As someone who is extremely new to the world of golf it has been fascinating to discover what the game has to offer for all ages. A kinesiology degree helps me to understand the benefits of the biomechanics and athleticism within golf, as well as where challenges may arise and be overcome with each individual’s movement pattern in their swing. My love of people and belief in a strong social network has resulted in greatly enjoying the community feel that the sport provides. However having a diverse multisport background, I was intrigued to discover what it was about golf that made it different to other sports, especially for the fundamental development of children.
The more I have learned the more I have believed in the benefits of teaching kids about golf from a young age. Golf is a completely and entirely individual sport. Yes there are outside pressures you face as you approach the ball however what happens next is dependent entirely on your actions, not on how your opponent performs. This creates a sense of accountability and ownership of yourself and your play, can’t blame anybody else for that shot you just missed ;). Golf emphasizes good etiquette during play, having a set of rules in place which enforce fairness and respect of other players. It is also a game based on honesty, through honest ball placement for following shots and accurate keeping track of score.
From a mechanical and mental perspective, golf is advantageous to all individuals. Due to the personal and slower paced nature of the sport, it is hyper mentally aware, where the focus on your body’s mechanics is amplified by the fact that is entirely dependent on your movements that follow. I can tell you I was pretty hyper aware of how bad I was with those first swings I took! It is also a game of precise control of angles, speed, distance, etc. as well as choosing the right club for each task.
The emphasis on balance, stability and posture in this sport leads to greater control and stability of a person’s core. In my own experience in learning the game recently, it has continuously taught me about starting with and maintaining a firm foundation in order to improve all around physical capabilities. Also, taking in to consideration the lower back problems and pain I have carried for the last year or so, the importance of posture has been extremely helpful with my own mobility and proper use of core muscles to maintain stability.
Lastly, these past few months has taught me that golf is fun! Especially when working with kids (which has been amazing!), but also with adults, it has been eye opening to see the diversity of games the sport has to offer. It certainly does not always have to be thought of and executed in a full scale 18 hole course. Games and challenges with each aspect of golf, putting, chipping and full swing variations keep the game and its’ players working creatively to execute what they want and overall, to PLAY.
So Far it has been a pleasure and can’t wait to learn more!
Erin – New Junior Coach at Peak Performance =D