PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 June 2015
With the long summer evenings and warm weather upon us, the golf course is calling. Rachel Buller meets golfers to find out why they love the sport.
Young or old, super fit or aspiring to get fitter, golf is a sport which anyone can try - and the benefits to your physical and mental health are something which golfers attest to, as well as the potential for networking or simply bonding with work colleagues.
Norfolk is blessed with fantastic courses covering beautiful green countryside, open heathland and some challenging but breathtakingly beautiful links courses along the coastline.
Mark Spooner is a professional (club pro) at Bawburgh Golf Club and Family Golf Centre teaching all levels, from complete beginners to experienced players, and he also still competes at a local and national level.
“You don’t have to have any ability at all when you start, you can just give it a go – a lot of places hire clubs now as well. But if you like it, consider lessons. Group lessons are a good start as they can feel a little less intimidating. If you book with friends or family, then it is a fun social occasion as well. To hone your skills further, a one-to-one is great.
“The biggest problem we face is that golf is still perceived as elitist, but things have really changed. There are more courses where you can just pay your green fees and play, and clubs offer a lot more membership options which are flexible and designed to suit when you can play. Don’t be afraid to visit your local golf club and just ask.”
Mark began playing when he was 10 years old, following in the footsteps of his father. “It was something we could do together and once I started I found it so addictive. They say an average 18-hole round will burn around 1000 calories. You are walking, stretching and working muscles and getting fit. But there are also huge benefits to your mental health, you are in the fresh air, away from the stresses of life and meeting new people.”