1st Green at Red Ledges Golf Club, Park City, Utah

If you have ever played golf then you already know that walking 18 holes, carrying your bag and swinging your club at the tee or into the bushes (no judgment), makes golf a moderately intense physical sport. The physical activity of golf combined with fresh air, beautiful tracks and awe-inspiring backdrops boost mood and endorphins. It is a winning combination for the prevention of anxiety, dementia and depression, not to mention cardiovascular health and mental stimulation. And, let’s not underestimate how good it feels to hear the ping of perfect contact.

With new courses sprouting up all across the nation and the newly announced Tiger Woods-designed course slated for Park City, plus indoor/outdoor simulators, new high-tech club technology and a golf calendar chock-full of live and televised iconic tournaments like the recent Masters, or upcoming U.S. Open, it’s always the right time to get yourself involved and reap the benefits of golf.

Golf in Park City - Red LedgesOVERALL HEALTH
The game of golf exercises your heart. It keeps your heart rate up and purring along for a substantial amount of time, optimizing your cardiovascular health. And, here’s something else, a round of golf burns an average of 1,500 calories and even more if you ditch the cart and walk the course.

Play golf to live longer? Research also shows that regularly playing golf, at least once a month, may lead to an increase in life expectancy and improve your quality of life. Golf contributes to your mental well-being, too. It improves your confidence and self-esteem. Any way you slice it (pun intended), getting outside and hitting the links is a fantastic form of exercise for the body and the mind.

Tuhaye at the Talisker Club: A Mark O’Meara creation in ski country otherwise known as Deer Valley. The Tuhaye course provides opportunities for golfers to improve their golf game, practice their focus and clarity, as well test their cardiovascular game and mental endurance. The 5th hole at Tuhaye will challenge every ounce of your composure and will surely have your heart racing for one reason or another. With 607 yards of green filled with plenty of hazards like the ravine cutting through the middle of the fairway, the ponds (note the plural) and the uphill play to the pin, plan to burn extra calories on this one.

Victory Ranch Golf + Country Club: A Rees Jones-designed course with challenging terrain and a true mountain-links experience. The Victory Ranch course, which sits atop a plateau, will test your focus like no other as it offers endless 360-degree views of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, Deer Valley and the new Mayflower Resort, Provo River and Jordanelle Reservoir from several of the tee boxes and fairways. The back nine switchbacks will give you quite the workout as you play your way up the mountain before you arrive at the crown jewel of the course, the 17th hole. Tee boxes point toward the green in the foreground below, while panoramic views of the Jordanelle Reservoir call to you in the distance.

The golf course is a wonderful venue for socializing, meeting people and making friends. The social element of golf is well-renowned, providing individuals with an opportunity to spend time with friends in great surroundings. It is a great way to boost self-identity and increase social interactions by meeting like-minded players on the course or catching up with friends, co-workers and family members. The game is not highly competitive or demanding, so there is plenty of time to interact and socialize. And not to worry, conversational chatting isn’t negatively affecting your game, quite the opposite actually, it’s boosting your mood and level of play.

Park Meadows: Whether you’re a golfer or a socialite or a golfer that loves to socialize, Park Meadows Country Club is a luxurious gathering place for making lasting friendships and family memories while playing great golf. The signature “stretch” at Park Meadows is a combination of holes 2 and 8, which share a putting green and offers golfers a chance to chat with other players as they putt or as they cross into the adjacent green to find a wayward ball, which has been known to happen a time or two (wink, wink).

Golf in Park City - Jeremy RanchJeremy Ranch: Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club is the only Arnold Palmer Signature Course in Utah and quite the social venue for the who’s who in golf and Park City. Also, Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club has reciprocal agreements with numerous local clubs as well as clubs across the U.S. giving you a real chance to sprout your social butterfly wings. As a member, you can choose to play a round at courses from Logan to St. George and beyond, working on whittling down your score, all the while meeting new friends.

The game of golf is a true practice of the mind. It requires concentration and memory. It’s a great way to exercise your brain and boost brain function. Weighing the risk/reward outcome of a particular shot and the other facets of the game all aid in keeping the mind sharp. There is more thinking about golf than playing of golf when you are out on the course—how to tee up your shot, how to angle your putt, which club to use, what direction the wind is blowing, how the greens look, finding your line. This is all happening before you even put the club to ball. Not to mention, you have to be in control of your breath,feel your feet, and be totally present in the moment, no matter what else is going on around you. There’s something to be said for psychologically preparing for a single shot during golf.

Gondola cabins - Canyons Park City GolfingCanyons Golf Course: The unique, and newest, course in Park City has been designed around the resort terrain. It includes many bunkers, elevation changes and greens perched on the side of the mountain making your room for error basically nil or you will be stuck trying to find a lost ball in the brush. This course can be a real mind-bender and it will take mental toughness plus every ounce of your attention and concentration to score well at this challenging course.

Soldier Hollow Golf Course: With elevated greens, massive ascents and descents, and shots across ravines, there are few dull moments when playing at Soldier Hollow Golf Course. The Gold Course, with its long, thin fairways is a true test of accuracy and distance control, misjudging your drive can cause your ball to roll into another hole or off into the brush. Bring a sharp mind to this course because maneuvering the hillside greens and water hazards is a bit like doing a math equation. Golfing the Soldier Hollow Gold Course lends itself to a kaleidoscope of mountain colors, as this course lies higher in altitude than the other two, adding another layer of beauty for the mind to absorb while traversing your golf game.

The golf swing exercises arms, legs, back and abdomen, with numerous repetitions over the course of a round—approximately 30+ times for accomplished players and many more for novice golfers. Golf is a “low-impact” sport. As a result, joints are not subject to the stresses and strains of more jarring activities like tennis and running, which can lead to long-term joint damage.

Your entire body is in constant motion during a round of golf, which can last nearly four hours, give or take. From swinging the club to walking the course to calculating your yardage, your muscles and mind are in workout mode from your first tee to your last putt.

Red Ledges: The world-class Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Red Ledges features 18 holes, all with stunning views of the Wasatch Range and Park City region. With no two holes alike, and over 700 feet of elevation change, be prepared for a full body workout and dramatic course play at Red Ledges that includes heart-pumping climbs and descents, ball carries with plenty of hang time, red-colored vistas, challenging fairways and greens and tricky white sand bunkers. From the 1st tee box, set atop a cliff edge overlooking the Heber Valley to the last gurgle of the cup on the 18th hole, this course is a sure bet for exhilarating play and a complete full-body workout.

Promontory—The Painted Valley Golf Course: Expect pounding your driver all day at the longest course you’ve likely ever experienced. At nearly 8,100 yards, Painted Valley is extremely long and sits at nearly 7,000 feet elevation. Promontory’s Painted Valley Golf Course boasts designations as one of the 10 longest courses in the world, as well as one of the most challenging in the world. Aside from getting your steps in at this course, the 6th-13th holes play uphill and into the wind and are nothing short of a brutal Tabata workout, with the 12th hole representing everything you’d expect from Promontory golf—big, long, and difficult, so fuel up and bring your best strategy.

Whether you hope to join the ranks of some of the greats like Phil Mickelson or Lydia Ko, or just enjoy hitting the links with your fellow pals, you can gain invaluable health benefits by playing this centuries-old sport.

SOURCELaura Kent
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