Golf is the perfect tonic for good health and happiness.

Golf can help relieve stress

golf course grass

Moderate exercise, such as playing a round of golf, may help protect people against future anxiety and stress – according to the University of Maryland.

A study found that this type of exercise can not only reduce existing anxiety, but can help you maintain that reduced anxiety even after the game of golf is finished. The study shows moderate exercise was more effective than quiet rest at reducing anxiety. Playing in the fresh air and green spaces can also help reduce your stress  levels.

Research shows golf can reduce stress and anxiety as well as boosting your happiness levels. The sport combines friendship, fitness and fresh air – all key ingredients for wellbeing.

“Golf really does tick all the boxes for things you need for optimal wellbeing,” says psychologist and coach Miriam Akhtar from www.positivepsychologytraining.co.uk . “It offers some important feel-good factors, such as an active social life and regular physical activity of the best kind – what we call ‘green exercise’ outside in nature.”

The Green Exercise Research Team at the University of Essex www.greenexercise.org is studying the synergistic benefits of combining physical activity with being simultaneously exposed to nature. Research shows it improves psychological health by reducing stress levels, enhancing mood and self-esteem and offering a restorative environment which enables people to relax, unwind and recharge their batteries.

A study found that this type of exercise can not only reduce existing anxiety, but can help you maintain that reduced anxiety even after the game of golf is finished. The study shows moderate exercise was more effective than quiet rest at reducing anxiety. Playing in the fresh air and green spaces can also help reduce your stress levels.

Whether you spend half an hour at the driving range, play a few holes or a full game, you will be outside in the fresh air often taking in some stunning surroundings.

“Being outside in nature is good for your mental health and combining that with the exercise you get from playing the sport – and the social element of golf – boosts your brain’s natural feel good chemicals,” says Miriam Akhtar. 

Dr Karl Morris Europe’s leading golf psychologist agrees that golf is a good way to boost your happiness quota and wellbeing, pointing out that it is also one of the few sports you can play throughout your life. “Golf is unlike any other sport for building social connections. The handicap system means you can play anybody whatever their age or ability,” says Dr Morris.

Research shows that the better our social life and social support the happier and healthier we feel. Joining a golf club or visiting a driving range is a great way to make new friends as well as spend quality time with those you already have. Playing together gives you a common purpose which in turn triggers positive emotions.

Golf can also help you regularly achieve the beneficial state of mind that psychologists call ‘flow’. This is where you are so absorbed in the task at hand, whether it’s putting the ball or improving your swing, that you feel intensely positive and energised. The more ‘flow’ you have in your life, the happier you are likely to feel.