Golf is the ultimate summer hobby and one of the most popular sports in the world. In 2019, there were an estimated 441 million rounds of golf played in the United States alone. Thanks to its social distancing-friendly style of play, golf has only increased in popularity throughout the pandemic. Despite lockdowns and limited capacities inside clubhouses, golfers still managed to played 10 million more rounds in 2020 than the year prior.
However, if you are not a golfer yourself, you’re probably wondering what makes golf so popular. As you’ll soon learn, golf is much more than swinging a club. Enjoyed by young and old alike, it is leisurely but active, social but personal, and not to mention incredibly fun. So let’s dive in and examine why the heck guys play so much golf.
Golf Is More Than Just a Game; It is All-Day Event.
The most important thing to understand about golf is that it’s not just about the game on the course. A single round of golf takes hours to complete, so it can quickly become an all-day excursion. It’s played at a slow, enjoyable pace that allows you to take in the beautiful scenery, soak up the sun, and enjoy the company of others.
Country clubs and golf courses make it easy to mix golf with leisure. In addition to their lush greens, many golf courses offer off-course entertainment like restaurants, pools, and spas that the whole family can enjoy. Some are even full-blown resorts. While the guys are out golfing, the rest of the gang can enjoy brunch on the patio and a refreshing dip in the pool. Once the guys have finished their 18 holes, everyone can reconvene on the lawn for dinner and drinks.
Golf Is Great for Networking and Relationship Building.
Despite technically being an individual sport, golf is incredibly social. There’s no such thing as a quick round of golf. The game takes hours, leaving plenty of time to chat between puts. Oftentimes these conversations carry on at the “19th hole”— the clubhouse bar where golfers unwind after hitting the course in their favorite Southern Tide Polo.
The sport is best known for its uncanny ability to build professional relationships and land business deals. It offers a rare opportunity to spend a few uninterrupted hours with your colleagues, boss, father-in-law, and potential business partners. While golfing with “work buddies” may sound like a nice excuse to play hooky from the office, it can quickly lead to something more. Countless promotions, partnerships, and million-dollar deals have gone down on the putting green.
Golf Provides Great Physical Exercise.
The physical aspects of golf are often underrated. Between walking the course, carrying your golf bag, and swinging your driver, golf can be a great source of exercise. While it may look simple, swinging a club uses your whole body, and it requires a lot of core strength and balance to get the perfect swing.
We need not forget how much walking is involved in golf. According to the PGA, the average professional golfer walks an estimated 319 miles per season. That’s the equivalent of 12 marathons with a 5k to spare! Players and spectators can quickly rack up 7,000 - 10,000 steps each game just by walking around the course.
Even with a golf cart, you can still get in a good portion of your daily steps and burn enough calories to justify a juicy steak back at the clubhouse. As one might expect, walking the course while carrying your clubs burns the most calories — around 1,400 calories per game. You can also burn upwards of 800 calories just by walking to and from the tee boxes and swinging those clubs.
Golf is Great for Mental Health.
Becoming a good golfer is about mastering the mental aspects of the game, not just the physical ones. Golf has been shown to have substantial positive effects on mental health — and lord only knows we all could use a little mood boost those these days. The relaxed sport can help to reduce anxiety, fight depression, and improve self-esteem, among other things.
For many men, nothing provides a better stress release after a long day at work than hitting the driving range or perfecting your long put. Golf offers an outlet for character building and self-improvement, allowing you to compete against yourself, strive for perfection, and constantly find areas you can improve upon.
Though it may not seem like it at first, golf is also a mindfulness exercise. Similar to honing in on your breath during a meditation session, a golfer’s sole focus is on getting the ball into the hole and keeping the sun out of their eyes with a performance hat. When you miss a put or land yourself in the sand trap, you’ve got to take a deep breath, clear your head, and move forward. Without even realizing it, all your other problems begin to slip away.
Golf Courses Offer Plenty of Sunshine and Scenery.
Sometimes all you need to boost your mood is just some fresh air and sunshine. And what better place to get it than a lush green golf course? Golf provides players with the rare opportunity to spend a few uninterrupted hours outside as they relax and soak in some much-needed Vitamin D.
With gorgeous courses all over the country, golf is also a great excuse to travel. In addition to a new set of challenging holes, hitting a new golf course or vacationing at a swanky destination golf resort offers a nice change of scenery. On top of the rolling greens themselves, many courses offer stunning views of the water or mountains.
Golf is a Sport Almost Anyone Can Enjoy.
Another reason why golf is so popular is that anyone can play. Unlike sports like soccer or basketball, golf doesn’t require much athletic ability if you’re in it for a casual game. Because golf doesn’t require any intense cardiovascular exercise, it can be enjoyed by kids and grandparents of all ages. Plus, passing down golf lessons from generation to generation makes for great family bonding time.
So next time your sweetheart wants to spend the afternoon golfing, ask to tag along. Don your favorite Southern Tide pullover and grab your clubs. You’re sure to have a great day at on the course.