Looking for something to help you in your self-development? We recommend learning to play golf rather than reading self-help books.
Self-development may sound like a yawn. If you subscribe to the old-school way of thinking, you might be thinking of therapy, hours of lying on a sofa talking about your insecurities. Or maybe a bookshelf of self-help books, all of which say contrasting things.
But the truth is, every day, every situation is a chance for self-development. Work, recreation, interactions with others… The opportunities are endless.
But one of the things that supercharge your self-development is learning something new. A language. A skill. Or a sport. We’re a huge fan of learning sports as self-development because it incorporates both physical and mental improvement.
If you’re wondering which sport specifically, learning to play golf is one of the best sports to help you in your self-development. Here’s why!
It Includes Physical, Mental, and Emotional Development
One of the greatest things about golf is that it helps you to develop multiple skills at the same time. Physical, mental, and emotional skills are all at play on the golf course, so that makes it a wonderful opportunity for self-development in many areas… All at the same time.
If you’re looking for physical development, golf is a great place to start, no matter your fitness level. It’s an excellent way to get in moderate cardio, because a round of golf contains close to 10,000 steps! You’ll also get a decent upper body workout when you swing.
Physical self-development aside, you’ll have the chance to work on mental and emotional skills as well. Learning how to stay calm under pressure, thinking strategically, handling unexpected situations (like a rogue wind), and focusing on the task at hand are all important self-development skills you can work on while you’re on the golf course.
It Requires Consistency & Practice
You can’t improve your golf game without consistent practice. In the same way, you can work on your self-development without consistency and patience. Just like you can’t develop a precise putt by watching YouTube videos, you can’t work on self-development skills by reading self-help books.
You need to actually practice. Often. Want to improve your handicap? You need to spend enough time on the course for improved skills to become muscle memory. Want to become more patient? You need to spend enough time working on it for it to become your default.
The beauty of golf is that you can do both at the same time. Working on your handicap means you’re automatically working on your patience, your focus, your strategy, and a number of other things at the same time.
You Can Learn No Matter Your Skill Level
Golf is a great sport for anybody, regardless of skill level. If you’re totally new to the game, you can easily begin with mini golf or adventure golf to get a good feel for the clubs in your hand and the nuance of putting.
From there, you can move to the driving range, where you can learn how to swing and work on your aim before you get to the course. You can also play around with training aids on the putting and chipping greens, getting comfortable before you play a full round.
That means that whether you’ve played golf before or you’re a complete newbie, you can still have fun learning both the game and self-development skills!
It Gets You Close to Nature
There’s something to be said about playing sports surrounded by nature. Playing on a sports field may be outdoors, but there’s nothing quite like playing your way through trees, over water, out of the sand, and with lovely 360-degree views of nature.
Research suggests that being close to nature is great for mental health. Not only do you get sunshine on your skin and fresh air in your lungs, but nature is calming. This is the best place to be when you’re trying to work on self-improvement!
You Can Work On It Alone or With Others
Self-development may begin with “self”, but that doesn’t mean you only have to do it when you’re alone. The support of others is important when it comes to both sports and self-improvement.
Golf is unique in that it can be an individual sport, but you can also do it with friends. If you’re working on both your game and your self-development, taking a supportive friend along for a round can be motivating both for your game and your self-development skills.
It’s Extremely Rewarding
Working hard on your golf game does yield results if you’re consistent. There’s no feeling quite like hitting your first perfect, powerful drive right down the fairway. Or sinking a long putt on a difficult green. The markers of improvement are easy to see and give you great goals to aim for along the way.
Self-development is similar. The sense of pride and peace when you realize you’ve crossed a threshold in your self-development is something that you don’t forget. Whatever skills you’re aiming to develop, you don’t forget the rewarding feeling when you realize all your hard work has paid off.
Sport is a fantastic way to work on your self-development. Whatever you want to improve, you can do it with sports if you just wrap your head around it the right way.
Golf isn’t the only sport that can boost your self-improvement efforts. But we definitely believe it’s the best one! We may be biased, but between the proximity to nature, the safe level of activity, the accessibility, and the mental, emotional, and physical benefits, we can’t find another sport that even comes close.
If you already play golf, consider this an excellent excuse to play more often! If you’re only learning to play golf now, enjoy every moment, and remember you’re working on yourself in many ways while learning.
And if you’ve never played before, now may be the best time to start! It could make the biggest difference to your mental, emotional, and physical health.
About the Author
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who understands first-hand the effect golf can have on one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. When he’s not on the course, he’s researching and writing articles for his website, Golf Influence.