We are in an age where regular exercise and healthy lifestyle are more important to the individual than ever. Learning a new sport can be fun but at the same time difficult and costly. As every sport has its own charm and experience, Golf has a lot to offer being in a competitive yet meditative sport from beginner to the elite player.
According to the Global Action Plan for Physical Activity by the World Health Organisation, golf is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits so further access to the sport is needed.
Golf is seen as an activity that helps the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer. New studies have also discovered that playing golf improves strength and balance contributing in healthy aging and in preventing conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Golf is a unique sport in its characteristics and attributes and hence potential contribution to the health and well-being of people. Outdoor experience can have positive impacts on health. Physical activity in natural environments can enhance exercise motivation, vitality, psychological well-being and physical outcomes beyond similar activities in indoor contexts. It is one of the safest sports and can be enjoyed by anyone despite age and gender.
– Physical Activity
Playing golf can take many formats, either walking, riding on a buggy, playing 18 or 9 holes, carrying your clubs. An individual may take up to an average of 10.000 steps during a round of golf, contributing to a healthy lifestyle. It includes a wide range of physical movement, focusing and strategy. Imagine the transformation of the body if you are playing golf 2-3 times per week by using the full body workout. Holding the club, the swing in a golf drive and picking up the clubs, requires muscle grip and extensive movement, body stretching and stability.
– Mindfulness & Meditation
Golf is a mental game. From the moment you start trying to hit the ball when you are learning the game to the point when you are actually playing on the course, the brains plays an important yet crucial role and outcome. One of the attractive aspects of the game is that it requires mental focus. Being mindful is considered to be a way of self-aware, receptive and self direction. Golf is easy to learn but difficult to master. Players can receive a number of mental health benefits due to brain stimulation. Being on the course for an average of four and a half hours, it’s a mental exercise, constantly making you think and forcing you to stay focused on a task at hand. It’s a stress reliever, anxiety and even depression reliever. According to the studies of Nicholls, Polman, Levy & Backhouse,2008 mental toughness can be an important trait for athletes to enable them to maintain concentration, cope with competition and overcome adversity which is associated with problem solving, coping strategies and optimistic approaches.
– Nature Connection
Outdoor experience is beneficial to both physical and psychological health. According to Coon et al., 2011 taking outdoor physical activities can enhance exercise motivation, vitality, and psychological well-being. Playing golf out in nature is one of the most amazing experiences you can get. Unlike any other sport, golf requires miles or land to play and most courses offer an abundance of trees, animals and other wildlife to enjoy. Golf courses provide habitats for animals and plant species to thrive, therefore by playing golf you are helping to ensure these wildlife playgrounds remain intact. The health benefits of learning & playing golf goes beyond the physical engagement with nature, as golfers can straighten their connection with nature, appreciate the wildlife and plants on the course as well as being part of the environmental sustainability.
– Disability & Rehabilitation
One of the greatest things about this game is that Golf is not only suitable for individuals of all ages but also to those who face physical disabilities. Technology has changed a lot providing the opportunity to every single individual to maintain and keep contact with sports. The game of golf is playing an important role for people with health problems as it provides a safe environment to learn, stay motivated, be encouraged and equip. According to Unverdorben et al, 2000, golf can be used to contribute to cardiac and stroke rehabilitation. Golf has been recognized as ‘military rehab’ (The Golf Business,2012). It is one of the safest sports to help injured soldiers or with post traumatic injuries and physical disabilities who have been injured while in action across the globe. There are a number of physical benefits that can help people with disabilities such as strengthening of core muscles, flexibility, building stamina, confidence, fighting depression, be active and many more.
– Network Opportunity
During the process of learning the game and while playing on the course it is interesting as you get to meet successful business people from around the world . Being in the business environment, networking serves a crucial factor in the promotion and growth of your company. Networking is all about building, fostering and maintaining strong relationships. The golf course can be a great place to allow this to happen as you will be spending some quality time with a client or partner away from the office allowing the focus to be on the game at hand. It’s a way for fostering strong relationships based upon more than just work.
– Favors social interaction
Golf is one of the sports that does not require social interaction. The game can be played alone or with someone else. Social interaction has a huge impact on mental well-being. Golf gives you the chance to reconnect and spend the day enjoying each other’s company. It nurtures relationships and builds self-esteem.
The social aspects of any sport are integral in creating and retaining new participants. At Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort our role as a community is to promote and inspire the game, not only to the young generation but to everybody, not only for the established players audience but for the beginners, women, students, kids, business people. Our purpose is to create a social and cultural integration for all ages and backgrounds. We encourage and support all ages and gender to be part of our community and take advantage of this healthy living and social integration.
Golf is known for its many rules. As professionals and fans of the game we follow these rules. Now there is a new layer of regulations with much more serious intent. We are following guidelines and procedures for a safe learning and safe play here at Aphrodite Hills Golf Academy and Golf Course.
Our instructors are dedicated in providing a safe environment for all players and students while guiding you through the steps of learning and improving the game.
‘Fore Health – Learn Golf – Play Golf’
Author: Chryso Iasonos
Golf Marketing & Business Development
Aphrodite Hills Resort, Cyprus