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Going Stir Crazy with COVID-19? Golfing Is Your Sure Cure!
Have you been dreaming a bit too vividly lately of life before COVID-19? Are you missing your usual spring and summer cottage life routine? Does your Netflix queue roll its eyes at you when you tune in these days?
We have a solution - and it is one you may not have thought of - Golfing!
Golf courses received provisional permission to reopen in early May, well before most other businesses in our hard-hit province here in Ontario.
This is because golf courses are much better equipped to meet and even exceed the recommended social distancing and safety protocols than the majority of other public use recreational spaces.
Golf courses also give their patrons healthy doses of that one absolute essential - fresh outside air!
In this post, learn about why golf is definitely having its moment in the sun this year and how you can join in the fun!
Golf Is Good for You Physically, Mentally and Socially
How often do you hear the words "fitness" and "fun" used together in a sentence?
If you answered "not often," we are happy to say that is about to change.
In fact, the esteemed British Journal of Medicine (BMJ) is enthusiastic about the many health benefits of golf - so enthusiastic it asks the question of why more people are not jumping on board to reap those benefits.
The Golf and Health Organization states that one of golf’s main health benefits is to strengthen the respiratory system - a key need that every single person alive today has right now.
On that note, if ever there was a season to take up golfing, it would be now, in the year of COVID-19. Golf is quite simply tailor-made to get you outside and into nature with friends and family in a safe and healthy way.
Specific Ways Golf Can Improve Your Health Right Away
Take a look at these recent findings about golf as a source of healthy, fun fitness:
- Golf is known to reduce the risk of both heart attacks and strokes, by up to 40%.
- Golf is also linked with reduction in risk for 40 other serious health conditions ranging from cancer and diabetes to Alzheimer's and dementia.
- Golf is positively associated with decreased anxiety and depression, increased mental health and overall stress reduction.
- Golfers report feeling an increased sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy - in part because of the mastery of a new skill and in part because of increased opportunities for positive social connections (especially when you decide to join a golf league).
- Golf carries a lower risk of physical injury than many other sports while still providing moderate aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness opportunities, especially for golfers who choose to walk the course.
- Golf is now positively correlated with longevity (longer life span) - on average, golfers live seven years longer than non-golfers.
- Golf can also improve body composition, aid in weight loss, boost metabolism and increase muscle tone as well as reduce the risk of later-life bone density issues that can lead to fractures and breaks.
Perhaps most importantly, the player doesn't have to be "good at golf" to reap all of these benefits. They are available to every player right from day one on the course.
How Much Golf Should You Play to Get the Health Benefits?
As it turns out, golf hits high marks in a sufficiently large number of categories that BMJ has even issued "recommended weekly play" guidelines to help golfers of all ages and experience levels get the most benefit.
If golfing is your sole source of fitness.
If you plan to get most or all of your physical activity from golfing, then researchers recommend aiming for at least 150 minutes of play per week.
If you can and time permits, consider walking the course rather than using a power cart.
Always start with some basic warm-up stretches to get your major joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles) ready to deliver your best stroke with every swing.
Be sure to use an appropriate ultraviolet blocking sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and protective clothing while you are out on the course.
If golfing is not your sole source of fitness.
With 150 minutes of total physical activity as your weekly goal, balance out what you don't get from playing golf with complementary strengthening or cardiovascular activity.
Follow the other three recommendations in the previous section here.
How to Get Started Learning to Play Golf
You may be reading this post because you played golf in the distant past, remember enjoying it and want to rekindle your golf skills.
Or perhaps this is the first time you will ever hold a golf club and you have questions ranging from what to wear to how to pilot one of those cool golf buggies.
It is true that instruction options are more limited right now due to COVID-19. But there is one easy, fun way to start learning right away - invite an experienced player to join you on the course!
Most golf lovers are happy to pass along their knowledge and love of the game to someone new. This way, you can experience some success and pick up some new skills right away and reap all the health benefits we just shared - right on your first day of golfing.
You don't have to purchase a membership or make a long-term commitment to get started, either. Just ask for Guest Rates Greens Fees to book your tee time.
Get in Touch
We are excited to announce we are now back open for play!
Please know that we take the health and safety of all our guests very seriously. To learn more and what to expect when you arrive, please review our COVID-19 "safe play" guidelines.