Golf is one of the unique sports in the world, allowing diverse participation by players aged from 4 to 104 years. Although the sport has yet to gain the fame and global attention that games like soccer receive, recent research studies continue to emphasize the immense physical and mental benefits of playing golf and boost well-being. A classic example is the Golf and Health project that brings together top golf organizations like the R & A and World Golf Foundation, respected sports medics like Dr. Roger Hawkes, the World Health Organization, and the DP Tour to conduct scientific research and raise awareness on the countless health benefits of participating in golf.
As a sport that cuts across all age groups and encourages social interactions with friends and family, golf offers the perfect avenue to work out and enjoy improved fitness without too much strain or significant risk of injury. Additionally, players and spectators bask in the great outdoors, where they enjoy Vitamin D from the direct sunlight and other therapeutic benefits of contact with nature.
How Golf Directly Impacts Your Well-being
Increased Life Expectancy
In the Golf and Health Report, a scientific paper titled The Scoping Review found that, on average, active golfers live for five years longer than non-golfers. The research involved 300,000 Swedish Golf Federation members who recorded a 40% reduction in mortality rates regardless of socio-economic status, age, or gender. Seeing that there is no age limit in golf and even octogenarians and centenarians can participate, golf is the perfect sport to take up for anyone seeking to enjoy their golden years blissfully.
Helps Prevent and Treat Major Chronic Diseases
The Scoping Review also found that physical participation in golf can help prevent and treat 40 chronic diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, stroke, dementia, and depression. Populations that play golf have lower risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol, which bring about severe conditions like stroke and heart disease. If you want to avoid constant trips to the doctor, especially during your senior years, picking up golf can go a long way in keeping your health in check.
Healthy for Spectators
Although most sporting events only entertain spectators as they occupy their seats and cheer on, golf offers a little extra in that golf fans also move with the game from hole to hole. Another paper included in the Golf and Health Report is The Spectator Study which established that spectators in a golf game walk past the recommended 10,000 steps a day, covering an estimated 5-6 miles and burning more than 1,000 calories daily. Additionally, the spectators spend quality time in the great outdoors socializing with friends and family, which has tremendous psychological and mental health benefits.
Enhanced Strength and Balance
In a separate Strength and Balance Study on the same Golf and Health Report, researchers found that playing golf actively offered older players improved balance and muscle strength. Taking part in a golf training program gave players improved walking performance, balance, flexibility, endurance, power, and muscular strength. In addition, the study noted that the physical demands of a round of golf are equal to or more than the demands of activities like yoga or gym workout. The study participants benefitted immensely from walking over hilly terrain, socializing with peers, and being out in the green space. Golf also has minimal injury risk, making it an incredible sport for your well-being.
Improves Mental Health and Social Well-Being
The fact that golf takes place in lush green landscapes offering the freshest air and treats from Mother Nature makes it appealing as a perfect relaxation sport. When people head out to the course, they want to forget all the stressful things and soak in nature as they enjoy a round of the classic game. Additionally, you can make new friends and connect with like-minded people, giving you a renewed zeal for life and a dose of happiness. Golf is perfect for fighting conditions like depression and dementia that tend to accompany solitude and a lack of social life. Senior people can find a new purpose after retirement by joining a golf club and meeting new peers who can give them much-needed warmth and friendship in their golden years.
There are many ways in which golf directly impacts well-being. Although physical wellness instantly comes to mind seeing that golfers enjoy optimized fitness with the substantial number of calories one round of golf can burn, there are many other psychological and mental health benefits. You will enjoy more strength and better protection from diseases and a flourishing social life where you’ll be able to interact with so many lovely people on the course. Watching the beautiful green space on the course will give you a reason to stay above ground and continue enjoying the brighter side of life.