Golf: A Game for Life

Hockey, basketball and football all have an expiration date, but golf can last a lifetime.

Dr. Jason Green of Performance Spine and Sports Medicine of Newtown was an avid hockey player but as he aged he knew his hockey days were coming to a close. He sought a new sport, something he could play anywhere, anytime. He turned to golf and found that it suited him well. He was good enough to be an assistant golf pro at top tier golf clubs, such as those in the Tournament Players Championship (TPC) network. Green said TPC courses are those you see being played in the PGA tournaments.

Golf has many benefits, both physical and mental, according to Green.

First, it’s a moderate form of exercise which means less stress on the body than high impact sports like football and hockey. Though it does burn calories, Green estimated an average sized man of about 150 pounds can burn around 370 calories per hour playing golf, between walking and swinging.

Also, because of the lower impact of golf it doesn’t result in as many acute injuries. Green said golf players are much more likely to see overuse injuries, which can be minimized with stretching and a proper cool down.

“A lot of people will head into the club house after a game. Don’t sit right away after a round, that’s when things will tighten up,” said Green. “You want to stay up and moving for a moment. Go to the 19th hole and have a drink, stand and don’t sit.”

He said another key to preventing injury is to take care of the body as a whole by stretching and strengthening areas like the lower back, glutes and hamstrings. It’s also important that those who aren’t accustomed to the repetitive movement of golf should go to a driving range first and hit some balls.

The mental benefits can be just as rewarding, as golf gives time to enjoy natural surroundings, friendships and a great release of stress. It’s also ideal because it can be played alone or with friends.

“Golf is something you can use for the rest of your life. You can play with your kids and your grandkids,” said Green.

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