Why golf is a sport for anyone

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Johan van Greune, Joint CEO and Co-founder at BooYaa Golf

Even though many perceive golf as a sport for the elite, rich, or retired, it really is a game that provides massive benefits to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Of course, there is the physical exercise of playing a round of nine or 18 holes but let us not forget the mental benefits of spending five or so hours outside in the fresh air, socialising with people.

For me, golf is an excellent way of reducing stress. Just think about the beauty of a golf course, the interaction with nature, and being so focused on your next swing that you can easily forget about all your worries for a few hours. Golf is a great way to improve your mood. So, think about it as not just a sport that requires you to swing a club and get the ball into the hole. Consider it as a means to release endorphins, our body’s natural mood lifters.

Spending time on the golf course also offers a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It is a great opportunity to leave behind the pressures of work and home and simply enjoy being in the moment. This can provide much-needed mental clarity and relaxation, making it easier to tackle everyday challenges with a fresh perspective.

An inclusive pursuit

Playing with friends, making new ones, or networking with business contacts makes golf one of the most unique pastimes around. Yes, there is squash, padel, and other sports, but golf is something that can done at a more relaxed pace.

Plus, it is something people of all shapes and sizes can do. The magic of the handicap system means golf is unique in that it can pit beginners against pros without fear of favour or embarrassment. If you jog or cycle, then it really is about the fittest and fastest waking away with the win. Golf changes all that.

In fact, it is one of the most inclusive sports out there. Golf fosters a sense of community and belonging, which is essential for mental health. Everyone, regardless of their skill level, can experience the joy and satisfaction of playing golf.

The social interactions on the golf course can combat loneliness and isolation. Golf provides ample opportunities for socialising and building meaningful connections. This social aspect is particularly important for mental health, as strong social ties are linked to lower rates of anxiety and depression.

Power up your brain

In addition to stress relief and improved mood, golf also enhances cognitive function. The game requires strategic thinking, problem-solving, and concentration, which keep the mind sharp and engaged. Regularly playing golf can help improve focus and mental agility, which are crucial for maintaining cognitive health as we age. So, now you can tell your other half that you really are powering up your brain when you go and play a round.

Golf also teaches valuable emotional regulation skills. The nature of the game – where even the best players face setbacks – helps people learn to manage frustration and maintain composure. These skills are not only beneficial on the course but also in everyday life. They can help you handle stress and adversity more effectively. Golfing can build resilience, as players learn to cope with setbacks and persevere through challenges.

No need to break the bank

The elephant in the room is the cost. While golf does have a reputation for being an expensive sport, there are ways to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Many courses offer discounted rates during off-peak times, and there are also affordable public courses available. Investing in golf can be seen as an investment in your mental health and overall well-being.

Golf is much more than a leisurely pastime or a competitive sport. Consider it a powerful tool for improving mental health, offering benefits such as stress reduction, mood enhancement, cognitive stimulation, and social interaction.

So, whether you are a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, consider picking up a golf club and experiencing the mental health benefits of this remarkable sport.