Last updated October 14, 2022
Golf is so much more than just a sport. It’s one of the few sports that offer almost endless opportunities for self-development, along with just a day out, surrounded by beautiful scenery, taking your time and enjoying nature.
While you can just play golf to get away, show off your new irons set, or hang out with your friends, you’re missing a trick if you aren’t using your sport to build yourself up, mentally and physically.
Here are 7 ways golf can help self-development and why you should be taking advantage of it!
1. Teaches Critical Thinking Skills
All sports teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills to a degree. But despite the fact that golf is a slower, more relaxed kind of game, you may be surprised at how much of an opportunity it presents to strategize.
Critical thinking skills are important for every facet of life, both business and personal. Wondering what to say to your partner to get your point across? Wondering how to convince that business to buy from you? Both scenarios require critical thinking.
Golf fosters strategy. You can’t just get up to the tee and hit the ball as hard as you can, hoping it lands somewhere near the hole. You need to consider the layout of the hole, the hazards in the immediate area, and the possible unseen hazards, for example, if there’s a blind shot.
Then, you need to tailor your every shot to those things. If the fairway slopes right, you need to cater for that. If there’s a bunker in front of the green, you need to figure out how to go over or around it.
Every single shot requires thoughtful consideration and precise action. Do this often on the golf course, and you may find that it becomes easier to do off the course as well.
2. Gets You Out in Nature
Don’t underestimate the power of nature for self-development. There’s plenty of evidence to show that spending time in nature is beneficial to one’s health and wellness.
You can’t play golf and not be out amongst the beauty of nature. On the course, you’re surrounded by trees, green, lush grass, water, and possibly even wildlife.
Some of the benefits of spending regular time in nature include better sleep, a stronger immune system, increased energy levels, higher levels of vitamin D, and improved physical fitness.
You could just sit on the patio and soak up the sun, but golf also includes a physical aspect. Getting regular exercise has huge benefits. When exercise and nature meet, you’ll be getting the benefits of both.
When you’re working out or spending time in nature, endorphins are released in the brain which helps to heal the body, boost the system, and make you feel happier.
3. Makes You Mindful
Getting your form right is important. You can’t just swing your golf clubs without paying attention to what your muscles are doing, or where your follow-through is going.
You need to cultivate a mind-muscle connection if you want to play with perfect form. Naturally, when your form is excellent, your game will improve and you’ll also be less susceptible to injuries.
This nurturing of the mind-muscle connection is an excellent basis for mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment and being connected with yourself and your surroundings, rather than going through life unaware.
Visualization is another thing that golfers use often. We visualize how the shot is going to go practically every time! This is another way of being in the moment and developing that mindfulness that can serve you so well in many areas of life.
4. Teaches Discipline and Patience
Golf is not something you can rush. Firstly, to develop yourself as a golfer, you need to be willing to put in the hours of practice. And not just quantity, but good quality practice.
Learning how to be a good golfer requires discipline and consistency. If you aren’t willing to spend the time, you can’t expect your game to improve.
Secondly, when you’re on the course, you can’t rush through a golf round. Strategy, consideration and patience are things you’ll need to reach for. Cultivate these, and both your golf and your life will improve.
5. Teaches the Value of Action
You can understand exactly how to play golf; every shot, every club, which to use in which situation, how to read the course without using your golf GPS. But if you don’t physically take action and do those things, your game is never going to improve.
You’re the only one who can improve your skill. Your coach can tell you what to do, you can watch videos of and get advice from pros, but until you actually take the step towards changing your game, you’ll be stuck in the same position.
Talk and learning can only take you so far. Ultimately, it’s about taking action on the things you learn. This is key to self-development!
6. Improves Networking Skills
Golf and business go hand in hand! Business deals can be made or broken on the golf course. It’s not just a place to socialize and spend time on mutual interests.
Self-development isn’t just about your personal life. Developing yourself in a professional sense is just as important if you want to have a successful career.
Building business relationships over a mutual interest is a great way to humanize business and get better acquainted with colleagues and clients.
Learning how to balance an enjoyable round of golf with business talk is also an essential skill that could serve you well in future business endeavors!
7. An Opportunity to Relax
Stress management is essential, whether in a business sense or a personal one. Sometimes, you just need to get away and spend some time in a new place, doing something you enjoy, away from the hustle and bustle.
Out on the golf course, it’s just you, nature and the game.
Golf resorts are one of the best places to do this! Not only can you play your favorite sport (and gain all the other self-development benefits from it), but you’ll most likely also be able to get a massage or lounge by the pool.
It’s a relaxing vacation where you can simply forget about work and the busyness of life. Golf resorts always have stunning scenery, excellent food, and comfortable, luxurious accommodations as well.
Not sure where to go? Here are a few of our favorite golf resorts that are absolutely worth the visit.
- The Wigwam, Arizona
- The Woodlands Resort, Texas
- Silverado Resort & Spa, California
- Sanctuary Beach Resort, California
- Callaway Resort & Gardens, Georgia
- Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
- Casa Velas, Mexico
If you aren’t keen on a resort lifestyle but still want to play some amazing golf, we recommend the following courses:
- Bandon Dunes Old Macdonald Course, Oregon
- Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, Indiana
- Furnace Creek Golf Course, California
- Tobacco Road Golf Course, North Carolina
Golf can help in your self-development if you let it. Instead of going through the motions and not really paying attention, being mindful on the golf course can have huge mental benefits.
It’s also important that if you truly want to reap the benefits that golf has to offer, you need to play consistently and put effort and practice into your game.
Whether you’re playing golf for the mental, physical or networking benefits, it can improve every aspect of your life if you let it.
Vacayou’s travel concierge team can help you discover, book and plan your next golf vacation. We are here to help create a healthier global community through wellness and active travel.