Thinking of taking up golf? Women & Golf member and new golfer Molly Crockett explains why although golf seems very difficult at first, it will change your life for the better in the long run.
For years, I never liked the idea of golf. A lot of people at work, especially the men, loved it, so when I was invited to our company golf trip (basically a team building day, I wasn’t as thrilled as others. However, me and my analytical mind took it in its stride and tried to make the most of the situation.
And I’ll tell you what.
I actually had an amazing time. This was over a year ago and while I’m nowhere near being good in any sense of the word, I do really enjoy the sport, and I’ve found there are a ton of benefits that come with it. If you’re on the fence about whether you want to try it for yourself, bear these benefits in mind first.
Golf facilitates social interaction
One of the greatest benefits of golfing is the very enjoyable social aspect. Golf is a great activity to pursue with friends, but it can also help you meet new people and feel accepted by the larger community of golfers.
I remember meeting a couple of women who ran their own blogging businesses who were on a lunch meeting on the course when I was there. Being a blogger myself, they invited me to join them for nine holes and lunch in the clubhouse with them. We stay in touch from time to time, and it was such a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
Golf gets you outdoors
Being in nature has great benefits for one’s health. Constant exposure to green spaces has great effects on relaxing the body, alleviating stress and even anxiety.
Another great benefit of spending time outdoors is exposure to sunlight, which in turn exposes you to Vitamin D. This Vitamin reduces the risks of getting depression, heart disease and some types of cancers. Trust me, going outdoors and just smashing a ball across a fairway, is a great way to let go of a stressful week.
Golf has great physical health benefits
Just like any other physically demanding sporting activity, golfing can be very beneficial for your heart. Doing any sports and burning calories increases your heart rate and helps keep it pumping and increasing the blood flow. This will greatly reduce the risk for heart diseases, as well as filter out the bad cholesterol in your blood.
Even more, golfing as a sport involves a lot of walking and often the extra weight of carrying your bag. With all that, it is even possible to burn up to 1000 calories in a round, so it's a great sport to help you keep in shape.
How mad is that? I don’t even get that kind of exercise running around after my kids around. A couple of months after taking up golf, I saw a drastic improvement in my general fitness, my overall wellbeing, and just my general happiness.
Golf improves mental health
This point goes hand in hand with what I was saying above.
There are many studies about the so-called ‘runner’s high’, stating that doing physically demanding exercise releases endorphins in the body and makes people happier, but even a not so rigorous exercise like golf can help with your mental health. The endorphins, also known as mood-enhancing chemicals in our brains, help people become more relaxed and happier overall.
As much as it is physically demanding, golfing is also very relaxing, as it helps you de-stress and detach from your day-to-day worries. Everything from having the company of other people who share your interests, to walking and breathing the natural air around can have great effects on one’s overall mood and well-being.
Golf stimulates brain functions
Golf increases your heart rate, and with that it also increases blood flow to the brain. This can help stimulate nerve cell connections, which is a great way to delay certain mental illnesses, namely dementia. As golf is also a social sport, as well as a mildly competitive one, it's a brolliant challenge, with rewards that boost one’s confidence and self-esteem.
As a sport with very specific rules, golf improves one’s strategy making techniques, it fosters hand-eye coordination, and helps keep the brain active.
I don’t know about you, but it seems that with each year that passes, my brain is melting into stew. Just this morning I had my kids screaming in the backseat on the school run. But by escaping and unwinding through golf, and experiencing all these amazing benefits it provides, I can feel myself staying not only physically healthy, but also mentally, too.
I honestly can't implore you enough to get out there and try it for yourself.