Golf’s popularity is at an all-time high! Even though the year 2020 was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Golf Foundation reported that over 24.8 million people played golf during that year. This was the sport’s most significant boom in participation in 17 years.
Even in 2022, brands like Callaway and Titleist are seeing an increase in the overall sales volume of their golf clubs. The popularity of golf should continue to increase. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Golf is a Fantastic Stress Reliever
Let’s face it. Life is always stressful. Whether it’s a global pandemic or a possible recession, there are always things that cause anxiety.
Because of this, folks have to find ways to blow off steam. Playing golf is great for that, as multiple studies have shown how spending time on the golf course can have a positive influence on a person’s mood.
Reducing stress helps lower anxiety, decreases the chances of depression, helps improve sleep, and improves blood pressure. Simply put: when life gets tough, find the first tee because golf is a fantastic stress reliever.
2. Playing Golf is a Great Way to Meet New People
With more people working from home than ever before, the need for in-person social interaction is at an all-time high. Folks who play golf get the opportunity to meet new people from all parts of the world. These types of social experiences help ward off feelings of loneliness and depression.
A few years ago I got to play a couple of rounds of golf with a gentleman from The Netherlands and we are still friends to this day. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen as often with other sports. The social nature of golf is a huge plus!
3. Golf is Good Exercise
Many folks falsely assume that most golfers have the physique of John Daly (no offense Big John, we all love you!). That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most players on the PGA Tour are fit as a fiddle.
Believe it or not, golf is good exercise. This is especially true if you walk the course instead of using a golf cart. According to a study by Golf Digest, the average golfer walks between two and six miles during an 18-hole round, depending on whether they choose to ride or walk.
All of that walking is a huge boost to the cardiovascular system. Several studies have shown that a person’s mortality risk severely decreases just by walking a few hours a week. One particular study at Edinburgh University showed that playing golf could extend a person’s life by as much as five years because of the positive impact it has on the heart and lungs!
The golf swing itself works a variety of muscle groups. Completing a full golf swing works the legs, hips, glutes, shoulders, chest, and arms. It also works the lower back and oblique muscles to a larger degree.
4. Golf is Incredibly Fun
One of the simplest reasons for golf’s popularity is that it’s fun! Ask any new golfer who has recently caught the bug for the game and they’re likely to tell you that golf is so fun that it’s addictive. For most of us, life can get too serious at times, so golf is a great way to add some much-needed fun back into our lives.
It’s almost impossible to describe just how much enjoyment a golfer gets by hitting a good approach shot near the pin or sinking a few putts. Or, how about striping a titanic drive right down the middle of the fairway? There’s just nothing like it!
Contrary to popular belief, you also don’t need a huge bank account to enjoy golf. Some of my best memories were when I was learning to play the game on a 9-hole course that only cost $9 to play! Who says you have to have lots of money to have a good time?
5. In Golf, Age Really is Just a Number!
One amazing thing about golf is that it can be played by people of all ages. Think about how cool that is! There are very few sports that you can safely play at 80 or 90 years old and golf is one of them.
For that reason, more and more seniors are taking up the game. No wonder lots of retirement communities are on or near golf courses! Playing golf is a terrific way to stay active during the retirement years and lead a much more fulfilling life.
On the other end of the spectrum, golf is also a fantastic sport for young kids to play. Even if your children aren’t quite old enough to play, most will still enjoy riding in the golf cart with you and learning the basics of the game. Making golf a family outing can create lots of fond memories.
6. Golf is Business Friendly
A golf course is a fabulous place for business professionals to network. Many lucrative business relationships start with two or more folks playing a casual round of golf. Prospective clients are usually much more receptive to business proposals after sinking a long birdie putt than in some stuffy boardroom.
Many businessmen find that their customers and colleagues are more likely to open up while playing golf. This is probably because the golf course provides a neutral setting where everyone can get relaxed and comfortable. If your business just isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, the answer may be to play more golf!
7. Golf Teaches Lots of Life Lessons
Sports, in general, can teach us a bunch of life lessons. However, no sport builds character or teaches integrity and patience like golf. Since golf can be insanely frustrating, it can teach a person to be more in control of their emotions and actions.
While it may be tempting to throw (or break) a club after a tee shot into the water or a wicked slice into the sand trap, this shows a lack of emotional maturity. It’s much better to try to laugh it off or take just a deep breath and realize that frustration is simply part of the game. It’s also a huge part of life!
Golf is a journey of self-improvement. It takes a great deal of character, determination, and hard work to consistently hit good shots and take strokes off your handicap. Developing these types of traits will help you build a better life off the course.
8. Golf Provides a Great Opportunity to Connect With Nature
There’s just something special about being outdoors and getting some fresh air. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul. Playing golf allows folks to enjoy the beauty of nature while also getting a healthy dose of vitamin D, which has been shown to help our bodies fight off viruses and other types of illnesses.
Just how important is spending time outdoors? Studies have shown that spending time outside strengthens the immune system, improves digestion, and improves circulation. That’s just the physical benefits of spending some time outside.
The mental health benefits of being outdoors include enhanced creativity, better concentration, stress reduction, and better overall mood. All of these positive statistics about being outside should make us want to set more tee times on a weekly basis.
9. Golf Can Be Enjoyed With Friends and By Yourself
Very few sports can be played both with others and by yourself. Golf is one of those rare sports that offer this type of flexibility. You can play 18 holes with three of your best friends or you can choose to enjoy the solace of playing a round all on your own.
A beautiful thing about golf that some spectators may not know is that the golfer’s main opponent is himself. That may sound a bit weird but it’s true. Even most amateurs aren’t worried about beating their buddies, they are simply just trying to shoot their best-ever score.
Team sports are great for building camaraderie but there are certain restrictions involved. A power hitter in baseball can’t work on his swing unless he has a friend that will throw him some batting practice pitches. Golfers don’t have that type of problem.
10. Golf Can Be Enjoyed On Vacation or At Home
Have you ever taken a golf vacation? It’s an exhilarating experience and we highly recommend it! There’s something refreshing and invigorating about traveling around to different venues and playing different golf courses.
Some of my favorite vacations have been quick weekend getaways to play a couple of new golf courses. Whether you’re a fan of exquisite golf resorts or a quick visit to a new course in a different city, playing golf is a great way to spend a vacation.
Are you more of a homebody than a mover and shaker? That’s okay too! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying all of the pleasures that your local municipal golf course has to offer.