This article was written by a guest contributor. For guest contribution guidelines, please visit this page.
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who runs a golf-related website, Golf Influence. When he’s not working on his game, he’s researching and writing value-packed content for golf enthusiasts.
Golf is a beautiful sport, partly because it’s elegant and flowing but also because it’s played outdoors, usually surrounded by stunning natural beauty. When you need to get away from the screen and stretch your legs, there’s no better way to get fresh air, light exercise, and your fill of nature than to play a round on a golf course.
But sometimes, it’s not possible to head out to the course. Maybe the weather’s bad, or the nearest course is too far away. Playing indoor golf has become a fun and easy alternative to being outside on the golf course, and although you don’t get quite the same natural experience, it’s a great way to get in a round when the real thing isn’t available.
And did you know that playing indoor golf helps make you healthier? Of course, getting fresh air, sunshine on your skin, and being outdoors is excellent for physical health, but in some cases, indoor golf trumps outdoor. Here’s why.
Keeps You Away From Bugs
Golf courses are beautiful natural wonders but come with natural pests and bugs! This is not only annoying (try hitting a great drive with a gnat in your eye!), but it can also become a problem for your health.
Firstly, bug bites can become irritated, and you might develop an allergic reaction. You’re also never quite sure what bugs you’re going to come into contact with! And it’s not just mosquito-type bugs, either. You may come into contact with dangerous spiders and other nasty critters.
Secondly, bug repellent isn’t great for your health either. Many repellents contain compounds that can have adverse effects on your health. For example, roll-on repellents may contain chemicals that can be absorbed through your skin, causing damage. Spray repellents do the same, but they can also be breathed in, irritating and potentially damaging the esophagus and the lungs.
Playing indoor golf removes this issue. Of course, there may still be the occasional insect lurking indoors, but your chances of being bitten, stung, or covered in unhealthy repellent are much less.
Keeps Allergies At Bay
As well as the potentially dangerous critters found on golf courses, there’s an abundance of plants and flowers that are beautiful to look at. But these can aggravate the nasal passages and sinuses, bringing on a full-blown allergy attack.
If you’re prone to allergies, you may be well aware of what potential allergens float around the nearest golf course. But when it comes to playing on a different course you aren’t familiar with, you never quite know what allergens you may encounter.
Of course, if you suffer from allergies, you most likely carry antihistamines or something similar in case you need one. But who really wants to wait for an allergy tablet’s effects to kick in while you’re trying to play your best golf game?
Playing indoor golf helps to reduce the chances of this happening. While there’s always still a chance of developing allergies while you’re indoors, there’s much less chance. There is no wind blowing pollen your way, less chance of being bitten or stung by bugs, no worrying about the weather, and so on.
Keeps You Safe From The Sun
While getting a certain amount of sunlight is essential for health, too much of it can have unhealthy and dangerous effects. Of course, you can wear a protective hat and lather yourself in sunscreen, but those can only help you to a degree.
Getting too much sun can have disastrous effects. From dehydration to severe sunburn and heat stroke, the sun can cause extremely adverse effects.
Another possible issue is that many sunscreen brands contain unhealthy chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin, like bug repellent. So while there’s nothing wrong with wearing it now and then, it could have adverse effects if you’re layering on sunscreen often.
Choosing to play indoor golf removes any potential sun-related issues. If you’re sensitive to the sun, playing indoor golf is far safer and healthier than being outdoors on the course.
When you book a tee time on a golf course, you’re not quite sure what the weather will be like on the day. Perhaps you’re sensitive to the heat or cold. If this is the case, playing indoor golf is probably a much better choice.
Indoor golf bays are temperature-controlled. As a result, there’s far less chance of you overheating or getting cold, which is a big pro for those sensitive to temperature.
When you’re spending time with friends, not worrying about allergies, safe from nasty weather, free from bugs and critters, and at a comfortable temperature, you’re much more likely to really enjoy your game!
Also, having your stats and data displayed can be extremely motivating, especially if you’re working on something specific, like adding some distance to your drives.
Increased motivation equals more fun, which in turn equals better mental health. Improved mental health also leads to better overall health! So, in a nutshell, playing indoor golf has huge potential to make you physically and mentally healthier!
How Can You Play Indoor Golf?
Indoor Golfing Facilities
TopGolf, DriveShack, GameGolf are examples of indoor golfing facilities. They’re essentially indoor driving ranges, which come with an abundance of data on your shots.
These golf simulators are often regarded as games, a way to socialize with your friends, similar to a bowling alley. However, they can be an excellent way for golfers to get in a good round and get some data on their swing at the same time.
It is worth noting, though, that people who may want to stay away from the golf course for social distancing reasons may want to avoid facilities like this. This is because they’re often fairly closed in and house many people at a time.
If you do want to play simulator golf but don’t want to go to a social outlet, some golf clubs have TrackMan technology in their clubhouses. TopGolf is built on this technology, and you may be able to play a round there instead of in a busy indoor area.
Golf simulators for the home aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re an excellent choice for golfers who are immunocompromised and may need to distance themselves from others socially. Golf lovers who can’t spend as much time on the course as they’d like or prefer to avoid indoor golf facilities should certainly consider investing in one.
They allow you to play whenever you want, from the comfort of your own home, and also offer the bonus of providing top-notch data so you can fine-tune your game to a high degree.
The evidence is clear—playing indoor golf can help make you healthier! That’s not to say that playing outdoors on a natural, beautiful golf course is unhealthy. It’s actually one of the healthiest sports you can play, thanks to its low-impact nature but high calorie-burning potential.
But as healthy as it is to spend time in nature and get low-impact exercise, sometimes playing a round on a golf course isn’t the optimal way to get that exercise in for various reasons.
Playing indoor golf is an excellent alternative for not wanting or being able to play golf on a full golf course. The mechanics are the same, the fun is the same, but the risks are less and the social fun can be more!
You might also be interested in: How To Design A Home Putting Green