Golf has been played for at least 400 years, according to the "Spirit of Golf Foundation." It began in Scotland, spread to England, and has since extended its reach around the globe. Whether a golfer plays the game as an occasional escape or for frequent pleasure, many incentives can compel her.
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Anyone who enjoys the thrill of competition should play golf. A golfer is in a constant state of competition with the course itself. If additional stakes are sought, golf tournaments are among the few sporting competitions readily available for adult nonprofessional athletes.
The average length of a golf course is about 6,000 yards or almost 3.5 miles. For a golfer willing to walk the course, there is tremendous potential for a good workout. A cart driver will also benefit from intermittent walks between cart rides, bearing the weight of his equipment, and the muscle flexibility maintained by repeatedly swinging a club.
In 2003, it was estimated that senior golfers over the age of 50 accounted for 28 percent of the golfers in the United States. Physically, golf is not excessively demanding. The accessibility of carts has lessened the physical requirements. Carts also expedite play, minimizing disparities in ability, skill and hitting distance. A golfer can take up the sport at a young age and enjoy it for the rest of her life.
On a beautiful day, a golf course can seem like the perfect setting. Immaculately kept fairways, constructed water hazards and well-pruned greenery set against mountains, lakes and even the ocean make a golf course a wonderful place to experience enhanced nature. Couple this with a nice breeze and some sunshine, and it’s is a great way to spend half a day outdoors.
The appeal of golf can span the age range of all members of a family. A young golfer may enjoy the challenge of making contact with the ball for the first time, learning a new sport or the delight of spending the day with an adult relative. For an adult, golf may be a great opportunity to isolate his family from distractions and focus on spending time together in the context of a fun game.
The quiet and serenity of a golf course is an ideal place to unwind from an everyday schedule. A golf outing can be an activity within a longer vacation or a vacation on its own. The tranquility of the setting juxtaposed with the freedom to take aim and swing is a great recipe for stress relief.
Golf is the perfect venue to make new friendships and strengthen old ones. When a golfer joins a friend for 18 holes, she’s guaranteed three to four hours of time with him. If she shows up at course alone, a golfer has the potential to meet someone new, share a tee time, and spend the afternoon getting to know him.
There is always a new course to play, best score to beat or new terrain to negotiate. Even on a familiar course, a player can experiment with different shots or strategy for a hole each time he goes out for a round.
Many of life’s situations require concentration, but few of them teach it and hone it as a skill. The game of golf requires developing strategies for a round and for each individual hole. Within that framework, a golfer must concentrate on hitting every individual shot with intensity of focus as though it were the only one she intended to hit that entire day.
A round of golf can substitute for a business meeting, a boardroom conference, or even a letter of introduction and a resume.