4 reasons to get on the course
Nowadays in the world of sport, it's difficult to look past the unparalleled popularity of football, but if it's a more relaxed activity you're after, look no further than your nearest golf course.
1 - The (non)social factor
Golf is great way of making friends. From laughing after your second off the tee follows its predecessor into the drink, to bearing witness to your genuine golfing accomplishments, there is no doubting that spending four hours with someone on the golf course is a great way of seeing their true selves.
Yet at the same time it's also a great way of finding out about you. There aren't many sports where a momentary lapse in concentration can spark such drastic consequences, but golf demands that you meet with triumph and disaster the same. It might not seem so, but spending an afternoon on the course with just your strength of will to shield you from unexpected disaster can change your perspectives in other aspects of life.
2 - Improved accessibility
Golf has never been as accessible and as appealing, especially to a young audience, as it is now. Not only are the Majors all televised but most (if not all) of the PGA and European Tour events are too, meaning Tom, Dick and Harry all have a chance to share in the memorable moments created by the pros. And speaking of the pros, it's been a long time since golf has been this competitive.
Back in the late 90's and early 2000's, a man called Tiger was just about the only kid on the golfing block and before him, golfing showdowns seemed to be almost exclusively between Faldo and Norman. Nowadays the field is both so talented and wide that anyone from Jason Day to Jason Dufner, or Justin's Rose and Thomas could score a victory. At the British Masters this week, there are no fewer than 19 different nations represented meaning the youth of those 19 countries have a golfing idol to follow.
3 - Stress relieverAlthough you wouldn't think it, golf is actually a big stress reliever. Sure, you may punctuate the gentle birdsong and tranquil setting with some blue air as you shank another one into trouble, but just being outside collecting all that vitamin D and fresh air is good for you. Combine that with the fact you're participating in a physical activity and you're onto a winner. Even doctors recommend it, so pick up those clubs and get swinging!
4 - Sense of achievement
Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus once said: 'professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20% of the time, you're the best.' Depending on your sense of pride and how competitive you are, this can be taken either way, but essentially it doesn't matter if you think you'll be spectacularly dreadful at swinging a club at an inanimate object. With such an exceptionally low win rate, literally no-one is expecting you to do anything other than immediately lose your brand new Pro-V1s in the foliage.
So when you finally do accomplish something of note, the success is that much sweeter and easier to treasure. The moment you make your first birdie, shoot lower than your handicap or even escape a bunker at the first attempt all mean so much more to you because of the (in some cases many) failures that came before it.
So if you're tired of chasing an egg or lumping a ball of leather around, give golf a go. You won't regret it.