Winter Blog Series “The Hidden Benefits of this Great Game”
by Patrick S. Knelly
Sugarloaf Golf Club
Part 2 “Our Most Important Tool”
What is the most important tool that a human possesses? Take a minute, think it over. Use your noodle silly! No, really concentrate hard! Seriously, use your mind to figure it out. Do you have it? Wrack your brain, it’s so obvious! Ok, stupid joke is over won’t happen again! It’s your Brain, weather it’s the ole cobwebs up in the attic or a finely tuned thinking machine, your Brain is your most uniqe and distinguishing tool as a human. So, knowing how important it is, do you take care of it? Do you? You change the oil in your car right? I bet since your reading this, you’ve hit some range balls to tune up your golf game in the past right? The point is, we as humans are good at maintaining things in our lives. Most of the time we do what we are told, and that’s a good thing because it keeps our cars from breaking down and our houses from becoming a pile of wood and concrete. Do you maintain your brain? Do you?
Interesting concept isn’t it? It’s kind of scary, but we don’t really get a human instruction booklet. I guess one probably exist, but it’s probably expensive! So how about a little quick and free help maintaining your brain! Golf is good for your brain. Actually and in all truth, millions of things we do are good for our brains, but golf just so happens to stand out to us beacause we are a… golf course. Duh, time for some maintenence if you didnt get that one!
A recent study done by Killingsworth and Gilbert found that there is a statistical increase in decreased concentration abilities, and when people’s minds are constantly wandering, they report a feeling of being less happy in general. Being able to focus on the task at hand means the mind is engaged and less likely to drift to negative or stressful thoughts, making a round of golf the perfect way to unwind after a long day.
Golf requires a tremendous amount of concentration, but in a non stressful setting and manner of engagement. Keeping an eye on where the hole is in relation to the ball, calculations of proper yardage and club selection, the amount of force required to hit the ball and getting the trajectory right to counter the forces of the wind and elevation change require very advanced internal calculations that are amazing exercise for your brain. Complicated swing mechanics that most golfers execute effortlessly are all pre calculated and require exceptional neural skills.
Ecotherapy, otherwise known as ‘green exercise’ which emphasises the importance of combining exercise with an outdoor activity can be applied to golf very easily. A recent study of this emerging science conducted by the University of Essex found that undergoing exercise in rural and pleasant urban landscapes produces a greater positive effect on one’s self-esteem than just exercising alone, for example in a gym. So after a long day at the office, a few hours at a well maintained golf course could do heaps for your well-being.
The World Health Organisation recently found that positive interpersonal interactions and social participation in activities are crucial protective factors from developing mental health problems. Additionally, relaxing outdoors and interacting with people is reported to reduce your stress levels – this keeps blood pressure at normal limits and reduces the risk of a stroke. Again, all wonderful things for not only our brains but our whole self!
So, for 2017 how about you give you brain the oil change it needs! Tee times available just call 570-384-4097! The World Health Organisation found that positive interpersonal interactions and social participation are crucial protective factors from developing mental health problems. Additionally, relaxing outdoors and interacting with people is reported to reduce your stress levels – this keeps blood pressure at normal limits and reduces the risk of a stroke.