Is golf really a sport or is it just a pastime for old people?

Posted by Inga Abed on

I am sure you have had this conversation before:
‘You play golf? But golf is not a sport...”

Some people consider golf a game" rather than a "sport”, they think it does not require rigorous physical activity, and you don’t have to be athletic to play golf, or can even be overweight or injured to swing a golfclub. They may even tell you that golf is designed for the old. They often cite golf's 112-year absence from the Olympics as proof that it is not a sport.
None of this is true of course: Golf has been an Olympic sport since 2016, but before that date it was included in the Olympics in 1900 and 1904. It was removed because of a lack of competitors. Opposition to its re-inclusion was not because people did not consider it a sport but rather concerns from golf organizations that their Tour events will become overshadowed.

From a health perspective, Golf has many fitness benefits which are appealing, especially to women. A recent US study found that a 18 hole round of golf burns over 1500 calories – the equivalent of an average speed runner running more than 10 miles. This is further increased in golfers who carry their own clubs. Golf tones the legs, waist and arms very effectively. And all this with a low risk of injury.

Another criticism of people is that golf is boring. This perception comes from the fact that the pace of golf is slow and that it is a “low-impact” sport with a low risk of long-term injury. These attributes mean that golf can be played at any age, from the very young to the very old, from 4 years to 104 years. So, in fact golf is not for the old it is for everyone.

However it takes a lot of mental stamina to play golf. Golf is often considered a mental game and physical ability is just one part of golf. Golf takes concentration, dedication and a lot of mental strength to perform effectively. Most professionals actually employ a sport psychologist to help them find the right frame of mind for the game.

There are also many other health benefits that have been scientifically proven and when I say scientifically proven I mean that they have been shown in scientific studies - there are thousands on the golf’s benefits on health.

Benefits include increased life expectancy. A study carried out in Sweden found that golfers live on average 5 years longer than non-golfers. Benefits also include improvement in mental health, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. Evidence suggests that golfers have lower cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self worth than non-golfers. Golf results “ in a sense of purpose and value, a better quality of life, improved sleep, and reduced stress, as well as stronger relationships and social connectedness.”There have even been studies that have shown heath benefits of spectators at golf tournaments. Contrary to other sports spectators actually have to do a fair amount of walking and are not just confined to a seat.

Unfortunately these benefits are not promoted enough and golf is still often seen as boring and for old people.
So if you know someone who’s looking for a single “Good Health Investment,” golf may just be it.

Go golfing and get healthy. And ladies, don’t forget to put on your visors to look the part. Get into the swing of things and shop for your golfvisors with Golfglam today! Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% off your first order.

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