With its “play it for a lifetime” motto and the networking opportunities at the top of the list, there are many obvious reasons why golf is a great sport to learn. But golf has tons of hidden perks too! Let’s check out some of those secret bonuses.

1. Street Cred

There’s a certain “legit status” you’ll obtain if you are able to watch or play golf and show you know what you’re talking about.  Combine that lingo with knowing the etiquette and rules of the game, and you’ll be taken seriously no matter how far you hit the ball at your next company outing.  For me, I barely know who’s playing at World Series or Super Bowl time. know this about me. So, imagine my co-workers’ surprise when the US Open came to my area last year, and I told them I’d be working at the Open. The guys were like, “Wait. What? You golf?”  I felt a little more respect that day from my golfing co-workers.

2. Exercise outside of the gym

There’s something to be said for exercising and not realizing you’re doing it.  On a recent round, my watch informed me I had walked five miles…. all while talking with friends, enjoying nature, and getting away from it all. What a great way to get my steps in! Think about it, where would you rather be on an 80-degree day – at the gym, or on a beautiful fairway?

3. Escape

Speaking of exercise, let’s remember that when you golf, you’re not just going for a nice long walk; you’re also (kind of) escaping your everyday life.  Ask my friend Marianne, a single mom of three boys.  When we golf together, she makes it clear to her kids… “Mama’s taxi light is officially off for the next three hours.”  She appreciates the time away, and I appreciate the uninterrupted catch up time with my friend.

4. Refreshments

Whether you’re into La Croix or a something stronger, I can’t think of many other activities where refreshments are delivered to you during recreation.  Nobody brings me water during my treadmill class. Confession: when my friends and I golf and see the beer cart coming our way, we get really excited.  It’s 5 o’clock on some golf course in the world, right? Whatever I’m having, the notion of having anything delivered directly to me, when I spend so much of my time delivering things to others is always a nice touch.

5. Gear 

Let’s just say there are some really cute golf outfits waiting to be snatched up for your next round.  Not that wardrobe is everything, but having cute gear always makes things more fun, and can add a spring to your step. I love to go online and search for new outfits (Tip: There are tons of golf clothing Pinterest boards for women).  And while I have yet to find specific data to back this claim, I’d like to hypothesize that wearing a great golf outfit and slick golf shoes significantly contributes to lower golf scores.

6. Girls Weekends/Golf Getaways

Guys have gone away for golf weekends for years.  Well, it’s our turn.  Having a set of golf clubs in the trunk of your car automatically qualifies you to take a weekend with your gal pals and classify it as a girls’ golf weekend. Go ahead and add fun things to the mix like spa treatments, dinners, shopping, and many laughs with friends.

7. Golf vacations

The more I golf, the more I love the game and appreciate the fact that there are so many great places in the world to play.  When planning a vacation last summer with my husband, I initially put a day of golf on our itinerary because I knew it’d make him happy.  But then I realized, it made me happy too! Being able to enjoy a game for me and share it with my husband, who also loves the game, proved to be a score that wasn’t just good for our relationship, but good for my soul as well.

8. Ego boosting

Nothing feels better than mastering something you’ve been working on.  Finally getting the hang of your driver, learning how to get out of the sand, or getting a handle on your putter can all be mini-boosts that make you forget the bad shots and want to come back for more. I remember one particular rough round a few summers ago… I struggled off and on the first six holes and was starving and tired the whole time- not a happy golfer at all.  But then, on #7, my drive landed on the green and rolled within a foot of the hole. Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry, and I was reaching for my phone to call the pro shop and book a second nine. I felt like a legit golfer and was eager to play more.

9. The memories

While beautiful drives tend to stay in our minds for a long time, I’m talking about something different.  Golf gives us memories of great times with friends and golf partners on the course.   For me, nothing beats the round that I played with my dad this October.  At 91, he had spent much of the summer sick, and hadn’t played much at all.  But a warm fall day and him finally feeling better found us on the course for nine.  Neither of us played all that well, but it didn’t matter. We were out there together. Times like those are what make golf an absolutely priceless sport. Golf has a way of imprinting memories that last a lifetime.

As a golfer, you’ve probably enjoyed many of these perks, and perhaps a few of your own.  If you’re just beginning, you’ll no doubt meet each round with a mix of enthusiasm and frustration. But keep at it, and I promise you, you’ll start to understand how all of these perks (and some of your own) contribute to the beauty of the sport.  Golf means something different to everyone – the important thing is to realize why you love it, and use those reasons to bring you back round after round.