Grappling with a cancer diagnosis can make you feel like your entire world has shifted. Even with a good prognosis, the process of going through treatment can be difficult and make you wish for a return to normalcy. It can be helpful for your mental health to get back to your old hobbies; and if one of those hobbies is golf, for your physical health as well.

Golf is quickly proving to be therapeutic for people fighting cancer and has made the news as an important part of the cancer recovery process. While this does not discount the efficacy of other therapy options for cancer patients, it’s clear that golf has benefits for those going through treatment. Let’s examine what makes golf so helpful to people fighting cancer.

The buffet was so good. The nights are longer now so you can really enjoy the view from the restaurant.

— Karen C.

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Golf therapy

One reason playing golf during cancer treatment is beneficial is that it takes place outdoors. Not only does spending time in nature improve mood, but being active triggers endorphins that create a positive emotional effect. Additionally, just doing something fun can help you feel a little less adrift in your situation, while walking the golf course and getting fresh air can help your physical condition during treatment.

If you are new to golf and are picking it up for the first time after your diagnosis, it can be frustrating to learn while you’re not feeling your best. However, if you are able to push through the initial discomfort and find a genuine appreciation for the game, you may see a variety of improvements in your daily life. Golf can boost your mood, help your health, and give you opportunities to socialize with other players. And if you have an analytical mind you can dive into the strategy of the game, or simply use it as a time to clear your mind and unwind. Golf has something for everyone, and cancer patients in particular can reap the benefits.

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Ring that bell

Whether you started playing golf before your diagnosis or as a means of therapy afterwards, you can continue to enjoy the hobby even after completing cancer treatment. Following treatment you will likely have more energy, time and motivation to hit the golf course. You can also use it as an opportunity to catch up with friends and family, or simply exercise to maintain your health. In fact, golf is beneficial for people recovering from a variety of health issues, not just cancer. Take a look at our breakdown on playing golf after hip replacement to learn more about how golf can help you get back to your old self after a medical procedure.