The aim of this study was to determine the effects of long-term professional golf participation on whole-body and regional bone mass and density. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed on 15 male professional golfers and 18 sedentary individuals, matched for sex, race, age (29+/-1 and 25+/-1 years, respectively), body mass (79+/-2 and 74+/-2 kg), height (1.78+/-0.01 and 1.77+/-0.02 m) and percent body fat (20+/-2 and 21+/-2%; mean +/- sx). We found that long-term professional golf participation is not associated with significant increments in regional or whole-body bone mass or density. Neither the lumbar spine nor the femoral neck showed any noticeable enhancement of bone mass in professional golfers compared with controls from the same population. The only effect of professional golf participation on regional body composition was a 9% increase in muscle mass in the dominant arm (P < 0.05).