Earlier in the year, had some mentioned golf, what immediately came to mind was an elite sport only open to the well to do in the society. However, this narrative is slowly beginning to change with the help of Safaricom through their Golf Tour.
The tour which is has just concluded its ninth leg in Kericho has done such a splendid job in demystifying the sport that we are now seeing more and more interested in the sport and some even taking it up.
Other just being a competitive sport, golf also has some other benefits for those who decide to play, and these include.
In this day and age when people are struggling with their mental health, there is need to engage in activities which boost our mental wellbeing. The thing is that the brain is a muscle that needs constant exercise so as to remain sharp. Playing golf helps a player to maintain mental alertness in the form of weighing risk and reward with each shot as well as when tallying scores.
Being that golf is a difficult sport to master, one is always looking to ways to improve their game. This mental exercise increases blood flow to the brain, increases nerve sell connections and improving one’s memory in the process.
With the way our lives are setup nowadays, meeting new people for social purposes has become a bit complicated. However, when you join a club and start playing golf, one can easily make new friends whether at the course or later in hole number 19 aka the club house.
A lot of people myself included don’t last long at the gym for some reason I am yet to understand. However, with golf one gets to keep fit walking on the course while at the same time having fun while playing. On average, a player walks for about eight or so kilometers while playing an 18-hole course. If you do this for about three times a week, you will become fit as a fiddle without having to strain yourself. No wonder it is commonplace to see old folk still playing while they are well in their eighties and nineties.
Also, each full swing exercises arms, legs, back and abdomen, with numerous repetitions over the course of a round approximately 30+ times for accomplished players and many more for novice golfers.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
The fact that we are most often than not cramped up in offices for hours on end without time to just go outside and relax contributes to raising stress and anxiety levels. When playing a game of golf, one gets to walk in the fresh air which is known to raise endorphin and serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. Also, the ability to escape from the hustle of everyday life while on the course provides good relaxation.
Low Impact Sport
While playing golf, one is usually just walking on the course, as such, joints are not subject to the stresses and strains of more energetic activities like football and running. Some of these sports, due to their vigorous nature can lead to long-term joint damage. This makes golf an ideal activity for older players, who can still be able to enjoy this wonderful sporting activity.
Looking through the social media apps, it is commonplace to see people complaining about insomnia (lack of sleep) in the wee hours of the night. This often leaves one tired and grumpy during the day. However, when playing golf, you provide your body with a good amount of exercise. This enables your body to be able to better regulate its sleep cycle, giving you better quality sleep, improving your focus and daily functions.
I have to say that the Safaricom Golf Tour has done a wonderful job in demystifying the sport as well as enabling people and more so kids from all walks of life to start playing this game. They have done this by hosting “golf mtaani” clinics that has focused on teaching kids in some of the not so well of neighborhoods how to play the game.
They have also partnered with the Junior Golf Foundation to host a tournament for Juniors something which I believe will go a long way in nurturing the next generation of golfers. If you would like to participate, click here for more information on the tour.
Kipkirui Langat wins the Kericho leg of the Safaricom Golf Tour series