#ThisGirlGolfs video campaign, which sets out to change female perception of golf and encourage participation, was launched at the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open.
The video features a series of different women and girls of all ages and backgrounds showing how they fit golf into their everyday lives and enjoy the game, including professionals, celebrities and amateur golfers.
Reasons to play golf:
Keep yourself active – and live longer
Golf’s powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help promote long term heart health. Golf can help keep you active, burn calories, stay in shape, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, cut your risk of stroke and diabetes and reduce blood pressure – especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Research shows it may even help you live longer. Playing 18-holes will burn at least 900 calories and will take you more than 10,000 steps, you will easily achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week recommended by the NHS to keep healthy. A Swedish study found the death rate for golfers is 40 per cent lower, which corresponds to a five year increase in life expectancy.
Unwind and relax
Playing golf is a great way to boost your mental wellbeing. Outdoor exercise in a green space can boost mental health by reducing stress levels, enhancing mood and even improving your self-esteem. It’s the perfect restorative environment where you can relax, unwind and recharge your batteries.
“Golf really does tick all the boxes for things you need for optimal wellbeing,” says psychologist and coach Miriam Akhtar from 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.”
Improve your social life
Golf is inherently sociable. With plenty of time for conversation and fun, golf is the perfect way to make new friends or grow closer bonds with people you already know – golf has to be the most social sport ever invented.
Get your weekly 150 minutes of exercise
Golf is the perfect way to help you attain the 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise recommended by the Department of Health for heart health. The sport has added heart and cardiovascular benefits of helping you stay happy and calm as well as build strong social networks that can boost your mental wellbeing – all important factors for reducing stress.
Get out in the countryside
What better way to lift your mood than playing a sport among some of the country’s most beautiful green spaces where golf holes harmonise with the natural surroundings. From tree-lined courses with lush grass, birdsong and wild flowers to links courses with breath taking views of the coastline, you’ll find yourself deep in the heart of nature when you play golf. As well as enjoying your game, you’ll have plenty of time to soak up some incredible scenery, plant and wildlife as you play.
Do exercise you will stick with
A study from Ohio State University found that people find it far easier to stick with outdoor exercise, like golf, because it’s more appealing and fun than an indoor workout.
Be less likely to suffer from mental health problems
A report in the journal Social Science and Medicine shows that just eight per cent of people who regularly exercise outdoors suffer from mental health problems, compared to 16 per cent who never exercise in the fresh air. It’s thought the oxygen boost from fresh air encourages your body to produce more natural feel good chemicals. Meanwhile, the green surroundings can calm you down, reduce your blood pressure and stress hormones and promote a feeling of being away from it all.
Beat the winter blues
Golf is the perfect tonic for combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, commonly referred to as winter blues. Triggered by lack of daylight exposure, this condition affects up to one in 20 people in the UK with women three times more likely to suffer than men. Playing golf gets you outdoors in the fresh air for several hours at a time allowing you to get as much fresh air and natural light as possible which can help ease symptoms.
Protect yourself against osteoporosis
“Playing golf, with its brisk walking and swinging action, can help build strong bones and help guard against the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis,” says Niki Gonty, nurse advisor for the National Osteoporosis Society. The condition affects around three million people in Britain. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture due to weak bones. Experts still don’t fully understand what causes osteoporosis, however research shows that weight bearing exercise, such playing golf can play a part in helping to prevent the disease.
Cut the risk of heart disease
Walking round the golf course is as good as a run for cutting the risk of heart disease, according to new research from the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. A long term study of walkers and runners found that, when the same total energy was used, both activities were associated with reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.