To give everyone a little insight of the great thought provoking topic Karl will be bringing in The Dorset in March 2014
Of course, we all want to shoot lower scores, hit the ball further and hole more putts but it could be that all of those ‘nice to have’ elements are a side issue to the long term benefit of playing golf to our health and well-being. As much as golf seems to drive us insane, at times, it would seem in later years, the game may well be an ESSENTIAL activity to keep us physically and mentally sharp.
Researchers have found that an energetic walk three times a week INCREASED the size of the hippocampus, the memory hub of our brain, which is one of the first areas to be destroyed by Alzheimers disease.
The research team led by Dr Kirk Erickson at the University of Pittsburgh asked 120 men and women aged between 55 and 80 to go for a brisk 40 minute walk three times a week.
Normally, the brain shrinks with age but scans on the volunteers showed a growth increase in key brain regions including the hippocampus.
Dr Erickson said ‘You don’t need highly vigorous physical activity to see these effects. The growth may only be modest but it is like reversing the age clock by a couple of years’.
Science seems to be telling us it is a VERY good idea for our health to KEEP playing golf for as long as is humanly possible.
This also reminds me that one of the key areas to the game we miss, be you a Player or a Coach, is what I call the ‘In between’ of the game.
The time on the golf course when we are NOT actually playing golf, which is about 90% of the time.
We tend to think the only thing that matters is when we hit the ball, but I guarantee that if you improve what you are doing in this time, you will give yourself the best possible opportunity to get closer to your potential in the time you actually hit the ball.
I am not saying for one minute the swing doesn’t matter or that bad shots are fun, what I am saying is what you do in the ‘in between’ is up to YOU. It is 100% under your control and, if being miserable and waiting for a good shot to make you feel good makes you a better golfer and you enjoy that, then you need to continue with that process.
However, I would like to suggest you look at your own patterns and habits in this time.
Ask yourself the golden question:
•‘What is my ATTENTION on?’
Even as a Player or a Coach, is your attention on USEFUL or USELESS things relative to your task?
As I say, it is entirely up to you what you do and what you focus on but a change in perspective can work wonders.
•Could you focus on the social element?
•Could you focus on your surroundings?
•Could you focus on your body moving?
ALL of these elements can give you a mental break which then allows you to focus MORE effectively when you come to play your next shot.
Just imagine if you made a commitment in your next 5 rounds to get as much out of the ‘in between’ time as the time you hit the ball. Could that make your experience of the game different?