Golf has an enormous impact on the mental and physical health of those who play the sport. The exercise and physical activity players receive from playing golf is just one of the great reasons people should take up the sport.

Golf has long been considered a sport that needs brainpower just as much as it needs physical ability. Players need to think and mentally prepare for each shot. This mental preparation makes golf a far more beneficial sport to a player's mind as opposed to a sport like tennis or jogging.

Why is Golf Great for Mental Health?

It has long been said that golf is 90 percent mental. That is a major claim, but anyone who has taken to the tee boxes, fairways and greens of their local golf course know exactly how much their brain works during a round. On any given round of golf, a player's mind will be hard at work throughout play as they consider all angles, shots and power needed for every swing. At the end of the day, when you are exhausted from playing a round of golf, it isn't just physical tiredness. Golfers, especially high-level players, are mentally exhausted after a day on the course. The amount of thinking, concentration and focus needed to play is behind helping improve mental health.

Golf has become so important in improving people's mental health that it is being used to help military veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans across the United States are playing golf as a type of therapy. According to studies, golf is helping treat those suffering from the disorder. Military veterans have stated the focus needed for golf takes their mind off of trauma they previously experienced.

Being Outdoors

Another reason golf is seen as a great tool to improve mental health is due to it being played outdoors. Golf is called "green exercise", which means it combines sports activity with the great outdoors. Golf courses are also relaxing due to their locations. The large green expanses merge wooded areas with waterways and other natural features.

The relaxing surroundings are perfect for the psyche. Being able to exercise outdoors, especially in beautiful spaces, allows the mind to focus much differently than in an indoor environment, according to reports. Therefore, hitting the golf course after a long work day or work week is extremely beneficial to players when they hit the greens. The next time you are feeling low at the end of the week, getting a round of golf in on Saturday and/or Sunday could be the perfect remedy.

Other Benefits of Playing Golf

Golf doesn't just help the psyche thanks to players being outdoors. Golf is great for losing weight. Not only do players burn calories by going through the motions of swinging to improve the muscles, but golfers must walk the golf course – if they choose not to rent a golf cart.

According to estimates, golfers can burn over 1400 calories when walking the course. You can even burn an estimated 800-plus calories when using a golf cart. The burning of calories and losing weight can also increase a person's mental health.

Rock star Alice Cooper famously turned to golf to help him with his alcohol addiction. Cooper has stated he used to drink a bottle of whiskey a day, but that has been replaced by Diet Coke. Cooper credits golf with helping him get clean and stay that way. The rock star began playing golf, sometimes as a many as three rounds a day, to keep his mind off of drinking. Cooper's golf ability got so good over the years, he was nearly at the professional level. Cooper says golf saved his life from the stranglehold of alcohol. It is another testament of just how powerful golf is when it comes to mental health.

The best part about golf and it is mental benefits is that you don't have to be good at it. Of course, the more you play, the better you will get. But overall, a player doesn't have to be the best to get the benefits associated with the sport. All you need is your clubs, golf spikes and an open-mind when you go to the teebox.

Author's Bio: 

Hey! I`m Kadir TUNCEL. I finished SAU (University of Sakarya) with a specialization in International Relation 5 years ago. Now I live in Istanbul and practice skills received there. I love to share my experiences. Also, I`m interested in traveling. My dream is to get 8 hours of sleep every day.