By Molly Underwood / April 07, 2020

Fairway to learning: Bringing the golf game home

Golf isn’t just your grandparents’ game anymore. With young golfers gaining popularity and the pop-up of golf entertainment venues such as Topgolf and Drive Shack, more and more people are starting to take a swing at it. As for me, I was born into a family of golfers and love being able to take on my closest competitors (aka my brothers) in the game. 

Golf is a sport that you can start whenever and play for a long time. Age doesn’t matter! Let’s tap into this age-old game. 

Golf Is a Hole in One For Your Health

Whether you are a pro golfer or you just can’t seem to keep your ball from ending up in the rocks on the putt-putt course, golfing is beneficial to your well-being. And – on the plus side – almost anyone can do it!!

  1. Exercise your brain – If you’ve ever played a game of golf, you know that it is almost ALL mental. Before each shot, you have to think about all the factors that could impact your shot (trees, wind, distance, and so on), keeping your mind sharp. It also requires a lot of concentration and memory, which can reduce cognitive decline! Your brain will thank you later.
  2. Time to get physical – Golf might seem like one of the slower sports and not as intense as others, BUT it can improve your physical fitness. If you play a round of golf, which is 18 holes, you might walk between three and six miles while carrying around a bag of clubs! I mean, unless you are taking the easy way out and using the golf cart 😉. These actions, as well as swinging your clubs, increase your heart rate and blood flow – creating a healthy heart, improved balance, and a boost of brain stimulation.
  3. Get outside for a healthy mind – Being surrounded by nature is not only calm and peaceful but also beneficial to your mental health. Nature can help reduce stress, make you happier, and increase your attention. Luckily for golfers, a round of golf is a full day filled with greenery and nature. And, even if your putt-putt course is just mini windmills surrounded by fake palm trees, I think your mind will still get those positive vibes!
  4. Make connections and socialize – Is this for business or pleasure? Why not both? Playing golf is a great time to socialize or even a time to discuss business ideas. Enhanced social connections can boost self-identity, interpersonal skills, and emotional control. Spend time with those you care about while playing a fun game. Count me in!

If you haven’t played in a while, or you’ve never played, maybe some of these health reasons will push you to hit the links. You never know till you get out there and try!

Fore-ward Thinking

We have heart-eyes 😍 for STEM because it helps explain how the things in our everyday lives work, such as the sports you watch and play – including golf! Even if you’re not a pro golfer, understanding aerodynamics, angles, engineering, and more can help you win big (or score low) – not just in golf, but also in life!

Let’s chip into the details. What’s the most important movement in golf? The swing. It determines where your ball will go, how far the ball will travel, and the amount of loft on the ball. Imagine your swing as a pendulum: the farther you go on the backswing, the farther the ball will travel. If you want to hit farther, you should use a longer club, such as a driver, but for shorter shots you should use a shorter club, such as an iron.

A typical golf set includes a variety of clubs. Some clubs, such as irons, have numbers ranging from two to nine etched into the heads of the clubs. But what do these numbers mean? They refer to the loft, which is the angle of the golf club face. So, the clubs with a lower number will have a slight angle, letting you hit farther with not much loft. Comparatively, for shorter shots, using a club with a higher number will have a more angled face. I think you’re almost ready to tee off, but don’t forget about your ball!

Have you ever noticed a golf ball has dimples all over it? They’re not there just for looks, but for aerodynamics! Engineers use methods of aerodynamics to increase the speed of an object. The forces on a golf ball in motion are lift, drag, and gravity. The drag is the opposite force of the direction the ball is moving. For example, when you stick your hand out of the window while riding in a car, you will feel a drag pulling your hand back. The dimples on the golf ball help reduce the drag of the air, making it go faster and farther.  

The United States Golf Association (USGA) created a Kid Scoop – an informational PDF with STEM connections relating to golf. Check it out!

Taking the ‘Par-Tee’ Home

You can’t take the course home with you, but you don’t have to be on the green to get better. Get creative and make a putt-putt course at your house, or create an indoor practice session. This is a great way to get moving, get crafty, and gain a new skill right in your living room or backyard. Plus, get the whole family involved for a little fun competition!  

Mini Putt-Putt Course

Grab any household items to create your own putt-putt course such as:

  • Cardboard
  • Plastic cups to use as the hole
  • Brooms
  • Books
  • Rubber ball/golf ball
  • Food cans

And really anything else you can think of to use for obstacles to add fun to your course. Get creative! I made a course right in my living room using my yoga mat, plants, books, and even candle sticks.

You can make a themed course or even create flags for each hole number! Don’t have a putter? Create one using PVC pipe and an elbow piece! Get more ideas for creating your own mini golf course from eHow and My Kids’ Adventure. 

Indoor Practice Sessions

Home is a great place to work on your short game of chipping and putting. I wouldn’t recommend getting out your driver and practicing full swings. Also, you might want to check out these foam practice balls before a window gets broken 😉! 

To work on my chipping aim, I grabbed some rubber balls, my chipping wedge, and . . . my dog’s food bowl. The goal was to try and get the ball to sit into the bowl, improving accuracy and distance control. If you have a net, use that, or if you want to get outside, use something as a target to chip to.

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I might not be an expert, but I sure did have fun! Get more ideas for practicing golf at home from Practical Golf. Have a little one that you want to start getting into the game? Check out this DIY putting green made by Repeat Crafter Me.

Ready to start preparing for the golf course? Start creating your own golf tees with our Injection Molding Machine with Golf Tee Mold!

We’d love to see what mini putt-putt course themes you make or what cool trick shots you can do! Be sure to tag us in your social media posts! 

PS: Ready for another round already? Check out this Pitsco blog with TETRIX® robotics hitting the links – Moving fore-ward with robotics.

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TOPICS: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Resources, Activities, Maker Ed, Hands-on Learning, innovate

Molly Underwood

Written by Molly Underwood

Hey all! I’m new to the Pitsco family. After interning a while, I started as a full-time Marketing Specialist. Days are busy assisting with digital marketing projects and anything else needed around the department. I knew marketing would be a great fit for me, as I love to share my passions with anyone who will listen. I recently graduated from Kansas State University (GO CATS!) and moved to a farm that has given me a lot of new experiences. Now my downtime is spent renovating me and and my husband’s new home, road-tripping, and being a foodie.