Mental Health has been at the forefront of social media and the press this week. #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek has focussed our attention on supporting young people to manage their mental health, and #TimeToTalkDay has helped encourage people to talk about mental health and reduce stigma.
At Putterfingers, we are big advocates of the role mini golf can play in improving the mental health of players. We have blogged previously about how crazy golf can reduce stress levels, an issue closely linked to mental health. But there are ways that mini golf can be beneficial on mental health as a whole.
The New Economics Foundation developed ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’, a set of mental health messages, which when practised, improves the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. Mental health charity, Mind, have clearly outlined ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’ concept and here is how we strongly believe that mini golf can fit into this framework.
5 Ways to Wellbeing
Social relationships are important for maintaining a healthy mind. Mini golf can offer a social activity that brings people together in a relaxed and informal environment. As a sport that is played as an individual rather than in a team, participants can be social as much or as little as they wish, whilst still connecting with others.
The beauty of mini golf is that it is a challenge for everyone – there is no right or wrong way to do it. Overcoming obstacles, quite literally (!), brings people together, which is why it is so often used for team building activities.
“Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.” (Mind.org)
You don’t need to hit the gym or break a sweat to enjoy a bit of physical activity. Mini golf is a slower-paced activity that is suitable for anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. Walking has a huge benefit to mental and physical health, walking around a miniature golf course gives a purpose and more enjoyment to that walk.
Putting, whether in ‘Big’ golf, pitch and putt, adventure golf or crazy golf, certainly uses the muscles on our arms. But engaging with your core muscles will help you to control the club according to Tom Watson’s article “Putt With Your Gut”.
Living in the moment, or being aware of the present, is the third concept of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Taking a moment to enjoy the environment around you is something that all of us leading busy lives can benefit from remembering.
Crazy golf has traditionally been a seaside pastime and you will often still find a course at coastal resorts. If you do take the time to visit one of these courses by the sea, take the time to notice your surroundings, the sea breeze, the seagulls, perhaps if the sound of the waves if you are lucky.
Many parks are also home to a miniature golf course or pitch and putt. So, a great opportunity to get back to nature and take some time for yourself.
According to Mind, learning a new skill can enhance with self-esteem. It also encourages more social interaction, which as humans is one our basic needs. Improved self-worth is an important factor for maintaining good mental health.
Mini golf could be that new skill you are looking for. It is such an accessible activity that literally anyone can get involved. It is fun to try and overcome the obstacles of the course, there are a few individuals who have mastered the tricks (Richard & Emily Gottfried, Marc Chapman!), but for the majority of us success is based on problem-solving and a little bit of luck. Who knows, you could be the next Minigolf Champion!
People who engage in activities to help others are “more likely to rate themselves as happy” (Mind.org).
Getting involved with a cause or community group and help your feeling of belonging and to support other elements of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing such as connecting with others.
As mini golf is an activity for all, yet still competitive, it is a great contender for fundraising activities. It’s been a staple of fundraising in the USA for a long time and is beginning to get some traction over here. It’s a fun, social activity that offers ample opportunity for charity branding to promote the cause and raise awareness and money.
Read some of our blogs on Mini Golf for Fundraising and see how charities such as Global Media & Entertainment’s ‘Make Some Noise’ charity has used Putterfingers mini golf for their charity day.
Don’t just take our word for it, The British Medical Journal blogged back in 2018, how shorter play versions of ‘big’ golf, such as pitch and putt, adventure golf, crazy golf or miniature golf, is an appealing introduction to the wider benefits of golf on mental, and physical health.
If you are planning a wellbeing event for your company, school, university or local community, then why not book mini golf as part of the event activities. We offer a variety of size courses which are available to hire or buy. There are options to brand the courses and obstacles with your logo and hashtags.
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