Looking for a sport or hobby to positively impact your mental health? Well, it looks like golf is one of the best options for you. A Golf Travel Center Survey conducted a study in which 98% of participants said golf helped them relieve stress AND improve their mental health.

Sport is low impact, social and can also improve your confidence and self-esteem, with a 2009 Swedish study discover that golf could even increase your life expectancy by five years.

According to data compiled by the National Golf Foundation, 2020 saw a total of 24.8 million golfers in the United States, an increase of 500,000 from 2019, marking the largest net increase in 17 years. golf summary reported in April 2021.

It’s no surprise that more and more people are getting into golf, and with the PGA Tour for 2022 taking place this weekend (September 15-18), it’s likely more people will be interested. to this sport.

A man was swinging on a golf course.
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A April 2021 study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Open Sports and Exercise Medicine stated that: “Golf may provide health-enhancing physical activity. Regular physical activity is associated with physical/mental health, immune system and longevity benefits.”

Haidan Smith, Director of International Trade at SurpriseShopa highly reputable retailer of women’s golf accessories and apparel, has compiled a list of several reasons why your female readers should hit the green.

1. Social nature

The aforementioned study found that a “sense of belonging and life satisfaction improved significantly when golf restrictions were relaxed after the first [COVID-19] lockdown in the UK.”

Smith said golf can be a great way to meet new people, adding: “If you’ve just moved to a new place and you’re struggling to meet new people, there’s no better place. than the clubhouse to start.Whether you want to chat about the latest PGA happenings with someone at the bar or need the club to set you up with a new team, this place has it all. your co-workers, why not ask them if they fancy a game, or if they’d like to try a new course on the go?

“You can even foster healthy competition and set challenges for yourself and your friends. Alternatively, introverts might find that playing golf solo is a great way to be around people without any pressure to socialize – a task sometimes hard to do!”

2. Stress relief

Golf is an excellent anti-stress; you spend time outdoors, listening to the birds, hanging out with friends, and focusing on the game, rather than your day-to-day concerns.

Smith said: “Being outdoors naturally has a host of mental health benefits, including naturally reducing your anxiety and reducing the effects of depression. Although you might not think golf is a good workout – a good game never feels like one – the endorphins released by low impact exercise not only reduce pain, but relieve emotional stress.

Plus, if you’re feeling frustrated and want to vent your aggression, grabbing a golf club and hitting a ball as far as you can is one of the best ways to relax.”

Sean Gay, founder of the Sober Golfers Society, said in a statement: “Golf is the most powerful therapy for men and women to talk about problems in an open and friendly setting. Nothing beats walking for 4 hours in nature, laughing, playing golf with other club members and just having a release from that exhausting week at work.

3. Sleep better

Exercise can play a key role in improving sleep. dr. Charlene Gamaldothe medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital, said that based on available studies, “we have strong evidence that exercise actually helps you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of sleep”, according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website.

The combination of fresh air and exercise that golf provides can help you sleep better at night and “the better your sleep, the better your golf will be,” said Smith of SurpizeShop, adding that “studies have shown that a bad night’s rest can actually increase your handicap.”

There are even hotels dedicated to the “Golf, Sleep & Dine” concept – the ultimate trio for the perfect relaxing weekend.

Women playing golf on a course.
Two women holding golf clubs while watching another woman swing on a course.
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4. Dose of vitamin D

According to a April 2012 study, in the peer-reviewed study Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy.

This deficiency has been particularly pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with people leaving their homes less often than before due to illness or to minimize the risk of infection. Playing golf outdoors can naturally help replenish your vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is especially important for the absorption of calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones.

The US Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health explains: “Along with calcium, vitamin D helps protect you against the development of osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.

Our immune system also needs vitamin D to fight “invading bacteria and viruses,” the office said.

Low vitamin D levels are concurrent with several mental health impacts, including depression, seasonal affective disorder and schizophrenia – so be sure to plan your longer games for a sunny day!”

5. Boost self-esteem

Playing golf regularly in conjunction with a good diet can help you lose weight and become more confident. Combined with the social nature of the sport, you’ll be making new friends and looking your best in no time – just make sure you don’t celebrate too loudly with high calorie pints!

A South Korean study published in March 2021 in the peer-reviewed journal Physical Culture and Sport Studies and Researchfound that even screen golf (playing golf on a simulated digital golf course screen) can “provide people with disabilities with opportunities for positive life experiences through sport participation.”

The study, which examined the effect of screen golf participation on various psychosocial factors (including self-esteem) in people with and without disabilitiesfound that there was “a more positive effect on self-esteem and life satisfaction for non-disabled people with screen golf experience than for those without screen golf experience”.

Smith said: “The low-impact nature of golf means it’s gentle on joints and muscles, making it ideal for those trying to find an easy yet fun exercise routine. The sport is engaging, forcing you to focus your efforts on the ball and focus on how you’ll get your next hole-in-one.”

The The Fortinet PGA Tour Championship continues this weekend on the North Course at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California.