RADIA: Exercise: little. Fun: even less

Andy Radia is a Tri-City News Face to Face columnist. - phoTO SUBMITTED
Andy Radia is a Tri-City News Face to Face columnist.
— image credit: phoTO SUBMITTED

The summer weather is upon us, which means if I want to find my colleague opposite on any given afternoon, I’d best check the local golf courses.

Jim, like a lot of retirees, is an avid golfer. It’s a game he really enjoys.

I just don’t get it.

I’ve tried it: I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on lessons, golf clubs, shoes and gloves.  I’ve woken up early on weekend mornings to rush to a course only to face the hours of monotony of waiting my turn. And I’ve dealt with the frustration of losing expensive golf balls in trees, bushes and water hazards.

This is supposed be fun and relaxing?

I understand that golf can be good for your heart health if you actually walk a full 18-hole course.

According to the Harvard Medical school “walking an average course for a round of golf can be as much as four miles.”

“If you walk 18 holes three to five times a week, you’ll get an optimal amount of endurance exercise for your heart,” says the 2004 study, noting that swinging a club does very little for you.

“If you pull your clubs or carry them, you’ll burn more calories per round, and benefit even more,”  it states.

But who are we kidding, Jim? Are you walking the courses or taking a motorized cart?

Instead of golf, we, as a society, should be encouraging our seniors and retirees to participate in more aerobic activities: cycling, walking, tennis, swimming, etc.

To that end, instead of allocating land for golf courses, municipal governments should be using that space to build other recreation facilities.

Very urban cities like Vancouver and Burnaby actually run and operate their own courses on their own land. Is that an efficient use of land? I would suggest not.

There are also environmental issues: Golf courses cause a loss of biodiversity, use a lot of water and are often heavy users of chemicals to keep the greens green.

Sorry, Jim, I know I sound like a golf humbug but I just don’t understand the appeal.


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