How Playing Golf Improves Our Mental Health

 

 

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The sport of golf has increasingly become more famous throughout the decades, and this can be attributed to the energy that is being exerted into it. Professional players such as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Brooks Koepka have also added more excitement to the game as people are drawn to the game completely.

Technically, playing golf regularly affects almost anyone positively. It encourages professional camaraderie and has physical and mental benefits as well. Ultimately, golf is something that you can practice and improve on for the rest of your life.

I have been playing golf for more than a decade now. I began playing more often in the last five or six years, and since then, I have gotten better and fitter. I also made several friends and professional networks, and I genuinely adore the sport.

If you are thinking about playing golf, here are some wonderful reasons why you should go ahead and decide to go to the range right now.

Benefits Of Making Golf A Hobby

  • Golf reduces stress. The outdoor aspect of playing golf – the green and spacious golf ranges – is in itself a mental health benefit. Playing golf in the golf course releases the good hormones, which are our body’s natural mood enhancers that help put us in a pleasant mood, reducing anxiety and stress.

The concept that greeneries reduce stress and provide therapeutic benefits originated from the ancient Roman period. Eventually, more current studies have confirmed that being in these environments does lower anxiety and stress levels. It is indeed, positively stimulating to the senses.

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  • Playing golf sharpens the mind. The great Arnold Palmer said that golf is a really complex game, and playing the sport will need a lot of concentration and effort throughout the 18 holes.
  • Golf promotes professional networking. When you play golf, you are competing against yourself, but socially you are also presenting your skills and contending against possible clients and colleagues. This makes golf a wonderful means to expand your professional network. Many ties and connections are made on the golf range and come as opportunities for professional advancement. It’s quite common for small businesses to sponsor golf tournaments that cater to certain companies and industries. For one, I have joined some golf events in my area and have established strong personal and professional relationships through these gatherings.
  • Golf improves emotional intelligence. A golf game can evoke a gamut of emotions from intense highs when you get an amazing shot to annoyance and frustration when you hit a bad shot and don’t perform well that day. It takes determination and patience to continue practicing and getting better.
  • Golf has a lower risk of getting injured. Because it’s a relatively low impact type of sport, there is also a lower threat of suffering from a major injury than other kinds of sports. It is important to note, though, that stretching and proper preparations before playing golf must still be done to avoid back and knee injuries. Although it is low impact, you get a lot of exercise from the long walks and the whole body’s use when rotating and swinging.
  • Golf is a great form of exercise. Playing golf is an awesome way of losing weight and burning excess calories. If you make 18 holes, the estimated distance would be around six miles of walking. This means that you have actually walked over 10,000 steps for that day – just for one round! 

When you play golf and walking simultaneously, this is an exercise that corresponds to brisk walking, and studies have revealed that after you have made 18 holes, you will have burned almost 900 calories. On the contrary, if you would rather use the cart, you would still be losing about 400 calories, which is not bad at all for a low impact sport. Golf, indeed, is a full-body activity that needs strength, flexibility, and balance. If you decide to choose golf as a hobby, you will surely be putting your legs, upper body, and core at work. And because golf requires efficient rotation, you will definitely be working on your hip motion.

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  • Playing golf helps improve sleep. Numerous studies have proven how exercise changes one’s sleep patterns for good. A game of 9 or 18 holes enables you to get a full-body exercise, helping you improve your sleep quality. Exercise also promotes more deep sleep, and in turn, this boosts the immune system and improves heart health.

Learning the perfect swing needs extreme focus on detail, and a well-hit golf ball requires that you accurately hit the exact spot for the shot to be perfect. The whole process of learning and practicing golf also promotes hand-eye coordination and encourages your body and mind to work as one.

 

Conclusion

Golf is truly a sport that you can play for the entire span of your life, and you will be sure to benefit from it physically, emotionally, and mentally. Additionally, I have gained true friends and strong relationships through golf, lost a lot of weight, and have found extreme admiration and fervor for playing it.

 

 

What To Do When You Have A Golf Prodigy In The Family

As a golfing enthusiast, it was expected for me to want one of my kids to fall in love with the sport one day. This way, even when I’m already a senior citizen, I could still play with them. Yes, that was indeed why I brought my eldest daughter to the golf course ever since she was a wee baby.

My friends teased me about it while my wife found it ridiculous, but no one stopped me from doing so. Hence, I bought a set of kiddie golf clubs for my daughter on her third birthday and even hired a pro golfer to teach her on Sundays. Though she was not very enthusiastic about it at first, she learned to love golfing over time. Some days, she would ace her exams and ask me to take her to the golf course as a reward.

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When I talked to her golfing teacher one time, she said, “Mr. Johnson, your child has the potential to be a professional athlete someday. Her swings are already precise, even if our lessons only began not too long ago. With proper training, she could easily beat other golfers at her age.”

When I dreamed of my child loving the same sport that I loved, I did not expect to get a golf prodigy in the family. But I’d be damned if I said I did not like the idea. Luckily, my daughter was into trying golfing professionally, so I discussed our next steps with my wife.

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Take The Child To Golfing Tournaments

The first thing I did was book tickets for all of us for the golfing tournaments happening around the country. After all, though my daughter already saw people play in the club that I was a member of, those were nothing but friendly matches. She had never seen anyone compete for a gold medal or trophy in real life.

When I looked at my child during the match, it was as if we were watching Disney on Ice, and her favorite characters were dancing and singing in front of her. She was in so much awe that only her eyes were moving, following the players’ movements, while her mouth was hanging open.

As soon as we strapped her in the back seat after the game, my daughter asked, “When’s the next match, Dad? I want to watch them again. They’re so cool!” My wife and I couldn’t help but laugh at her enthusiasm and then search for her upcoming tournaments.

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Introduce Her To Young Golfers

Over the summer, the golf teacher invited my daughter to attend a ten-day golfing camp. She said that other young golfers would come to town to learn more about the sport. She also asked other professional golfers who already made a name to come by, inspire the kids, and play with them.

Even if my daughter did not ask for my permission, I would have allowed her to go to this summer camp. I mean, where else could she get an opportunity to bond with aspiring and inspirational golfers at a young age? If she decided to pursue golf as a profession, they could turn into valuable connections for her in the future.

As expected, the summer camp had a positive impact on my kiddo. When we picked her up, she was still bubbling up in the excitement and wanted to know if we would let her train for real. Of course, the answer was a resounding yes.

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Avoid Pressuring Your Kid

You see, no matter how much I wanted my daughter to be a pro golfer, I did not want to push her to become one. We let her go to the summer camp and the other tournaments to figure out if she wanted to lead that kind of life. If she didn’t, that’s okay. If she did, then that’s incredible!

Outside the golf course, we encouraged my kid to try various sports like soccer and baseball. Doing so would help her realize that she had many options and that she did not need to settle with golf alone. And when she followed our advice, she became a friendlier and brighter ball of sunshine.

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Final Thoughts

Having a daughter for a golf prodigy was a thrilling experience. She started competing at the age of 12 and ranked high immediately, considering she was a novice golfer. Although we did not pressure her into it, she started showing interest in playing out of the country someday and possibly representing the United States to different golfing tournaments.

My wife and I could not be happier upon hearing this news. It was not the medals that we were after, no. We were glad to know that our daughter already had an inkling of what she wanted to do in life and how she could achieve it. We could never ask for a better blessing from God.