by Sam Peterson, Healthcare Intern
When I was three years old, I got my first set of golf clubs. I clearly didn’t realize then how much of an impact the game of golf was going to have on my life. Golf is truly an amazing game and has helped me create so many memories, meet different people, and given me countless opportunities. Here are eight reasons I love golf and why you might want to give it a try.
- Memories – My favorite memory about golf happened in Viroqua. It was the summer before my senior year of high school and my dad, mom, and I had gone to play golf in Viroqua. We got to the 5th hole which was a par three. My mom had walked ahead right next to the green. I hit my shot, and my Dad and I could not see it anywhere on the green. All of the sudden we heard a scream. My mom ran onto the green and starting jumping up and down. I had just gotten my first ever hole-in-one, and it was with my mom and dad! That is just one of countless memories I have made while golfing, but it is at the top of my list.
- Fresh air and exercise – I know golf is not a super strenuous physical workout, but on average you can take up to 12,000 steps per 18-hole round (if you don’t use a cart). Besides getting your steps in, it is a great way to spend a couple hours outside with nature. I have seen so much cool wildlife while golfing such as deer, foxes, turkeys, and even a roadrunner in Arizona!
- Anyone can play! – Another reason this game is so special to me is people of all ages and skill levels can play. I have played golf with people of all different ages, as young as my four-year-old cousin to my 80-year-old grandfather. It is a game meant for everyone.
- Family bonding – As I mentioned earlier, the game of golf has definitely brought my family closer. My dad was the one who taught me how to golf when I was only three years old and was my high school golf coach for three years. My mom never missed a golf match and even drove me to different tournaments when my dad couldn’t. Recently, I have been teaching my mom how to play golf; now we have another activity we can do together.
- Career experience – I started working at my local golf course as a freshman in high school and have since worked in a variety of positions. Working in the golf course industry gave me an insight to a lot of different areas. My first ever job was actually picking up the range balls and cleaning them at my local golf course. After that I worked with the maintenance team on the course and the pro shop working with merchandise and providing customer service. I even helped with events at the golf course such as weddings by working in food service. All of this experience has taught me many skills I will continue to use.
- Travel opportunities – Golf has taken me to some really cool areas. I have been able to go on golf trips to Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Arizona, and Florida. I did more than just golf on these trips. With these trips, I have eaten at a variety of restaurants, seen different state parks, gone to events, and experienced many different things. I have never been out of the country, but a bucket list item for me is to go to Ireland with my dad and play golf.
- Golfing on a budget – There is this notion around golf that you need to be wealthy to play. I am not going to lie and say it isn’t an expensive sport, because it is, but there are deals and cheaper ways to play. If you play early in the morning or later in the evening a lot of courses offer discounted rates to play. Equipment can be super costly if you are getting name brand clubs. I know several people who were able to find golf equipment in their grandparent’s basement. You can also find cheap clubs that work great for beginners at garage sales.
- Networking – I have met many new and interesting people through golf. This has opened up a lot of doors and opportunities for me. In high school I played golf against Cade Rohrbach (son of Dan Rohrbach, the CEO of Southwest Health). While playing against him I met Dan, which started the conversation of Hospital Administration as a career path. Hospital administration peaked an interest for me, and without golf I would not have made that connection. These conversations led me to this internship at Southwest Health.
Golf is a great way to meet new people, get some exercise, and do a little bit of travelling. It is a game meant for people of all different ages, and it can be cheaper than one might think. I hope reading this has peaked your interest about the game. See you on the course!