There are other sports, like soccer and basketball, which obviously require lots of energy, strength, and endurance. Golf, on the other hand, does not require much of those…at least not at first glance. Golfers can have a caddy carry their clubs for them, hop in little carts and take off to the next hole.
While that may be the case for many golfers, Cindy is quick to point out that those are choices that every golfer gets to make. There are plenty of people who use golf as an exercise and forgo those luxuries and end up with a great workout in the process. The Walking With the cardiovascular activity that you get just from walking the 18 holes of golf you give your lungs and your heart one of the best workouts they can get. A regulation 18-hole golf course could be anywhere from 6,200 to 7,000 yards, which could cover a full distance of more than 3 miles during the course of your game. But not all the waking you do will be on the course. William Henderson of Live Healthy explains,
Using golf course yardage to estimate how far you walk during a round of golf ignores the walking you do prior to starting, such as walking from the clubhouse to the practice tee, as well as the walking you do while you play, such as from your cart to the tee box.
He figures that if you choose to forgo the luxury of the cart you can expect to walk somewhere between 3 and 6 miles during a single game. We know that the benefits of walking just 30 minutes a day can result in an entire host of health benefits. It can also help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, increase your energy and stamina, and help you reach your weight loss goals. The Strength Training Another great benefit that you get from golfing is an increase in strength. The sheer act of swinging a golf club is not all that challenging; however, carrying a full bag of them up and down the many hills and valleys cannot help but to build up your quads and hamstrings and other muscles in the lower body. Add to that the weight of your golf bag and your upper body is also getting a pretty good workout. You will also need to have a certain amount of strength to be able to control the swing of your club too. Ron Kaspriske of Golf Digest explains,
To swing a club effectively, you need sufficient strength to stabilize your body, decent flexibility to improve your range of motion, and good coordination to wind and unwind in the correct sequence.
He actually recommends you getting to the gym to do some strength training to help you prepare for your day on the course. Try throwing a 4 to 10 pound medicine ball around to train your upper body for the movements you will need to perfect your swing. Balance Having good balance does not come naturally to some people; it is a skill that takes time to develop. Those who can master the skill have strong core strength; this includes your abdominal muscles, lower back and even your Gluteous Maximus. These all have to work together to keep you upright while you swing. To be considered a good golfer, you have to be able to maintain enough control in your core to keep your balance all the way through your swing. Concentration One final added benefit to mastering the skill involved in golf is that it also teaches you how to control your mind. Exercising your brain is also extremely important not only for the sport but for your life. Research has proven time and again that a brain that is not regularly stimulated will soon begin to degrade leading to memory loss and any number of age related mental deficiencies. When you golf you are forced to not only remember the rules of the game but numbers, images, tips and techniques. John MacGregor points out the many ways you need to use your mind in golf,
You have to study each shot, read the greens and make a decision on how to hit the ball from almost every possible location. It also helps you visualize situations, and improving your concentration can translate over to your personal life, as well as a child’s school work.
There are many other benefits that one can gain from paying a round of golf that could range from allowing you time to build relationships as you go through the course to it just being some good old-fashioned fun. Golf may not be the rough and tumble sport that many people are looking for, but anyone who has ever taken the time to play it will soon discover that it is not just a leisurely activity and a stroll along a beautiful green course. So, let all those naysayers continue to debate the qualifications of the sport all they want. As long as you get out there and walk the course, carry the bag, keep your balance, perfect your swing, and improve your concentration and anything else you get from the game, what do you care?