5 Must Know Health Benefits of Golf for Seniors + Tips to Start Playing Today

by Erin Blakely, Founder NewCareGiver.org on April 27, 2023

As a senior, one of the best ways to stay physically and mentally fit is to take up a sport. Golf is considered one of the best low-impact sports that is easy on your joints. From young children to centenarians, you can play golf for a lifetime and never have to give it up. 

Golf is an ideal sport that can provide opportunities for physical exercise and social interaction in your community. Not only is golf fun, but it also comes with several significant health benefits – from improving balance and mobility to reducing stress levels. In this blog article, we'll look at how golfing can improve overall health while having fun.

How Golf Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Golf is a sport that not only provides entertainment but also promotes physical and mental health benefits. This centuries-old game has been scientifically proven to improve cardiovascular health, enhance muscle endurance, and increase flexibility.

Some of the health benefits of golf include:

  • Physical fitness
  • Mental stimulation
  • Social benefits
  • Environmental

Physical Health Benefits of Golf

Golf is a sport that is enjoyable and has numerous health benefits. One of the most significant benefits of playing golf is the amount of exercise you get. On average, you'll burn up to 2,000 calories walking an 18-hole golf course (roughly 5 miles). While riding in a golf cart doesn't burn as many calories, you still walk some of the golf course and swing to hit the ball.

Walking not only burns calories but encourages improved cardiovascular health. Furthermore, golfing can improve your coordination, balance, and flexibility, which can help reduce the risk of falls and injuries in older adults.

Mental Benefits - Enhancing Cognition & Brain Development

Numerous studies have established that mental exercise enhances cognition and overall brain development. In addition, engaging in enlightening activities, such as learning a new language, playing an instrument, or solving challenging puzzles, can stimulate the brain.

Golf can also similarly exercise your brain, providing mental health benefits to seniors. One study published by the Gerontological Society of America found evidence that golf may improve physical and cognitive function leading to a reduced risk of poor health outcomes while maintaining an improved quality of life.

For example, golf requires mental concentration and strategic planning (course management), making it an effective way to exercise your brain. But, of course, the more strokes you get, the more you'll have to remember! Plus, so many rules in golf help keep your brain sharp.

Social Benefits of Golfing | Promoting Friendship and Fun!

Golfing is a sport that offers an abundance of social benefits. It is an activity that promotes interaction, friendship, and fun. You can join local golf leagues or become a member of your community golf club. If you have difficulty meeting people, golf will make it easy! Plus, the better you become, you'll get invited to play in amateur tournaments.

When playing golf, you have the opportunity to meet people who share the same passion for the sport, opening doors for new friendships and connections. Golfing also encourages teamwork, as players often form teams to compete against one another. Furthermore, the relaxed nature of golfing makes it the perfect environment for socializing and enjoying a conversation with friends or colleagues. Whether you are an average or beginner golfer, golfing can provide an enjoyable experience for anyone.

Enjoy the Outdoors

One of the biggest perks of golfing is spending time outdoors on a beautifully manicured golf course. The fresh air and serene environment help reduce stress and anxiety levels while taking some extra vitamin D. Remember, you'll want to carry some sunscreen, especially in the summer months.

Going on golf vacations are definitely on the rise these days – for the beautiful scenery and ways to connect with locals for a unique travel experience.  While you may not speak a foreign language, it’s amazing how you can still golf with locals. The rules of golf truly transcend basic language barriers.

Tips for Getting Started with Golf

If you've never played golf before, getting started can feel daunting. So here are some suggestions to get you started on your golf journey. 

Take Golf Lessons

While some argue that golf lessons are not necessary for everyday golf, most average golfers would agree that a lower score on the golf course is more enjoyable. Besides, who wants to chase the ball around unnecessarily? So instead, take golf lessons from a PGA professional who can teach you some helpful tips.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously, Enjoy the Game

Finally, remember to be patient and enjoy the golf's social aspects. While you may have high aspirations to swing like Jack Nicklaus from the start, learning how to play golf takes time. Even golf professionals struggle with aspects of their game, from golfing slumps to mental game challenges. So don't be afraid to try it; you might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it.

How to Avoid Golf Injuries

Golf, like any sport, has some injury risk. While golf injuries are not nearly as common as team sports, senior golfers still need to be careful. The most common injuries occur in the wrist, elbow, lower back, and head. Causes usually stem from overuse, incorrect posture or technique, aggravation of an old injury, or getting hit by a golf ball or club. Amateur golfers tend to be most at risk for neglecting golf warm-up exercises since they don't realize the significant benefits.

So here are some essential golf tips for seniors to avoid golf injuries:

  • Have an effective warm-up routine
  • Take golf lessons from a professional
  • Stay hydrated on the golf course and use sunscreen
  • Pay attention to who is hitting the ball and play ready golf
  • If you become injured, always stop playing and consult your doctor for medical advice.

It is crucial to warm up before playing golf, stretch regularly, and watch your posture in your golf stance. Furthermore, it is essential to use proper golf equipment, such as golf shoes to avoid slipping on wet grass. Attention to these tips can go a long way in helping stay free of unnecessary golf injuries.

Final Thoughts

Golf can provide an excellent opportunity to stay active, enjoy the outdoors, and meet new people in your community. With its various mental and physical health benefits, there's no question that golf can make a big difference to seniors. If you haven't yet started, it's not too late to see why it is one of the most popular participation sports in the world.

Find a Golf Community to Call Home

Whether you’ve been golfing for years or are just now getting into the game, retiring in a golf community can be a great option for many seniors. With world-class courses, amenities, and real estate, PCR features hundreds of golf communities throughout the country.