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Syngenta Survey on golf industry Syngenta Survey on golf industry

Syngenta Survey Reveals Mental Health Issues Prevalent in the Golf Industry

More than 60 percent of greenkeepers, PGA Professionals and club managers have experienced increased work-related mental health problems in the past year, a new survey by Syngenta has found.

Of these, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said they had felt anxious or worried, 57 percent said they experienced sleep problems and 43 percent said they had felt depressed with a continuous low mood.

 Three of the 256 respondents admitted thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

 The online survey, which was anonymous, also found that only nine percent of respondents had sought professional counselling in the previous six months.

 And while two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents said their organisation or employer should offer mental health training and support, only 21 percent confirmed their employer did have a mental health policy or wellbeing program (57 percent said their organization did not offer support; 22 percent were unsure) and 12 percent had received stress or anxiety training at work.

 Mark Birchmore, global head of marketing, Turf and Landscape, Syngenta, who commissioned the survey, said, “While this is a snapshot survey, it provides evidence of what we have been hearing anecdotally throughout the pandemic, that mental health problems are prevalent. I am especially worried for the three industry colleagues who reported the most severe symptoms and I would encourage anyone in this situation to urgently seek professional advice. For the industry, the survey highlights a potential gap between the prevalence of mental health problems and the level of support available. As an organization, this is something Syngenta is addressing with accredited Mental Health First Aiders within our team, as well supporting important industry initiatives, including the online Mindful Leadership Sessions by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association.

 Birchmore further added that there is however more to be done globally, which is why they are sharing the results of the survey with the golf industry, including bodies and associations, with a view to encouraging solutions.

 More than half the survey respondents (52 percent), from countries including the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, said they were aware of colleagues who had experienced mental health problems since March 2020.

 Of those who completed the survey, 66 percent were superintendents or greenkeepers, 13 percent were PGA Professionals or directors of golf and 11 percent were club managers.