England Golf has launched a campaign to encourage fans of the sport to “reduce screen-time and increase green-time” to improve their mental wellbeing.
The launch of the #SwitchOffWithGolf campaign, which is being fronted by BBC sports presenter Dan Walker and Professor Greg Whyte, coincides with Stress Awareness Month and will encourage lapsed golfers to take time out from their busy schedules to “rediscover their drive”.
Eighty-five per cent of adults say they experience stress regularly, while 67% of men admit to having been so stressed at some point over the last year that they have felt unable to cope.
Britons identify technology as a cause of stress and disruption to personal life, often feeling overwhelmed by the ‘always on’ culture, forever connected by email, SMS and social media.
The #SwitchOffWithGolf campaign aims to stimulate conversation around the importance of positive mental health and to educate potential golfers about the physical and psychological benefits of exercising outdoors as a coping strategy for dealing with every-day stresses.
It also aims to demonstrate that golf doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. The campaign showcases the extensive range of formats accessible to golfers to suit their individual schedule; from 18-hole courses to nine holes, Par 3, the driving range and short game courses.
Dan Walker, a passionate golfer, said: “We’ve all got busy lives and it’s hard to fit things in sometimes, but it is possible.
“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 re-iterated the physical and psychological benefits of playing the sport: “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 and outdoor activity are incredibly potent stimuli for positive lifestyle changes because it impacts all areas of health simultaneously by improving physical, mental and social health.
“We don’t need to overthink this, golf is a fantastic stress reliever in whatever way you chose to play it. You can really tailor the game to suit your needs so on a day where you want to play all day go and play 18 holes but if you’ve got 15 minutes and want to destress, you can head to the range.”