Today, the hubs and I went out to play nine holes of golf. Although I only play once a week, the hubs plays eighteen holes most Mondays and during the summer an additional nine holes on Fridays with the Christian Golf League.
Wednesday is our date day
and when the weather cooperates
we choose golf.
I know playing only nine holes has significant health benefits for me. More so for my husband since he plays more often. Until two years ago, I was able to play a full eighteen holes but suffered from uncontrolled asthma that significantly curtailed my physical activity. So for now, I'm grateful to get nine in once a week.
I’m happy to say that with good medical help, I have slowly mended and am still mending. My golf game is improving each time I hit the links. I look forward to stretching my game to eighteen holes again.
I wondered if there was any research as to the health benefits for seniors. I came across this article:
Several aspects related to the benefits of golf for seniors came to light.
1. Just playing once a month significantly lowers an older adult’s risk of premature death.
2. Golf is not only a low-impact physical activity but has the added benefit of socialization. Friendly competition stimulates the brain.
3. Golf requires focus and concentration which also stimulates brain function.
4. The sport can be easily modified for different levels of physical ability. After my knee replacement, I was permitted to drive the golf cart closer to the green, thus allowing me to play more often without causing undue stress on my surgical knee. I saw a player today with an amputated arm make some incredible putts.
5. Because golf is an outdoor sport, the fresh air and sunshine give many benefits. Better brain function, better sleep, reduced stress for quicker healing, and a healthier immune system.
How to enjoy the game more:
1. Don’t take the game too seriously, and enjoy the company you’re with. I’m grateful to spend time with the man I love. He’s a much better golfer than I am, but he doesn’t gloat or try to give me lessons during play.
2. While a little competition is fun … make it fair. That’s what handicaps are for!
3. Be polite. The golden rule applies to golf and to all areas of life. Let the faster players play through. You won’t feel so rushed if a group has to keep waiting for you while you are looking for lost balls.
If you’ve never golfed, it’s never too late to learn. And it doesn't matter if you have a physical or mental handicap. Take a few lessons. You’ll be glad you did.
Linda Wood Rondeau is an award-winning author and speaker. She lives in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband Steve.