AS an octogenarian engaging in a self-inflicted twice weekly (or more) “good walk spoiled”, I welcome the news that a study in the US suggests this regularity could be life-saving ("Feeling below par? Take up golf ... it will help you live longer", The Herald, February 13), and am further heartened that my indifferent skill allows that my mental, verbal, and visual faculties will be enhanced by complex calculations, occasional elation, some despair, overall fortitude, empathy with fellow-sufferers, inventive imprecation, and following wayward flights to all parts of the compass.

Close contact with nature in the form of sand and water, and brief escape from domestic demands and subjugation are further benefits.

With this report in hand, and a Valentine Card, I have been encouraged to make my case for new gear.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.