PGA Golf Professional and P&M Golf superstore owner, Pádraig McGrath this week provides how the sport of Golf can benefit your mental health.
I’m looking to have some close friends in the medical industry and they often mention to me to get across the message to people how great the game of golf is for people’s mental health. In fact, a lot of mental health doctors are prescribing their patients to take up the sport to assist them with their mental health issues. I have to say golf is one of those sports that has so many positives you are out in fresh air, you are mentally challenged at every shot when playing well and even more so when you aren’t playing well, you get to meet new and interesting people and get to build lots of contacts and friendships on the golf course. The way to describe golf to those who don’t play is that it gives you that feeling of inner joy, like when you head for a walk along the coast, or when you jump in behind the wheel at the start of a vacation.
I myself was extremely lucky to have taken up golf at quite a young age. I started playing pitch & putt first at Ballykilty Manor at the age of six and a few years later at the age of ten I joined Dromoland and my golfing journey had begun. I remember playing with my dad at Dromoland that summer and I was hooked right from the start. I’m blessed to say my childhood was one of the best and I’ve so many fond memories looking back of cycling to Dromoland to the practice ground where I self-taught myself to play. The best childhoods are definitely the ones that are spent in an outdoors environment.
I honestly can’t recommend enough for kids to take up golf it has so many benefits. Team sports are also important and I’m a huge advocate of playing multiple sports until you decide which sports are the ones you love the most. But playing an individual sport where you have nobody there to back you up when you are having a bad day turns you mentally into a stronger individual and that benefits you in other sports and also in life. Golf also teaches etiquette to kids and as they develop as player’s they eventually get to play with adults in the men’s competitions which helps to mature them. Having to stand up in front of a room of people at the young age of twelve and give a speech is terrifying, however looking back it matures you on your journey through life.
While playing golf you are out in mother nature and it gets you away from your mobile phone, work commitments, TV screens and the general noises going on in our busy lives. Kids get bored easily because they have so much energy they don’t like been stuck inside and golf is incredible to keep them busy and active for up to five hours.
“Recent studies have highlighted the positive impact that golf can have on mental health. Beyond the lush green fairways and manicured putting greens lies a therapeutic haven for those seeking mental well-being. Engaging in a round of golf is more than a physical activity; it is a mindful pursuit. The game demands focus, concentration, and strategic thinking that gives you a respite from the chaotic pace of modern life. As players navigate the course, they are compelled to be in the present moment, fostering mindfulness that can alleviate stress and anxiety.
The sport’s outdoor setting also exposes players to natural sunlight, promoting the production of vitamin D which is crucial for enhancing your mood. Experts suggest that the physical activity associated with golf releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. Regular participation in the sport has been linked to improved sleep patterns, reduced symptoms of depression, and enhanced overall mental resilience”.
We currently live in a world where mental health is increasingly on the rise. I personally analyse mental health as being such an issue because we are working our lives away and not truly living. We just don’t make enough time for ourselves and golf is the perfect sport that gives you this valuable time back for you. Mothers also need a break away from the stresses of motherhood and I’d love to see more mothers give golf a try. You always hear the same excuses, sure “Where would I find the time”. Life is short don’t work it away and wait until retirement to start living because your best years are gone by then. It’s time to put yourself first and give yourself some time alone to recharge your batteries. I guarantee you that you will reap the benefits and be a healthier person both physically and mentally through taking up golf at “any age”. There are no limits or restrictions when it comes to putting yourself first.
I’ve been lucky enough to not suffer from mental problems, however I like everyone else have stressful days, but on those day’s, I usually head for a few holes after putting the kids to bed and it’s amazing how revived and clearer my thinking is after. While I’m playing my mind is taken away from the stresses from that day and I completely forget about them. Afterwards then I’m more relaxed and I can usually find solutions and rectify those challenges.
In my life I’ve realised how amazing golf is as it challenges you, it takes you to the best landscapes and views around the world, it takes you on journeys through nature that are truly unforgettable, it relaxes you and helps to remove any stress you have all while calming your mind and soul. “Why not give it a go and start living the life you deserve”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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