London, England: Playing golf and spending time in nature could be an important solution to the predicted ‘tsunami of mental health problems’ following the Covid-19 pandemic.
That’s the view of leading environmental psychologist Professor Jenny Roe of the University of Virginia, who says golf course environments possess many of the natural features – including water, bio-diversity, spatial variety and light patterns – that help reduce stress and induce calm.
In a new multi-media editorial feature from Syngenta Growing Golf, broadcast on World Environment Day, Professor Roe was joined by Olympic golf course architect Gil Hanse, who explained how golf courses can be beneficial for the environment.
The comments come as many golf clubs report strong demand for play and membership following periods of course closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And it builds on global market research from Syngenta that suggests prospective players are attracted to the game because:
- It is outdoors and
- Offers relaxation and stress relief. (Physical exercise benefits ranked fifth.)
The feature poses the question: In the new normal, post Covid-19, could golf clubs and courses reposition themselves as valuable green space destinations in an increasingly urbanised world?
“On World Environment Day, at a time when the globe continues to face the challenges of Covid-19, this is a timely exploration of the deeper value and benefits golf and its course environments offer both people and the planet,” said Mark Birchmore, Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, Syngenta, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“In a world where access to green spaces is becoming more important and more valuable than ever, this is also an opportunity for golf to reposition and make itself relevant to a larger, more diverse audience,” added Birchmore, who commissioned the feature.