LPGA star and Golf For Her ambassador Stacy Lewis knows a thing or two about the benefits of playing golf. Here, she makes a great argument for why every woman in America should make the game a part of her life.
1. It’s fun!
What hooked me on golf back when I was a seven-year-old girl in Anderson, S.C., was the idea of playing with my dad. But then once I started, I realized that I loved the competitive side of it and I love the creativity of the game. But most of all, I just love the fact that you can play with your friends. After school, we’d go and hang out at the golf course, and we were there all day.
2. It’s a game for all ages
Golf is definitely easier to play when you start as a child, but it’s not necessary to start young like I did—people pick up the game in their 30s and 40s and 50s—even later—and they love it. My mom just started to pick up golf in retirement. She played a little bit before but didn’t really feel like she had the time until now, with kids and all that. But now a couple of her friends play so she’s getting into it. I just think that the friendships and relationships you create on the golf course, there’s just a lot there that you can’t get anywhere else.
3. It helps you stay fit
As you get older, it’s harder to get your body moving and stay in shape, and with golf you’re constantly moving. There’s rotation, strength and stability in golf. There’s this guy that my dad plays golf with who’s in his 70s and can shoot his age. He’s in the gym asking me about exercises he can do to get more rotation. I want to be like him when I’m his age.
4. There really is no pressure
I think women need to get more comfortable on the golf course. You don’t have to be great at the game, you just have to go out there and have fun with it. I do a lot of corporate events specifically with women, and one of the things they seem to misunderstand is that they think when the guys go and play, they’re these great golfers. And I tell them that most of the guys I play with in the pro-ams on tour are not good at all. Half of them can’t even keep it on the golf course! I think it’s just that whole being okay with messing up and maybe not being perfect at it, and to know that’s okay. If you watch the guys, when they hit one in the trees, they just re-load and hit another one—they don’t care. They just enjoy that time, whether it’s with their friends or family or whatever; that’s what they’re there for. Women can learn something from the men there.
5. It’s a great motivator
As many people know, I suffered from scoliosis as a child and wore a back grace for seven years before having back surgery at 18. Golf gave me something to recover for. Instead of thinking, “Let’s go do rehab and see what happens,” I had a goal of getting back to playing golf. If I didn’t go through what I did as a kid, there’s no way I’d be the golfer or the person that I am now. I think every experience you have in life shapes who you become, and shapes your future. And no matter what level you play at, golf can be a great motivator.
6. It’ll help your career
Golf is a sport that’s very beneficial to learn how to play just in general for women in business. You may not become a professional player or even a good amateur, but you can make a lot of headway in the business world just by knowing how to play golf.
7. You can play it your own way
Clubs and courses are adapting to modern times, so you don’t have to play 18 holes anymore. The golf industry is realizing that they’re having to make changes to survive, so they’re getting rid of some old traditions and doing things a little bit differently. And that’s what we’ve needed for women. It’s not a men’s-only game anymore; there’s just more access to golf courses in general now, and you can adapt the sport to your life. Some days you might have a long day at work and it’s nice to just go out there and hit a few balls at the end of the day. But stay active, play six or nine, play with your kids. There are so many benefits to golf for women if you can make it your own.
(Photo by Getty Images.)