Though its biggest fans won’t be found huddled up in sports bars, wearing jerseys and face paint and yelling at the television, golf is among the top ten most popular sports in the world. Millions follow the sport and watch tournaments, and thousands descend on their local clubs to play a few rounds themselves. Though many see the sport as slow-moving – which, it is – there is still a great amount of athleticism that is required to play the game well, along with precision, focus and strategy.

Golf doesn’t require you to tackle other players to the ground, or to run around a field for hours at a time; however, as Kayla Burri and Jerry Yeomans with the Rockledge Country Club explained, there are many health benefits that come with playing the game.

  1. Cardio: As previously stated, though you’re not running around, you are playing on a course that can be anywhere from 30 – 200 acres. So, you’re doing a lot of walking – two to five miles, to be exact. According to Yeomans and Burri, this amount of walking, along with carrying and swinging your clubs, can cause golfers to “burn up to 1,000 calories per game.” Of course, this just means you can enjoy a hefty meal and a drink (or two) after your game.
  2. Improved mental health: Burri continued to explain that golf can be very beneficial to those with anxiety. According to Rockledge Country Club, “Studies have shown that constant exposure to green areas relaxes the body, reduce stress and can aid in alleviating anxiety.” The exposure to sunlight can also help younger golfers with their bone growth and reduce risk of depression.
  3. Improved vision: Golf requires its players to spot their golf ball from yards away. And, in order to get the ball off the tee, you must have great hand-eye coordination. As you continue to practice the sport, both your eyesight and your hand-eye coordination will improve over time.
  4. Stronger relationships: This final point was big for Burri and Yeomans. Though not necessarily a health benefit, strong relationships do have a positive impact on a person’s overall wellbeing. Because the sport is not as competitive as others, players have the time to interact with each other on the course. For all you businessmen and women reading along, Rockledge Country Club shared that, “studies have shown that a great number of business deals are closed on the golf course.” If you ask me, a day on the course sounds much better than a day at the office, right?

Because this sport can be both solitary or social, there is plenty of room for a player to get what he or she needs form the game, whether that is time away from day-to-day stress, or time to build stronger relationships and be competitive.