Golf: Why More Older Adults are Teeing Off

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Described as a lifetime sport, golf can be played whether you are 4 or 104.  Played by millions of people around the globe, the game is a great way for golfers to take pleasure in exercise, as well as boost their mental wellbeing in a social environment.

More importantly, golf is great fun – there’s no feeling like hitting a great driver or holing a putt. The sport is enjoyed in many forms, including mini golf, at driving ranges, and on golf courses. If you’re wondering whether there are health perks to playing this sport, then have a read!

The health benefits of playing golf are significant

A game where a player uses a variety of clubs to strike a small ball into a series of holes around the course. The player with the fewest shots goes home a winner.  The gist of the game, though, belies the impact it can have on people’s wellbeing.

Meet New People

Golf is a social sport, and this factor makes it appealing to many. It’s a beautiful environment to strike up a conversation with other players on the course who have similar interests.  By the end of a round you may find yourself having a beer with new friends while reliving that birdie on the 13th one more time.

Playing the sport can also help boost your social skills, self-esteem, and mood.

It’s Good Exercise

At 85 years old, Mr. Vince B. golfs 2 times per week! Seine River Retirement Residence He has competed in the golf tournament at the Manitoba Senior Games for past 5 years. He has represented Ontario and Manitoba for his age level at 3 national competitions in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Kamloops.

Depending on the avenue of play that you choose, golf can range from moderate to low intensity exercise. There are plenty of options for navigating a course. You can use a golf cart to drive around, you can use a pushcart, or you can even walk around carrying your bag.

Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health.  Most courses see you walk at least six kilometers during a round, so there’s no doubt that you’ll achieve the recommended step goals while playing! But, even as a spectator at a game, you can experience physical activity!

Golf Improves Balance

An international research study backed by the R&A has found new evidence to suggest golf can provide significant health benefits to older participants in the form of improved muscle strength and balance. The study further found that physical demands recorded during a golf round were equivalent to or greater than the demands for other common activities, such as gym work or yoga, whilst participants benefited from green space, social interaction and walking over hilly terrain.

The full report can be viewed here.

Golfers Live Longer

Really they do! According to recent studies, golfers live 5 years longer, on average.

Golf Reduces Stress

Or so they say! While some might debate this statement, golf increases mental capacity, creativity, and problem-solving ability, all of which are important no matter what your age. By keeping your brain active and in “thinking” mode, you can focus more on the game and less on life’s worries. Playing a game of golf can also release the “feel good” endorphins that combat anxiety and depression.

Enjoy Beautiful Landscapes

The nature of the sport requires that it be played in a quiet serene setting. And, ideally, in green spaces. If you play outside, your playing partners in a round of golf are not just people. They can be deer, turtles, foxes, woodchucks, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, blue heron, eagles, geese, or ducks!

Anyone Can Play

For an older adult, golf is a great opportunity to spend time with family or friends while having fun. The appeal of golf can span the age range of all members of a family. A new golfer – why not teach your grandchildren! – may enjoy the challenge of making contact with the ball for the first time or learning a new sport.

How To Start Golfing as An Older Adult

If you haven’t played or have not played in a while here are some tips to get you started.

Take lessons, especially at the beginning

To chip (short shots) or drive (long shots)? While retirees don’t need a lot of training to play the sport, they may want to consider taking a few lessons before getting onto the green. Learning proper technique makes the game more enjoyable and safer. A professional instructor also helps you to learn the rules and choose the right clubs.

Warm up with light stretching

Always warm up and stretch before playing to prepare your muscles and mind for the game. You need to pay particular attention to your shoulders, back and arms, which are the main areas used when playing. Stretches and warm up prevents or lowers the risk of injury and helps you play your best game.

Stay hydrated

Like other sports, staying hydrated during the game is essential to help you perform better and overcome high temperatures. Drink water before, during and after playing to enjoy the game and stay healthy.

Have fun

Everyone was a beginner one! The most important thing is to enjoy your time with friends and family.

More than just golf

It’s important to retire in an environment that provides quality amenities, activities, and, for golfers, golf-course accessibility.  Communities like Summit Heights senior residence in Hamilton, or the Brandon senior housing Victoria Landing, are built close to world class golf courses.

These communities offer more than just golf, as you will find many other recreational amenities. Some of these might include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Fitness and wellness centers that keep you in shape and reach your health goals
  • Games and multipurpose rooms
  • Convenience luxuries (such as scheduled transportation, a concierge, and personal laundry)
  • Beauty salons and hairdressers

Whether you are playing on your local course, using an indoor mini-putt, or trying your swing on a golf simulator like Wii Golf, contact us today!  Our Lifestyle Directors are here to assist you in finding senior living that suits your needs, hobbies, and interests.

Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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