Earlier this February, an historic event took place at St. Andrews, the legendary home of golf in the United Kingdom. The first female members were admitted to the club otherwise known as the Royal + Ancient Golf Club. For the first time in its 260-year history, seven women, including Princess Anne, accepted honorary memberships, something its members voted to do with an 85 percent majority last fall.
Yes, even in this modern day, in 2015!, women are still excluded from literal boys’ clubs. Sure, people will continue to say this is a sign of how the tide is changing… but is it too much to want to not have to see a changing tide?
The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, and Title IX passed in 1972. Title IX was a civil rights move that prohibited discrimination — namely gender-based — in educational programs and activities that accepted federal funds. This is what opened up female athletics at the high school level.
It was only three years ago that Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia accepted the first female members of its 80-year history. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was amongst the notable first women to join.
Do you also think of golf as a man’s sport? Well we beg you to think again! It requires more physical fitness than you may think, which means golf offers a more legitimate workout than you probably assumed.
Walk, don’t cart. Walking an 18-hole game of golf, over varied terrain, will exceed your 10,000 steps per day goal in a dynamic way. The National Institutes of Health reports an average of 11,948 steps taken during a standard game of golf. It won’t count as a cardio workout, but taking some 2,000 steps beyond your daily goal is still an exceptional physical activity that few Americans take advantage of.
Carry, don’t caddy. If you’ll schlep your own bag of clubs across the course, your round of golf also counts as a weight bearing workout. A fully loaded golf bag can weight 30 to 50 pounds, giving you a great bit of resistance during the walk. Especially if you walk at a brisk pace between holes, the added weight will boost your heart rate for added fitness benefit.
Total body toning. The long walks with a bit of weight resistance will help you (mostly) skip leg day at the gym! You’ll certainly feel the game in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes after a full round. And your upper body will get some deserved attention too (through your biceps, triceps and shoulders), thanks to the swinging motion and carrying the bag. Of course, you’ll engage your core with proper form.
Balance to the core. Great balance also contributes to a strong core, so as you engage those abdominals and lower back — whether you’re walking or swinging — you’ll be able to focus on an otherwise overlooked area of the body. Those honed balance skills will certainly prove their worth in every aspect of your every day life.
Whether you just putter around or keep a running tally of holes-in-one, find your way to the golf course on a regular basis…Gender be damned!
And don’t forget your Enell Lite before you hit the links!