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The Benefits of Golf for Seniors

Golf is becoming a popular sport among seniors, even for those who have never before played the game. Not only is a round of golf an opportunity for exercise and socialization, but it is also well-suited to the retired lifestyle.

Golf is a time-consuming sport, which can limit most working professionals to rounds on weekends and special occasions. Because retirees have more free time, they can take advantage of weekday tee times and special senior pricing. There are many individuals who take up golf after retirement simply because they never had time to give it a try in their professional days. If you have been considering a new hobby, exercise, or social activity, try a few rounds of golf. You may just discover that it covers all of those bases!

The Benefits of Golf as a Hobby

The average senior will have dabbled in many different hobbies over the years. Some may be lifelong passions, but others fit into a certain season of life for various reasons. One consideration most seniors take into account when looking for a new hobby for their current season is cognitive health. They want to keep their mind sharp, so any new hobbies should support that.

Golf is a great hobby for cognitive health. Though it's a physical game, it involves a great deal of thought and strategy. Players need to think through their shot on every hole and make many decisions over the course of a single round. They aren't just thinking on their own, though. Players continually check in with one another or their caddies to talk about the terrain, wind, and other conditions on each shot. These processes of thought and discussion during the game help seniors exercise their minds and memory skills. As far as hobbies for seniors go, golf can be very beneficial as one that supports cognitive function and focus.

The Benefits of Golf for Exercise

Most seniors need more physical activity than they currently get, but they also need a fitness strategy that is lower impact and enjoyable to follow. Golf is a full body exercise, but it is not too rigorous for aging individuals. Between walking, swinging the clubs, and bending or crouching to line up a shot, golf works all the muscles in the body. At the same time, the pace of golf doesn't require an increased heart rate or major physical exertion.

Even if using a golf cart, players do plenty of walking on the course. Some seniors may want to take full advantage of the exercise opportunity and always walk the course. This is a great option, but it's not ideal for everyone. A good rule of thumb might be to walk the course on perfect weather days when playing 9 holes, but to use the cart on a hot day or when playing 18 holes.

Before starting any new physical activity, older adults should consult with their doctor. If taking up golf for the first time, it is a good idea to take lessons to ensure proper stance and body positioning. This will help new golfers prevent injuries and work up to the optimal range of motion.

The Benefits of Golf as a Social Activity

Golf is a great way for all kinds of social interaction. Couples, friends, and strangers can all connect over a round of golf. Many retirement communities and country clubs organize golf groups to facilitate regular games with the same people. For individuals who are new to golf, or new to an area, this is a great way to meet new people and build friendships.

One less obvious benefit of golf is that it can actually help prevent depression in older people. Elderly people are unfortunately at high risk of depression, often due to limited physical activity and social opportunities. The fresh air, sunshine, socialization, and low-stress physical activity all combined in one activity are a powerful force against depressive moods. While a competitive spirit makes things more exciting, senior golfers can maximize the social enjoyment of the game by simply having fun rather than worrying about the score.

If you have been thinking about finding a new hobby, one that supports your long term health goals and gives you plenty of opportunities to socialize, consider golf. Since there are golf courses almost anywhere you go, you'll be able to keep up with your new hobby even when traveling!