G is for Growth:
Mentally, there is a quietness in the mind that precedes the carefully orchestrated symphony of movements in the golf swing, just as before the archer’s shot or breaking the board in karate. Brain mapping has even shown that during the one minute of the successful golf shot the brain lights up like a Christmas tree! Physically, golf is similar to Pilates and Yoga in that it encourages graceful and elastic motions that create effortless power. Playing golf correctly is a relaxing walk in the park that leads to a tranquil body and a more peaceful state of mind.
O is for the Outdoors:
Nature truly does have the power to heal. Sunshine, fresh air, flowers and wide green fairways can go a long way toward making you feel better. As 19th century inventor Luther Burbank put it: “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind.”
Increasingly, studies are showing that spending time outdoors can help to lower blood pressure, improve immune system function and work against cardio-vascular problems and even diabetes! In fact, “nature prescriptions” are going through the roof as doctors are finding that they can help treat everything from high cholesterol to insomnia to PTSD.
L is for Love:
Playing a sport with those you love is one of the best bonding rituals out there, and golf has a way of breaking down barriers and healing relationships. This is a game that grandparents can play with their children or newly retired couples can take up together. It’s also endlessly fascinating to study, discuss and improve — why not do this with someone you love?
F is for Fun:
British Romantic Poet Lord Byron urged humanity to “Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” Golf is good old-fashioned fun. Perhaps surprisingly, it can be even more fun for non-athletes because they come into the game with lower expectations. And, just as with cards and dominoes, there are many, many fun twists on the traditional game of golf. You can play Team Scrambles, Best Ball, One Club, Ping Pong, Bingo Bango Bongo, Stableford and many more. These inclusive, faster and less serious games can be played at any skill level. If you don’t know them, be sure to have your coach teach them to you!
By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy.