I have been asked many times if I still enjoy playing golf.
I have played it for over 50 years and enjoyed being a professional golf coach for 23 years. Many can’t understand why I want to spend four hours walking around hitting a white ball in a little hole on my time off. I’ve been asked this question so many times I thought I’d put into words why I am in love with and thankful for this great game of golf.
1. It has taught me to relax and handle pressure.
This is one of the reasons that golfers are said to live longer than any other athletes. Golfers have a quality of life that includes more calm, peaceful and moderate arousal of emotions and physical effort. The golfer desires challenge and overcome them through developing habits that lead to lower scores, stress and a healthier life.
2. This social game has allowed me to make more friends and develop relationships.
Although in most competitions you play against each other and the course, you still have two or three playing partners who join you for the round and share in the birdies and bogies. Four hours of golf will lead to many opportunities to get to know who you are playing with better and I’ve made some good friends and also business contacts from spending time on the golf course. The average time between shots is four minutes. This is a great time for stories, jokes and getting to know one another.
3. Because I can enjoy playing with my beginner friends.
No matter the skill level, if the golfer knows the etiquette, others can enjoy playing with them. What other game encourages a 7-year-old to be playing and competing with a 70-year-old? Using the handicap system, we all can have a fair game.
4. Golf depends on me.
I played quite a lot of football, basketball and baseball when growing up. It wasn’t too high a standard, but I took it seriously – trained quite hard for it and expected the best outcome. Nothing would annoy me more than giving my best than a teammate showing no commitment and concern for the team goal of winning.
5. I get to see beautiful scenery.
The Arthur Hills Golf Course in Palmetto Dunes Resort has the most obvious ancient sand dunes that decorate four holes. These grassed-over dunes run parallel to the beach and have elevation changes of as much as six feet. Most of our local trees stay green 12 months even while shedding their leaves. Eagles, osprey and red-tailed hawks create an adventurous feeling as golfers watch them hunt in their natural habitats preserved through golf courses. Charles Fraser, our modern Island’s founding father, was influenced by his mother that developed large extensive gardens representing orderly natural beauty. Mr. Fraser protected and enhanced the Island’s natural beauty by the covenants and standard he established.
6. It keeps me healthy.
Golf is a great non-impact exercise and is excellent for preventing arthritis and Alzheimer’s. Seven thousands yards equals around four miles, which is a good walk in anybody’s book. When this gentle game is played correctly, and done over four hours, it promotes better napping and nighttime sleeping. It also keeps your brain stimulated – you’re working to make new shots and strategies, solve problems, all the while forming memories, which not only helps to maintain existing brain circuits but may also creates new ones.
By Doug Weaver, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort