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Opinion - One Reader’s Love Affair with Golf

How I overcame my hesitancy to golf and it has helped me live healthier

 

I know that spending time outdoors and being active is beneficial to our health. However, it’s not always fun. In most cases, it requires a tremendous amount of effort and energy. This is why I procrastinate on exercising, and that has been detrimental to my health.


Fortunately for me, a friend introduced me to golf. Playing golf offered me a reprieve from the daily hustle and bustle. The hills and rolling valleys, sunlight, fresh air, and good friends helped me breathe easily and forget about my worries. And so, I fell in love with the sport.

Woman posing for a selfie with her golf club
You never know who you will meet at the golf course

Since playing this sport, I’ve come to see firsthand the tremendous benefits golf has contributed to my well-being.


My energy level and endurance increased

Being exposed to direct sunlight allowed me to get enough Vitamin D. According to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com), vitamin-D is essential in maintaining healthy bones and regulating several cellular functions in our body. It also boosts the immune system, brain cell activity, and muscle functions. As a result, I can now endure long hours of physical activities without easily getting tired.


Father and son enjoying a drink after golf
Enjoying a drink after a round of golf

My social skills were developed

The social aspect of golf is one of the reasons this sport is loved by many. The shared interest in the sport makes it easy to strike up a conversation with other players on the course or even at the practice range.


Playing golf has made me more sociable. Being an introvert has caused me to have panic attacks whenever I socialize in a huge crowd. But because of the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the golfing community, I have come to enjoy socializing with people, even if it is limited to a few people.


My competitive side was fostered in a healthy way

Though perceived as an individual sport, playing golf actually fosters competitiveness – in a healthy way. It encouraged me to improve on my skills and challenged me to up my game.


The competition is not only against my friends that I play with, but also usually against myself, or against my personal best scores. The never-ending challenge this sport brings is what makes it so appealing to me.

My focus and concentration improved


Golf is a game that requires a lot of brainwork. It requires both strategy and skill. When planning my next shot, I learned to visualize the trajectory of the golf ball. I also learned to be more present in the moment and how to better control my emotions. All of which have contributed to the improvement of my focus and concentration. It might sound like a small thing, but it has helped me to approach problems in new ways. I have learned that I should focus my attention on important areas that can make a difference and to let go of the less relevant. For golf, if I hit a bad tee shot, I know that I must stay patient because I can make up that bad shot and still make par.

Couple enjoying a round of golf together
Walking while playing golf is a terrific way to reduce stress

My stress and anxiety were reduced

Golf is a cerebral sport. So, it keeps my brain always active from planning moves and executing strategies. By being in the thinking mode, I'm able to focus more on the game and forget about the things that make me anxious or sad.

Moreover, playing golf can also release endorphins which are responsible for feeling good. The good scenery, physical activity, and active thinking all contribute to the release of these "feel good" hormones. By having these endorphins in my system, I became less stressed and less anxious and now more at ease. It has become a good way for me to improve my quality of life and cannot imagine not playing golf.


Conclusion

Playing golf is both healthy and fun. It brought me outdoors and allowed me to unwind with nature. It helped me take a break from this fast-paced digital world, where the natural rhythm of the environment, the birds, the breeze, the flowers and more have helped me balance myself emotionally. And most of all it gave me tremendous benefits that have greatly improved my well-being, both physically and mentally. I recommend you try it too.

 

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