The Benefits of Golf
Playing golf is great fun, but also offers a wide range of mental and physical benefits, some of which are highlighted below:
The game of golf is wonderful for the psyche. It keeps the mind alert and provides vital human contact, along with several other benefits to mental health.
A Social Event
As well as being a fiercely competitive sport (assuming you want it to be), playing golf can be a great social activity. Golf clubs used to have a reputation of being the domain of the well-heeled elite. Fortunately, this reputation is well and truly outdated with the game available to players of every class, creed and budget. Modern golf clubs are welcoming to new members, with plenty of experienced players happy to pass on tips and hints to beginners. The golf clubhouse is a wonderful venue for socialising, meeting people with a variety of lifestyles and making new friends.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Just a good walk in the fresh air does wonders for endorphin and serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. Coupled with an escape from the hassles of day-to-day living the game can provide great relaxation.
Easy to Learn, Impossible to Master
Getting started in golf is straightforward and inexpensive. Most golf clubs and "pay as you play" courses offer clubs and equipment for hire at reasonable prices. However, it is wise to achieve a reasonable level of proficiency, either by practice and / or tuition to avoid frustration (and annoying other players) when venturing onto the course.
Maintaining Mental Alertness
Weighing up the risk / reward elements of a particular shot, totting up scores and the other various facets of the game all aid in keeping the mind sharp.
Aside from mental health considerations, a round of golf can form a superb part of a physical fitness programme, for players of every age and both sexes.
Along with the amount of walking involved, the golf swing in itself is great for providing a full-body workout. Each full swing exercises arms, legs, back and abdomen, with numerous repetitions over the course of a round - approximately 30+ times for accomplished players and many more for novice golfers. Attempting to improve your skills levels by practising on the range provides great exercise, but a word of warning to beginners - hands blister easily!
A full, 18-hole round of golf involves a walk of around 5-6 miles. Even on a flat course, this equates to expending around 1,500 calories and even more if the course is particularly undulating. The less energetic players, who choose to ride in a golf buggy rather than walking, or wish to play a shortened round of 9-holes, will still expend more calories than a strenuous, lengthy gym workout (and doubtless enjoy it far more!)
Golf is a "low-impact" sport. As a result, joints are not subject to the stresses and strains of more energetic activities like tennis and running, which can lead to long-term joint damage. This makes golf an ideal activity for older players, who, perhaps unable to throw rugby balls around as they did in their younger years, can still enjoy this wonderful sporting activity.