Playing a round of golf means that you’re walking between four and eight miles and burning up to around 1000 calories. Any activity that leaves you slightly short of breath and works up a bit of a sweat is good for your cardiovascular system, or heart. Hitting practice shots on a driving range burns about 200 calories an hour. Golf is challenging physically as well as using your co-ordination, concentration and strategy so is good for the mind and body. Even a bad game of golf will leave you with the benefits of having had exercise and fresh air!
Golf is one of the top social sports and it can be played year-round all over the world. If you’re walking the course, it can be a calm but thorough workout, and the social side of golf is part of what makes it so popular. There are few things better in sports than teeing up on a beautiful day with good friends. Golfing holidays can take you playing on courses all over the world. Learning a new skill, setting and achieving a target gives you a great sense of satisfaction.
• Warm up and stretch before playing, paying attention to your back, shoulders and arms.
• Include gentle movement and mobility exercises followed by gentle air swings or ball hits using short irons.
• Take lessons.
• Good technique is your best defence against injuries.
• Stand at least four club lengths away from a swinging club.
• Use good equipment including shoes, socks, gloves and clothing.
• Have golf equipment professionally fitted before purchase.
• Wear sun protection (clothing, hat, sunglasses and 30+ sunscreen) between September and April where heat and UV is at its highest.
• Drink water before, during and after a game.
• Know and practise the basic rules and etiquette of the game.
• Check that no one else is standing close by before you swing.
• Don’t play until the group in front is out of the way.
• Shout ‘fore’ to warn of danger to players and spectators.
• Give way to ground staff and wait until they call you to play on.
• Lift and carry clubs safely – it is recommended to use a double strapped golf bag to avoid stress on the shoulders.
• In times of extreme heat, you may need to reconsider the playing conditions for further play. Consider playing in the early morning or twilight to avoid the hottest period of the day.
• Stop playing immediately when an injury occurs.
• Seek first aid or prompt medical treatment for any type of injury, irrespective of how severe it is.
Golf’s unique combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live a longer, healthier life. Indeed, playing golf can increase your life expectancy.
Take up golf – It will improve your quality of life and may lengthen it as well.