Golf courses serve as an outdoor sanctuary removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Being on the course and surrounded by nature allows golfers to take a moment to relax and enjoy the stunning beauty of Texas outdoors.
From playing a casual round with a group of friends to bringing your colleagues out of the conference room and onto the links to help forge bonds and drive creativity, getting outside and spending time on the links can have many far-reaching benefits.
Here are some ways that I like to optimize my time on the course to fully enjoy the round, regardless of the score.
Spending time on the golf course is always a nice treat since you’re out in the middle of nature and enjoying the fresh air. In addition to the general sense of calmness that comes with being surrounded by nature, there’s also some evidence that simply being outside can help to lower blood pressure, heart rate, inflammation and stress hormones, as well as decrease anxiety, depression and fatigue. This exposure to nature along with the physical benefits of exercise that come with playing a round of golf can help increase overall well-being both physically and mentally.
While it’s important to be courteous and mindful of how much time is spent on each green, I recommend stopping for a moment, taking a deep breath and enjoying your surroundings each time you tee off. Remaining relaxed and calm can also be a good strategy for golfers to help them stay focused to help enhance their game.
Many golf courses are close to areas with abundant wildlife. For example, Hill Country Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort is nestled within a grove of oak trees and rolling hills that keep it mostly hidden from the road and the public.
The off-the-beaten-path essence of our location adds to the overall nature-infused experience, and we regularly see many types of wildlife — everything from ducks, geese and hawks to deer, raccoons and even friendly squirrels that will eat right out your hand. Our whitetail deer are absolutely gorgeous and not shy about showing themselves on the course. I recommend that golfers talk to the golf pro or golf shop attendant to see where they may have the best luck spotting local wildlife, and keeping an eye out during their rounds.
It is well known that vitamin D provides a wide range of health benefits, and spending time in the Central Texas sun will clearly help your body get plenty, but it’s important to ensure you’re protected from too much sun exposure at the same time. I recommend that golfers keep the sun protection essentials in their golf bag including a high SPF sunscreen, moisture-wicking clothing to help stay cool, a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade and a water bottle to ensure hydration throughout the round.
If it’s a mild day, I recommend that golfers consider walking the course to get additional exercise from their round. It’s not unusual for golfers to walk about four miles by the end of most courses, so the extra steps can provide an added layer to the overall wellness experience.
Golf is a social game, and I always recommend bringing along your nearest and dearest for a fun-filled day on the course. When you’re not playing with family or friends, golf can be an ideal way to take work outside and to interact, brainstorm and connect with clients and colleagues outside of the office or conference room. I see a lot of work taking place at our golf course, and that can lead to boosting morale, enhancing creativity and forging lasting relationships in the workplace.
Finally, I’ve noticed a trend of golfers adding light music as background for their round. We currently sell the Bushnell Golf Wingman Speakers in our pro shop, which are Bluetooth speakers that allow everyone from your group to enjoy their favorite songs, and conveniently stick on the arms of the golf carts through a magnetic strip.
About the Author
Ashley Skidmore is the director of golf at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa’s Hill Country Golf Club. With nearly a decade of experience in golf management, Skidmore has worked at several golf clubs throughout the region including Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Teravista Golf Club in Round Rock, the Broadmoor in Colorado, and Promontory Ranch Golf Club in Utah. She has received several accolades throughout her career including the 2020 STPGA “Golf Professional of the Year” and the STPGA “Player Development” award in 2017.