Fairways: Golfing South East NSW

There are loads of reasons to feel good about playing golf.

For one, it adds an immense amount of money to many economies around the world, from local and regional to state and national, contributing not only to GDP but also wage earnings attributable to clubs and venues throughout their various facilities.

As a sport, golf is a great low-impact activity. If your mobility is good enough that you don't need a cart, then you can count the multiple kilometres you walk while playing as proper exercise. There's also just the motion of playing your strokes properly, the mental challenge of applying strategy especially when trying to recover from a bad shot, and potentially the social benefits as well when playing with one or more other people.

Click here to read Fairways online.

In terms of the game's sheer sustained popularity, even before the pandemic it was already far more popular than it has been historically.

Looking at Europe for example, according to statista.com in 1990 there were 1.71 million registered golfers in Europe, and 20 years later it had peaked at 4.44 million.

It's also been a popular reason to travel. England alone has the most courses (1870 official courses as at 2017) and yet one third of Great Britain's and Ireland's registered players also went on a golfing holiday to Spain in 2017.

Domestically, Golf Australia says the Moore Park, NSW facility alone had 90,000 rounds played in 2020, with people as keen as ever to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

As with any sport, the future of the game lies in capturing the interest of the next generation. Photos: Shutterstock

As with any sport, the future of the game lies in capturing the interest of the next generation. Photos: Shutterstock

Golf Australia are also continuing with their initiatives to increase the number of women and girls taking up the game, and to have more women actively participating in the running of clubs.

If you're an existing or former player who hasn't teed off in a while, the question is, why not? You know how great an activity this is, so get out and play. And drag a companion or three along with you if you can. Make it a group or family activity.

If you or your child is interested in taking the game up, contact your local club and ask them what they can do to help with getting started. They may offer club and equipment hire to make it more accessible for beginners. They may have coaching available, or other activities like a driving range or a putting practice green for instance. Local clubs are also a good place to get local advice on how to play the course, and where to get great equipment when you get more invested in the sport.

Then once you get into the swing of it, you'll be glad you did.

This story Fairways: Golfing South East NSW special publication first appeared on The Canberra Times.