Have you ever found yourself passing by a field and pretending it was a golf course? Or practiced an imaginary swing in front of a mirror and thought to yourself, “Am I addicted to golf”?
Well, the answer might be a solid yes. Yet, this begs the question, why is golf so addictive?
Golf can improve your mental health, help you sleep better, boost your self confidence, and even encourage you to lose weight!
Keep on reading to know more!
What Are the Signs of Golf Addiction?
It’s easy to confuse a habit with an addiction. One is a harmless, repeated action, whereas the other can be seriously damaging.
If you think you may have a golf addiction, take a look at these signs:
- You practice imaginary swings with random objects
- You use golf as a form of escapism
- You spend a lot of money on equipment every month
- You’re always down to play 24/7
Why Is Golf So Addictive?
Emerging in the 15th century, golf is considered one of the best sports in the world, with a very rich history. From the sandy links to the beautiful vast green parkland courses, you just can’t get enough of it.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why golf can be so addictive.
1. It Encourages Self Development
Believe it or not, your 2-3 times per week visits to the golf course have the ability to change and improve you as a person. This, as a result, becomes naturally addictive!
Some of the things that golf encourages are:
One thing everyone can agree on is that golf is a frustrating game. This is why so many people develop a love-hate relationship with it.
Frustration and failure drive resilience. you play a not-so-great round; you acknowledge the mistakes made, and you try again the next round.
This boosts your willpower and determination, two qualities that are crucial to achieving peak athletic performance.
One of the most important things in golf is confidence.
Much like any other hobby or sport, practice builds your confidence as a player. Practicing also allows you to recognize your weak points and areas that need improvement, like controlling your nerves and enhancing your swing.
Things like setting goals for yourself and tracking your progress will surely boost your self-confidence.
Golf is based on honesty. Since it’s a judge-free, referee-free individual sport, you must be your own judge. This means that no one will know whether you’re cheating except you.
This definitely teaches you how to be more truthful and honest with yourself. It also teaches you ethics, respect, and comradeship.
2. It Challenges You
The most bittersweet fact about golf is that there’s no such thing as a flawless game or round. In fact, chances are, you’ll only get one or two excellent shots per round.
Even the greatest golfers, like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, have never birdied all 18 holes. Even after any of these legends win a game, they’ll still mention the shots they could’ve played better.
This is because practice doesn’t make perfect in the game of golf. This beautiful sport can never be perfected; there will always be room for more challenges and advancements.
This is part of what makes golf so addictive, especially for competitive or resilient people.
3. It’s Rewarding
Because golf is a sport that may be pretty difficult, it’s extremely rewarding in return.
Let’s say you regularly hit the gym and notice your biceps getting bigger or the number on the scale decreasing. You’ll want to keep going, right? This is because visible progress and reward are the roots of addiction.
You spend hours, weeks, and months practicing your swings. Next thing you know, you’re outright crushing it on the golf course. Naturally, you’ll want to come back for more and more.
Studies show that when your brain is exposed to a rewarding stimulus, it releases dopamine, a.k.a. the “feel-good” hormone.
4. It Improves Your Mental Health
There’s so much more to golf than playing a few strokes or practicing a few swings. This wonderful, fulfilling sport has many other things to offer.
In fact, golf has been proven to improve your mental health in various ways. It can:
Studies have shown that people with anxiety find relief in healthy, repetitive behavior.
It’s similar to how a meditation session focuses on repetitive breath techniques to help you relax, or your gym coach telling you to do 20 reps of the same exercise.
Any repetitive behavior provides a feeling of comfort and security.
The habit of getting up in the morning, packing a golf bag, and heading to the golf course is highly therapeutic. It can also significantly relieve stress.
Golf requires an insane amount of concentration. The level of focus you put into a game of golf doesn’t particularly leave any room for other thoughts, let alone negative ones.
It’s almost like a mini vacation. You leave your worries at the door, take a mental break, and enjoy a beautiful view in the meantime.
Overall, it provides a very good distraction from real-world problems. In fact, research states that playing golf reduces depression symptoms by 38%.
5. It Improves Your Physical Health
Unlike other sports, golf doesn’t include a lot of physical activity. However, you may be surprised to know that it can still help you lose weight.
Let’s face it, you’re walking an 18-hole golf course for at least four hours two or three times a week. You’re also carrying your golf bag and exercising your arms.
According to research, this can help you burn up to 2,000 calories!
Aside from shedding a few pounds, golf can help you sleep better and faster. The healthy combination of moderate physical activity, outdoor fresh air, and a clear head will most definitely result in a restful night’s sleep.
6. It’s a Lifelong Commitment
Unlike other sports, golf doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age.
You can play golf till you’re 100! No, really. Take a look at Susan Hosang, a golfer who competed and thrived even at 100 years old.
What we’re really trying to say here is that once you enter the world of golf, consider yourself to have signed a lifelong contract.
According to GolfDigest, even the friendships and bonds you form through golf are much different and can last a lifetime.
You’re probably wondering: Why is golf so addictive? Is it considered a healthy addiction? Well, like anything else done moderately, it’s completely harmless.
If anything, golf is better than engaging in other unhealthy addictions. It’s been proven to improve your mental and physical health. Some people even claim it changed their lives!