7 reasons to get into golf (no really, it’ll keep you fit, make you laugh & there’s wine)!
Friendship, fresh air and exercise – not necessarily the things I used to look for in extra curricular activities in my teens, but now I’m that little bit older, ahem, these things tick the boxes of what I want in my spare time (life is busy enough to find the extra hours, so if I can include various positives and have fun, all the better).
In two weeks, I’ll be on Rushden Golf Club with a few of my Muddy Sisters, seeing if all of these things are actually true! But to be fair, I’ve fancied it for a while; the fresh air, the extra steps on my pedometer, the apres golf (that is a thing right? It may not be Gluhwein on a snow capped mountain, but I don’t mind a chilled rose over the green ; )
The fact that golf is so accessible and adaptable is a draw too. It’s a game that suits almost everyone, whatever their age, fitness level or ability (zilch for me, but I’m keen, and that garners points). And whether you want to keep healthy, burn calories or spend time with friends, there doesn’t appear to be a massive negative side.
In fact, here are 7 pretty darn good reasons to pick up a stick (erm, I mean club)!
- Game for all – Golf is such an adaptable game that it suits all – whatever their age, fitness level or ability. The unique handicap system means everybody can play together, either socially or competitively. It is also flexible – you can play a full 18 holes or just 9, giving you all the game in half the time.
- Keeps you active – You will use more energy than you might think: playing 18-holes will burn at least 900 calories, take more than 10,000 steps through walking 4-5 miles and achieve the 150 minutes of exercise a week recommend by the NHS. Golf also offers all the known weight-loss benefits of walking combined with the toning and muscle strengthening that keeps your waistline in check and weight under control (OMG! Sold).
- Connects you with people (friendship and support) – With plenty of time for convo, golf is a great way to meet new people and to spend quality time with friends or family. And friendships are likely to flourish, thanks to the ready-made social life at the clubhouse afterwards (I likey the sound of that). It also gives the vital ‘me time’ that is needed to stay happy and healthy.
- Reduces stress levels (gives you a natural feel-good factor) – Outdoor exercise in a green space can help reduce stress levels, enhance mood and even improve your self-esteem. It’s far easier to stick with outdoor exercise, like golf, because it’s more appealing and fun than an indoor workout. The combination of moderate exercise and swinging your clubs will get your blood pumping and trigger the release of natural mood-enhancing endorphins that help you feel happier, reduce stress and help you sleep better.
- Learn something new – Learning something new can help you gain a sense of achievement, purpose and confidence and can positively affect your wellbeing. Golf helps people set targets and achieve them, which can create positive feelings of accomplishment. Learning throughout life is associated with greater satisfaction and optimism that helps to get the most from life (now where did I put that dusty guitar).
- Improve work-life balance – Juggling work and home life can be tough. However, if you want to stay happy, healthy and well, it’s important to take time out to do something you enjoy. It’s a great antidote for workers who spend long sedentary hours sitting at a desk.
- Helps you live longer, healthier life – Golf’s combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live a longer, healthier life (it can increase your life expectancy by up to five years, according to a study from the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden). Regular walking, such as the four hours it typically takes to play a round of golf, can also help ward off dementia, help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Put me up, buttercup!
The Get into golf campaign run by England Golf and supported by Sport England National Lottery Funding is making it easier than ever to get started through offering low-cost beginner course across the country. They start from four weeks for £20 and equipment is provided so all you need to do is book and turn up on the day in comfortable clothing. Plus all sessions are taken by a (a very handsome, swarthy) PGA professional (ok, i made some of that up).
To get started just visit getintogolf.org find and book some golfing fun near you, or if you’d like more info contact [email protected] or call 0800 118 2766 (I’ve heard they’re dead nice there).