Benefits of Golf for the Over 50s
IN THE minds of many people, golf is regarded as an old man’s game. It is nonsense, of course. Just look at the likes of Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas - they are all proper athletes who go to the gym on a regular basis. They watch what they eat, they pump iron and they do whatever it takes to keep themselves in the best possible shape. For that, they have to thank Tiger Woods, who broke new ground when he first took the sport by storm. And even at the age of 43, Woods continues to compete on level terms with the best in the business. Would you describe him as an old man? Never!
Mark Twain once said that golf is a good walk spoilt. What did he know? One of the attractions of this wonderful game of ours is that you can carry on playing to a decent standard for as long as you still have breath in your body. Here, we look at just some of the benefits of playing golf for the over-50s.
Nobody has ever pretended that golf is a work-out but a four-hour walk will not do you any harm at all - and it will ensure that, at the very least, you maintain your levels of fitness. The golf swing also promotes core muscle strength.
On average, you will burn 1,400 calories if you walk 18 holes. Even if you use a buggy, you will use at least 800 calories. That is not to be sniffed at. Even an hour at the driving range will help you to burn off 180-200 calories.
It will keep you supple. Well, it will keep you supple if you don’t try to knock three bells out of the ball and end up pulling a muscle! As we age our joints get stiffer. A golfer requires a degree of flexibility to swing the club correctly. Precautions such as a gentle warm-up will offer some protection from pulled muscles.
Friendship. You can join a golf club and know that before very long you will have formed a whole new group of friends.
It doesn’t matter what age you are - if you have a handicap you can go out and play in competitions and compete on level terms with men and women who much younger than you are. They may hit the ball further than you, but you can still beat them. Over and over again.
When you reach a certain age you will have more time on your hands. What better way of spending that time than heading out to the golf course? The chances are that your friends will also have more spare time, so you get to build stronger relationships with like-minded people.
It is a physically and mentally stimulating sport so it will keep you young.
You probably won’t take it too seriously, which means you will go out there and have fun. And then laugh some more when you get back to the clubhouse.
Your social life will improve - golf clubs encourage members to bring their partners along for a meal, for social events such as dances and quizzes. When you hit 50 your priorities change - the children are off your hands, so you can get involved with the social side of things at the golf club.
You can join your club’s senior section. Almost without exception, senior sections are active, friendly and welcoming, so you are going to meet new friends. You will also get a chance to put your name down for team matches, giving you the opportunity to visit other clubs in your area. And you don’t have to play at weekends and endure six-hour rounds!
You will live longer - according to a recent Swedish survey, golfers typically live up to five years longer. Now THAT is a good reason to keep playing when you turn 50.
As we age the risk of heart problems, diabetes, mobility issues and dementia increase. Taking part in a sport like golf will help to delay these conditions.
Most golf club professionals will offer discounts when it comes to teaching groups of seniors.
If you are coming up to retirement, what better way to fill in the time you will have on your hands than by taking up golf? You are never too old to start.
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