Golfers don't need many reasons to get out on the course. Most of us subscribe to the saying that a bad day on the course is still better than a good day at work – or just about anywhere else. But if you're looking for some extra support for spending extra time playing your favorite sport, there really are many important benefits of playing golf, such as reduced stress and anxiety, weight loss, strength, and more.
Take it from Mike Lamey, a 78-year-old North Oaks Golf Club member who played more than 150 rounds in one season at North Oaks. Mike lost 90 pounds that year and says he uses golf to meet new people, stay in shape, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
“When I first started, I could only walk six holes before I needed a cart,” he says. Slowly but surely, he was able to walk the entire 18-hole course. In fact, he attributes much of his weight loss to walking the 6.5-mile course nearly every day.
But you don’t need to play 150 rounds to reap the health benefits of golf. Here are 7 ways that playing golf can help your health and well-being.
Playing golf requires a lot of walking, about 6.5 miles on our 18-hole course. By skipping the golf cart and carrying your own clubs, you could potentially burn up to 1,000 calories per game. Over time this can lead to weight loss and increased muscle strength.
Having social and emotional support is a key piece of mental health. Golf, while an individual sport, is generally played with a group of people. There is plenty of time to talk and get to know each other throughout the game. Many of our members build lifelong friendships this way.
A round of golf can take between 2 and 4 hours to play depending on if you choose 9 or 18 holes. This means your body is physically active and your heart rate is elevated for an extended period of time. This can lead to long-term health benefits like lower cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease.
Golfing can release endorphins which make you happier and more relaxed. Simply spending time outdoors and being exposed to sunlight and natural green landscapes can also lead to better moods.
Less Screen Time
Screen time limits shouldn’t just be for children. Adults, especially those who work in an office, spend an increasing amount of time looking at phone, computer, and TV screens. This can cause headaches, eye fatigue, and even lethargy. Golfing gets you outdoors and away from screens.
Low Risk of Injury
As we age, we become more at risk of injuring ourselves when we play sports. Luckily, golf is a sport with a very low risk of injury. It is a sport that can be played at your leisure. It doesn’t require high impact jumping or quick starts and stops, so you can continue to play it as you age (just ask Mike). Adding time for simple stretches before and after the game also greatly reduces the chances of any kind of injury.
Fun for the Whole Family
The family that plays together gets fit and healthy together! Golf is an activity that the entire family can do together. All ages and skill levels can enjoy playing the course, bonding over great shots, and helping each other improve. The game of golf provides the opportunity for uninterrupted time with loved ones. Creating these connections can do wonders for mental health.
So, next time you start feeling guilty about trying to fit in an extra round of golf, just remember, you're really doing it for your health!
Photo Credit: Peter Wong Photography