Is Golf Healthy?

As we have more time on our hands, many of us are taking up new hobbies and finding new interests.  This is, of course, very good.

Friends of mine who are not golfers kid me about the sport.  They say it isn’t really exercise.  Well, it might not be long-distance running, but it has benefits, even if you ride a golf cart for the round.  Here are a few:

Soak up some rays.

When you’re out playing a game of golf on a sunny day, you get an adequate dose of Vitamin D, which is essential for building strong bones and good overall health.

It’s social.
Golf is both an entertaining and relationship-building activity.  The game is a great way to strengthen bonds with friends and family and build connections with new friends.

It’s walkable.
Fitness experts advocate taking 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent to five miles or walking 18 holes, which burns approximately 2,000 calories. Even if you ride in a cart, you’re still burning approximately 1,300 calories.

Find the balance.
Older golfers tend to have better static and dynamic balance control and confidence than non-golfing, healthy adults of the same age.

Zzzzz.
Those who exercise are proven to sleep better at night. Exercise helps wear off excess energy and also helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.

Another issue I hear from non-players is the time it takes to play a round of golf.  I have to admit, they have a point here.  If you get behind a slow group, or if you play with someone who has a protracted “routine” for every shot, it can really add up.  I make it a point to play early in the day (first out, if possible) so I am not delayed by anyone in front of me.  I also play “ready golf,” which speeds things up and in no way diminishes from the sport.

Pace of play is definitely a “hot button” issue for the PGA.  They recognize that this is impacting people’s willingness to play the game.  They have initiated a campaign called “While We’re Young” as part of their effort.  Borrowing the iconic line from the character played by Rodney Dangerfield in the classic 1980 film “Caddyshack,” the campaign takes a lighthearted and comedic approach to encourage golfers of all skill levels and golf course facilities to join a movement to improve pace of play and reduce the time it takes to play the game.

I took up the game late in life and I recognize I will never be great.  But it is so enjoyable (and deliciously frustrating) that I play whenever and wherever possible, knowing that it is also healthy!  Give it a try.  You never know who you will meet in the process.

 

 

 

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