England Golf has launched the ‘Switch Off with Golf’ campaign for Stress Awareness Month, to highlight the mental health benefits of putting down your phone and getting involved with outdoor exercise such as golf.
Professor Greg Whyte OBE, one of the ambassadors has identified a strong correlation between the amount of time adults dedicate to screen time and the level of anxiety that they experience. He believes that golf can be an extremely effective method to combat stress.
“Screen time is directly creating stress for us now because we live in an on-demand culture where people send us things and they expect an instantaneous response and what that does is drive stress up,” he said.
“We know that 85% of adults experience stress on a regular basis and over two-thirds of those actually feel overwhelmed by that stress.
“Physical activity is an incredibly potent stimulus for a positive lifestyle change because it impacts all areas of health simultaneously by improving physical, mental and social health.
“Golf is a fabulous sport because it is accessible across the age span, from children right up to geriatrics, and it is a sport that some people choose to play lifelong.
“The game means that we spend time with our friends and I think for men that is increasingly important because they are incredibly bad at talking and sharing their feelings.
“The golf course facilitates talking and actually enables conversations to take place making it a very important way to help tackle stress and anxiety, in men.
“The other brilliant thing about golf is that we do it outdoors and so all of those benefits that we get from taking exercise are increased, simply by doing it outside.
BBC Presenter Dan Walker is also an ambassador for the campaign and a passionate golfer. He has outlined how easy it is to find a format that works for you, saying:
“We’ve all got busy lives and it’s hard to fit in sometimes, but it is possible. We’ve got three kids, I’ll drop one of them off at a piano lesson and then know I’ve got twenty minutes to go to the driving range, maybe play a couple of holes or just hit a few balls, then go back to pick them up.
“You know what it’s like, sometimes you have a bad day. The great thing about golf is that feeling when you hit one ball, just smash it, even if it doesn’t go down the middle that feeling is beautiful. If you’re busy at home and busy at work, there are still so many ways to switch off with golf.”
Greg Whyte, echoed Walker’s sentiment, saying:
“For me personally there is nothing better than stepping onto the driving range and smashing a ball as hard as I can and the great thing about that is that it doesn’t matter where it goes.
“We don’t need to overthink this, golf is a fantastic stress reliever in whatever way you choose to play it.
“You can really tailor the game to suit your needs, so on a day where you want to play all day then go and play 18 holes but if you’ve just got 15 minutes and want to de-stress, you can head onto the range.”
If you are a Cignpost member and you’re suffering from stress, then don’t forget you can pick up the phone and talk to one of our Nurse Case Managers who can offer you help and support.
Echo News. (2019). England Golf launch new campaign for Stress Awareness Month. Accessible: https://www.echo-news.co.uk/sport/national/17561143.england-golf-launch-new-campaign-for-stress-awareness-month/. Last Accessed: 9 April 2019.
England Golf. (2019). Dan Walker and Greg Whyte back #SwitchOffWithGolf. Accessible: https://www.englandgolf.org/dan-walker-and-professor-greg-whyte-back-switch-off-with-golf-campaign/. Last Accessed: 11 April 2019.
Yahoo, (2019). BBC’s Dan Walker keen to get more people playing golf. Accessible: https://bit.ly/2Uw43t8. Last Accessed: 11 April 2019.