As a golf professional, I am lucky to be able to spend a good portion of my days outside and on the course. I believe that being close to nature and spending time outdoors has a significant impact on overall mental and physical health. For me, getting outside and being active helps to reduce stress, muscle tension and improve my mood.
Here in Central Texas, we have so many incredible outdoor activities available right outside our doorstep. Whether I’m enjoying a morning cup of coffee on my back porch, taking a stroll around the block or playing a round of golf, I try to take time to appreciate the sights and sounds of the Texas outdoors any chance I get.
As golf courses are typically nestled among some of the most beautiful natural settings a location has to offer, playing golf is a great way to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and pleasant views. Below are my top tips for maximizing time on the golf course to enjoy the great outdoors.
Regardless of if you are walking the course or riding in a golf cart, it is almost guaranteed that you will encounter local wildlife. Here in Central Texas, golfers will regularly see deer, lizards, snakes as well as a variety of bird species with everything from cardinals to blue jays, and the occasional bald eagle if you’re lucky.
While viewing local wildlife is an amazing experience, it is very important for golfers to use caution when driving or walking through wooded or grassy areas, and to remember to not provoke, interact with, or move any type of wildlife. While the creature might be on the golf course, you are in its habitat and home, so be respectful and patient.
Whether you are spending the day on the course, playing an abbreviated round or practicing at the driving range, golf courses can provide incredible scenery. For example, at Wolfdancer Golf Club, hole 12 is named “Top of the World” and has been a favorite stop for our golfers to take in the stunning Hill Country scenery. As the highest elevation point in Bastrop County, it provides sweeping aerial views of the Colorado River, large pecan trees, and the farm and ranch land that surrounds the area.
So take a moment on any green you’re on and look around, breathe in the fresh air and smell the roses. You’ll feel the stress melt away as you let yourself relax and take it all in.
Since Texas weather can change at the drop of a dime, it is important to be prepared for inclement weather during your round. I recommend that golfers pack a waterproof suit and a collapsible umbrella that can fit in their golf bag in the case of rain.
It’s also worth downloading a reliable weather tracking app that will provide severe weather and lightning alerts. Also, stop in and visit the pro shop before your round to ask about any inclement weather policies and procedures. Many courses are equipped with lightning detection technology that alerts players when lightning gets within a certain distance.
About the Author
Jason Boydston is the director of golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. With nearly 15 years of working in the industry, Boydston has worked at golf courses throughout Texas. When he’s not on the course, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his wife, two boys, and two dogs.