


    Interested in participating? Please contact Andrea Du Bois, Study Coordinator, at or 909-223-3885.


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    GolferDirect Impact

    Your generous donation helps fund this promising research leading to the development of safe, and effective golf training programs for seniors whom do not current golf. 100% of the funds go directly to the Institute for Senior Golf Science at USC. Our study team of kinesiologists, biomechanists, and exercise physiologists are dedicated to maintaining the functional independence of seniors and increasing the quality of life for Veterans and Older Adults through activity-intervention programs.



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