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The Less Obvious Benefits of Playing a Round of Golf

Humana Challenge Tournament Executive Director, Bob Marra, recently said “We want to make this clearly the healthiest sports event in the world.” Inspired by the “well-being” ethos of the modern Humana Challenge, this week I thought I would examine some of the less obvious ways golf can benefit players, as well as having a look at the tournament itself.

Kapalua winner, Zach Johnson will be the highest ranked player at the tournament this year. Traditionally known for celebrity involvement, the tournament has largely done away with this feature. The tournament now consists of a traditional four round tournament, but played over three different courses.

The relaxing nature of the game of golf when compared to other sporting pursuits is undeniable. A lot of this can be attributed to two main factors, namely: the course environment and the relatively low strain of the activity.

Green grass, rolling hills, sand bunkers, water hazards and wildlife; the settings in which we play golf are often picturesque and intimately tied to nature. Playing a game of golf can be the only time that busy people manage to venture out into the great outdoors.

Golf places relatively little strain on the human body when compared to more physical sports such as football and basketball. Injuries are far less common than in other sports and when they do occur, they are generally much less serious. It’s a game that can be played well into your twilight years without noticing much of a reduction in ability.

Patience is a virtue. You’ve just mishit the ball off the tee for the third time in a row, you prepare to throw your club off into the distance, but you hesitate. You restrain yourself and put your driver back into your club bag. The game of golf has taught you to be patient. Your next swing will be a better one.

Next time you head out on the course, consider the benefits of playing golf that may be less obvious. Were you able to relax? Did you connect with nature? Did you learn something more about patience? (Note: particularly if you had a terrible round). The links between golf and well-being are well known to players and it’s about time that a tournament like the Humana Challenge is drawing greater attention to it.

Image credit: Andrea Pacelli

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