Golf’s Benefits on Mental Health

Mental health is important to all age groups and a topic of utmost relevance these days. In a March 2022 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled Mental Health and COVID-19: Early evidence of the pandemic’s impact, data indicates increases in mental health issues among both children and adults.

With growing addictions to technology, online gaming, and social media, the topic of mental health among youth is at the forefront of today’s most studied and discussed topics.

At the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT), we strive to do our part to educate and inform parents whenever possible, which is why in today’s post, we’re focused on the issue of mental health, and how golf may offer a clear path to mental health improvement for kids.

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Mental Health Benefits of Golf

Most avid golfers agree: the game of golf is fun. It’s enjoyable. Like anything requiring time, effort, and a desire to improve, golf can be frustrating.

But in a world of constant technology and digitalization, the game of golf offers a range of benefits that go far beyond just hitting a ball, including:

  • Stress Reduction: Golf provides an effective way to release accumulated stress. The combination of light physical exercise, fresh air, and a peaceful environment can help reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, and promote relaxation and calmness.
  • Improvement of Focus and Concentration: Golf requires mindful attention and concentration on each shot. This focus on the present moment can enhance the ability to concentrate and help keep the mind focused on one task at a time.
  • Promotion of Resilience: Golf is a sport that involves a series of physical and mental challenges and obstacles. Overcoming these challenges can help develop resilience and the ability to handle adversity in other areas of life.
  • Development of critical thinking skills. Golf requires players to make strategic decisions. It is necessary to analyze external elements such as wind, terrain factors, and the choice of good equipment.
  • Ability to strategize, which stimulates the brain and improves cognitive function.
  • Socializing with other players, which fosters positive relationships and can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

From Screen to Golf Course

Studies show that time away from screens benefits mental health, not just in children but in everyone. A study published in Advanced Science in 2024 found that screen use can have negative effects on adolescents’ cognition, behavior, and brain development. These effects include adverse language skills, depression, social problems, reduced reading time, and exposure to violence and cyberbullying. 

As more and more data suggests, increased use of technology can lead to social and behavioral problems in children due to a lack of face-to-face interaction. In contrast, the game of golf creates opportunities to interact, compete, and make new friends in a safe environment, especially for kids. Golf places kids in beautiful surroundings and promotes healthy lifestyles. Golf is social. Spending time with friends and family on the course strengthens social bonds, increases the sense of belonging, and provides emotional support; all things that have been studied and have been proven to improve one’s mental health .

Improvement in Academic and Professional Performance

It is said that team sports are more comprehensive due to the complexity of composing a team, but those who enjoy golf know the key to this individual sport. Confidence. Self-control. Mental strength. All common attributes of successful golfers. Golf is a sport of personal challenges. Improvements accompany joy and a sense of personal growth and development. Overcoming obstacles and achieving goals improve personal confidence in athletes. This form of growth is reflected in discipline, not only on the course but in academic and professional environments as well.

Mario Conte, President of the HJGT, shares a similar perspective on learning and growth: “I have learned more from my mistakes and failures than I have from my successes. Take the shot and if it doesn’t go in, get back up and take another shot but learn from the missed shot. Get off the sideline and make things happen in life and business.” 

Golf and Personal Growth

Ben Esposito, a professional golfer and founder of In The Golf Zone, had this to say about golf’s benefits on children: “Confidence and self-control are a huge part of success on the golf course. Every shot is different and unexpected outcomes happen during every round. In order for a player to bring their best on the course they have to learn about themselves at a deeper level, their own tendencies, and what inspires them. This improves their confidence on the course and embodying that confidence each day eventually works into their daily life.” 

At the HJGT, we are committed and honored to helping grow the game by creating new experiences for young aspiring golfers. The game of golf is not only fun and challenging, but it contributes to improved physical and mental health for millions of kids worldwide.

And in a world where digital screens attempt to dominate our kids’ lives, the HJGT will continue teeing up lifelong mental health benefits through the wonderful space of junior golf.


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