The Benefits of Golf in Retirement
18.01.2018 by Jim Ker
When considering retirement plans, outlining your new life of leisure is an exciting prospect. However, it is still very important to consider your over-arching health and what options you will have to maintain your wellness during the retirement years. When speaking to our members about this, one of the most recommended post-retirement activities mentioned was regularly teeing off at the local club.
We’ve spoken to some of our members and applied a bit of our own local research to provide you with this quick-stop guide to the benefits that golf can have on your mental and physical well-being. We’ve also thought about the potential setup costs that you might need to consider when planning for golf in retirement. Read our findings below and make sure you’re able to perfect that swing, hassle free.
The Health Benefits
Traditionally, golf is not considered to be the most physically demanding sport. However, even one round of golf can get you out and moving in the fresh air. The less demanding pace of the sport opens it up to many more of us to enjoy this. Regular trips around the course will get your blood pumping, reducing the risk of cardiac-based issues such as heart disease and harmful cholesterol, but without the risk of injury that other more physically demanding sporting activities may hold.
Traversing the course also offers a significant weight loss potential. Meeting the recommended 10,000 steps a day can easily be achieved when you’re making your way over 18 holes. So long as you avoid using the buggy to get around!
Maintaining That Competitive Edge
Sporting competition is proven to stimulate the brain and can improve your mental well-being. Accurate shots require practice and this can help to stimulate concentration. In addition to improvements to your psychological health through perfecting the ‘perfect shot’, the relaxing environment, friendly competition and social opportunities are also great stress reducers.
Trouble sleeping? With all that fresh air, concentration and exercise running through you, you will likely see improvements to your sleep. A deeper sleep provides crucial health benefits including improvements to memory, improved resilience to stress and an increased production of proteins that can help to calm inflammation.
Community And Camaraderie
“The bonus part of golf is the camaraderie of the regular group of golfers that I play with. They are competitive, fair and fun. The majority are retired, but have had different careers and life experiences. The banter is extremely social.”
Brian Kingsey, Headingly Golf Club and Kingston Unity member.
KU member, John Thrower, who plays at Wike Ridge (Leeds Golf Centre) talks about a “social spirit” that can be discovered in a golf club where people look after each other. At age 85, John is still enjoying his golf. John feels that age is no limit to play and the opportunity to join a new community is a fantastic experience at any life stage.
The benefits of golf in retirement, both for your mental and physical prosperity are quite clear. However, the costs need to be considered. We’ve put together our analysis of the potential equipment costs that you will need to think about as well as an example of membership fees for golf courses in North Leeds. Read more below.
Planning you finances for retirement has never been more important. It’s also a useful way to better plan for new hobbies such as golf. Read our blog on how to plan your finances in retirement to learn more.
Breaking Down The Costs
Examples of local membership fees
Your biggest expense when starting up golf is your membership fee. Each course is different and will likely have variations depending on how often you would intend to play each week. You may need to pay a joining fee in addition to your annual membership costs as well. The initial fee can be quite an investment, especially in retirement and it’s important to think about these ongoing fees. Our list below gives a breakdown of some of the membership fees for the courses in the North Leeds area for a six day membership. (Costs were accurate on 10/01/18).
- Sand Moor Golf Club – Annual fee = £1,035 per year
- Headingley Golf Club – Annual fee = £1,200 per year
- Cookeridge Golf Club – Annual fee = £1,056 per year
- Moortown Golf Club – Annual fee = £1,272 per year
The Costs Of Equipment
In addition to your membership fees, you will need to put some thought into the equipment that you will need to acquire. We have done some research on the entry level equipment you should be looking at before you consider teeing off.
When considering your set of clubs, you will need to include a driver, two or three woods, several irons, a putter and a pitcher or sand wedge. There are various specialist and hybrid clubs available, but the suggestions above will give you a good starting point. Once you better understand your own golfing preferences, you will be able to invest in your equipment more specifically. A typical entry level set of clubs will cost in the region of £200 to £250 new, but you could look for a second hand set to get you started.
Similar to golf clubs, there are a variety of golf balls on offer and these can vary different elements of your game. We recommend that new golf players should purchase a couple of starting level golf ball packs as your early trips around the course will likely result in a few lost balls and premium level golf balls can cost in the region of £40 a pack. Don’t forget your tees as well!
While golf shoes are not essential on all courses, they can provide real benefits to both beginners and more experienced golfers so they’re worth thinking about. Make sure you seek advice and try on different shoes before you purchase as ill fitting shoes may ruin your round! Entry level shoes can be quite cost effective, but a good quality shoe can add real benefits to your play and will last. Research is important here.
Preparing Your Finances For Golf
Taking up golf has some fantastic benefits, both for your physical health and your mental well-being. However, like many new hobbies, starting up has its costs. It’s important that you pay careful attention to the costs of starting up a new hobby in retirement and make the most of any cost saving or income circumstance that you may have.
Making the most of your options
When it comes to extra income options in retirement, there will be a lot of different products and services that you may consider and each option will provide you with different advantages. If you have considered your long-term savings plans prior to retirement then you may already be in a position where you feel comfortable with your current situation. However, it’s still handy to research the different savings products that are available to you.
As well as savings options, you could consider your long-term investment options. This is useful for those of us that have a lump sum available to invest. Many investment options offer regular income withdrawal that you could use to maintain your new golfing plans while ensuring your lump sum investments are still working hard for you.
“My annual golf fees as a six day member are £1,200. Playing golf in retirement was always a goal to fulfil my previously mentioned competitive spirit. I was fortunate to be able to financially plan for this and Kingston Unity was a part of this.”
Brian Kingsey, Headingly Golf Club and Kingston Unity member.
Whatever financial plans you’re thinking about, it’s very important to make sure that you have carefully considered the details of your saving options. If you are unsure about what saving and investment products would work for you, you should seek advice from a qualified financial adviser.