Did you know golfers live five years longer than non-golfers?
It’s certainly not something I have seen anyone else in the golf industry talking about, but it’s a fact. A fact everyone in the industry should be shouting from the highest peaks as there is way too much negative press about golf and not nearly enough about the game’s amazing mental and physical benefits.
People who play golf live longer, healthier lives. Five years longer on average, according to a recent study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Not that surprising really…
Golf Keeps You in Shape
A study done by Reebok showed that golfers who walk and carry their bags burn approximately 55 percent more calories than those who ride in a cart.
The number of calories varies by distance walked and also the metabolic rate of the golfer. But fitness experts estimate you’ll burn roughly 1,500 calories during a four-hour round. A round of golf is 10,000 steps or about a 5-mile walk. That’s 825 calories more than if you ride in a cart, which clocks in at 675 calories. So no matter how good or bad your play, whether you walk or ride, you can at least get some exercise and calorie burn out of your round!
The golf industry, especially in the USA where many clubs depend on cart income, does a poor job of communicating this important aspect of the game. Encouraging players to ride nine and walk nine by appealing to fitness concerns may be a good start.
Golf Keeps You Mentally Active
Golf is not just a physical game but a mental one as well. It calls for strategy, creativity and problem solving, all of which help keep your brain active, one of the key ingredients in fighting off the aging process.
Golf Helps Relieve Stress
The natural environment in which golf is played helps relieve stress while the social aspects allow you to make new friends easily. Professor Anders Ahlbom says, “People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects to the game that can be of help.”
The friendships created provide motivation to meet and go play! They increase self-esteem and happiness. Golf can help to lift depression and improve one’s outlook on life. (Unless you start shanking it, which will quickly drive you insane!). All of these attributes help improve mental health by leaving golfers with a feeling of greater satisfaction.
Golfers Get More Sun and Feel Better
While we all know the dangers of too much sun, the sun does provide one very important nutrient – vitamin D. The sun is one of the best ways to soak up vitamin D, something many lack in their regular diet. Vitamin D can raise energy levels, improve attitude, aids calcium absorption, and generates cell growth. Overall, it’s a vitamin that just makes us feel good.
Golfers Sleep Better
Studies show that people who engage in regular physical activity and have proper nutrition sleep with less interruptions and report sleeping soundly. Getting sound sleep helps a person’s health in a number of ways, and golfing is one activity that can help you obtain a better night’s sleep.
The Better You Play, the More You Benefit
The study on golfers living longer, which was published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, is based on data from 300,000 Swedish golfers and shows that golf has beneficial health effects. Golfers have a lower death rate than the general population regardless of sex, age and social group.
Better call the pro and take some lessons because….
The lowest death rates were found in the group of players with the lowest handicaps. Professor Ahlbom notes, “Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health.”
Now you wouldn’t want to argue with your doctor would you? So get off the couch and get out and golf. Your body, mind, life insurance agent and loved ones will thank you!
For more information on growing the game read Golf – How to Really Grow the Game.
Andrew Wood is an author and CEO of Legendary Marketing, a Tampa/Orland-based ad agency. He is the world’s leading expert on golf, resort, destination and real estate marketing although his successes go far beyond these core industries. Author of over 40 books including; Confessions of a Golf Pro, Desperately Seeking Members, The Golf Marketing Bible, The Hotel and Resort Marketing Bible and Legendary Advice. Andrew has spoken to thousands of audiences worldwide and was the top ranked speaker at 97.7% of the events where he spoke on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. A pioneer in Internet marketing his creative talent, out of the box ideas and copywriting skills are at the core of his expertise. Regarded as one of the top marketing minds in the world for his ability to craft a winning strategy, generate leads and increase income!