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A message from the editor, Mike Harris:
In the 35 years I’ve been playing golf, I’ve always appreciated the many health benefits the game offers; from the physical exercise involved in walking 18 holes to the mood benefits of being out in nature with time and space to think.
A round of golf, whether with friends or on my own, has been the ‘healthy’ way I have sought to deal with sadness, disappointment or stress and, until recently, golf had almost always done the trick of getting me back on track.
However, things were different this year. My usual relentlessly optimistic outlook had changed and I found myself stuck in a place where my thinking was very negative; I was constantly anxious and felt very low and depressed. In short, my mental health was really poor. Golf didn’t seem to be working its usual magic.
Working with a therapist helped me understand how I’d got into this position of negative thinking and a depressed mood. This was very important, but I also made a big effort to play more golf. When I played, I focused less on how well I was playing and more on just how great it was to be out there. I often used those rounds to talk to playing partners I trusted about how I felt, and that too was very helpful.
That dual approach was the code cracker for me, and thankfully I am now in a position where I’m back enjoying ‘good mental health’. I know golf has played a significant part in that turnaround. My personal story links in with a feature in this issue, where Fergus Bisset looks at The R&A’s drive to increase participation by focusing on the mental and physical health benefits golf can offer everyone.
I believe it could be a really powerful marketing tool for the game in its bid to attract new players – and for established golfers, it makes for comforting reading to know that when you most need it, the game of golf will be there for you.
Power Up Your Game!
Top-level golf has certainly become much more of a power game than in years gone by. While the typical club golfer may not be able to compete with the tour pros when it comes to power, a little more of it never did any golfer any harm. With that in mind, we asked GM Top 50 Coach Keith Wood to identify five potential areas all of us can look to improve on in the quest for a more powerful swing.
The Hottest New Gear
Golf And Health
Fergus Bisset speaks to Phil Anderton, chief development officer at The R&A, to hear about how the governing body’s drive on golf and health could provide a massive boost to global participation.
Colin Montgomerie discusses his highlights from an extremely successful individual and Ryder Cup career.
Phrases Golfers Love To Hear
A round of golf is often a rollercoaster of emotions, but these ten phrases will bring comfort to anyone...
Matt Cradock plays a round with Georgia Hall to discuss her career to date and find out what you can learn from a Major Champion.
The Best Courses You Can Play
David joined Golf Monthly in 2015 as a content editor for the magazine and regularly contributes to the website. He has worked in magazine publishing and editing since 2003. He is a keen golfer and up until recently was a member of Blackmoor Golf Club in Hampshire. He has covered various big events and tournaments for GM, the highlight of which was witnessing Tiger Woods win his 15th Major at Augusta in 2019. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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