Mercer Island Senior Golfers pose on the green. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department

Mercer Island Senior Golfers pose on the green. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department

Golfing benefits for a lifetime

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department’s Senior Golf program offers outdoor sport activity.

  • Monday, April 30, 2018 10:30am
  • Life

After a grey and gloomy winter, many Islanders can’t wait to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Seniors who are looking to have fun while getting in a workout should consider swinging a golf club with the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department’s Senior Golf program.

Not only is golf a great way to soak up some Vitamin D, but there are many health benefits for seniors. Golfers exceed 10,000 steps in a typical round, the golden number of steps that meet the recommended guidelines for daily exercise. Walking, carrying your bag, and swinging all increases heart rates and blood flow.

The average golfer walks four to five miles during eighteen holes of golf. Even riding in a motorized cart, golfers will burn 400 calories on average during a nine-hole game. Golf is considered a low risk of injury sport that builds lower body strength and improves core muscle, strength and balance.

“There is no question of the health benefit,” said Mercer Island senior golfer Stan Ruble.

Beyond the physical benefits of the game, golf is also great for keeping cognition sharp. Mental aspects of the game include planning strategy, tallying scores, calculating wind directions, determining green speeds, slope and using hand-eye coordination all provide a great workout for your brain.

“There is the challenge of finding balls that stray from the fairway and get lost in the woods. These balls are not well trained and deserve to get lost,” Islander Bob Delacour said. “There is always the challenge to figure out why the golf ball reacts so differently each time you hit. Someone in the group will always have an answer.”

Socialization is one of the aspects of golfing that seniors report benefiting them the most. It is a great way to relax, unwind and have a good time with friends new and old.

Ruble jokes that one of his favorite parts of the day is the socializing lunch after play, “sitting down with a bus load of golfers and having a beer with them and finding out that they had as many terrible shots as I did. Then having another beer talking about a few great shots of the day and where we are going to play next week. Without their healthful comradery and a beer, I would have quit this impossible game a long time ago.”

When current Mercer Island Parks and Recreation senior golfers were asked what their level of golfing experience was, responses received ranged from intermediate to “old time duffer”.

Golfer Peter Struck emphasized that he finds the Mercer Island golf group to be accommodating to players of all skill levels.

Bette Bjornestad who has golfed in the Mercer Island Senior Golf program for seventeen years and has over twenty-five years of golfing experience, wrote “In the retirement years there are many reasons our life changes, golf for me has been very helpful.”

Bette enjoys the mental, physical, and social benefits of golf and enjoys visiting beautiful courses to play what she describes as a challenging game.

If Islanders are ready to start enjoying the benefits of golf, you can find out more information about our program at . The Mercer Island program offers both nine hole and eighteen hole groups, makes all the golfing arrangements and provides transportation, playing Mondays, April – October.

More in Life

Mercer Island students make UW Dean’s List

Dean’s List for spring 2018

Artistic back to school tradition continues at Mercer Island High School

Parents of seniors decorated their parking spaces with chalk for their last first day of school.

Young Islander meets Seahawk inspiring kids with limb deficiencies

Rookie Shaquem Griffin is changing the game as the first one-handed player in the NFL.

Local celebrations to be held for Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi to blow Shofar at locations throughout Mercer Island on Jewish New Year.

MIHS Class of ’68 are 68

Islanders get together for 50th class reunion.

Totem pole donated to Covenant Shores

A longtime Mercer Island resident carved the pole in 1992.

Emmanuel Church welcomes new rector

The first church on Mercer Island is entering a new phase in its history.

Aggressive owls in Pioneer Park, city of Mercer Island warns

Owls have a distinctive call described as sounding like “Who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all?”

Mercer Island celebrates Women’s Equality Day along with final summer concert

The event, which also features a food truck rodeo, will take place at 5 p.m. on Aug. 24.

There will be another chance to meet the winemakers at this year’s Art Uncorked, to be held Sept. 9 in Town Center. Katie Metzger/file photo
Art Uncorked returns to Mercer Island for fifth year

Annual festival will gathers community through art, wine and music Sept. 7.

Elk around town | Eye on MI

A local resident recently spotted an elk around Mercer Island.