The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) has released a first-of-its-kind three-hour-long slow TV production that promotes the mental health benefits of golf.
The feature film, titled Tee Your Mind, is a golf mindfulness experience that packages some of Australia’s most breathtaking courses into an 18-hole experience that accentuates the natural ambiences encountered on the fairway.
Tee Your Mind follows the rounds of men and women golfers at Collaroy’s Long Reef Golf Club (Superintendent Peter Donkers) and St Michael’s Golf Club (Superintendent Lee Sutherland CSTM) in Little Bay and brings to life the calming and meditative sensations of the game, such as the trees bending by the coastal breeze and native birds singing.
“Golf is the perfect sport for creating the conditions for true happiness,” said Performance Psychologist Jonah Oliver. “Happiness comes from finding the sweet spot between challenge and skill. Combine this with doing exercise in nature and you have the perfect recipe for lifelong mindfulness and psychological health.”
Golf has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence during the COVID-19 pandemic with many lapsed and disengaged golfers returning to the game.
To seize on this participation boom, the AGIC has created Tee Your Mind to mimic the true golf experience in a digital format to engage more people to the game by highlighting the sport’s mental and physical health capabilities.
“Golf has been an antidote to an incredibly stressful year brought on by the once-in-a-generation challenges of COVID-19,” said Gavin Kirkman, AGIC Chairman and PGA of Australia chief executive.
“Given golf can be played in a safe, socially distant environment, many new and returning participants have used the sport to reconnect with friends and nature. Our game is one of the best whole body and mind experiences and many have used golf as a valuable mental health outlet during this difficult period.”
Golf Australia Chairman Andrew Newbold said golf is a powerful respite to help people overcome their anxieties.
“The benefits of golf are diverse and extend beyond the physicality’s of the sport,” Newbold said.
“During COVID-19 we have seen more Australians turn to golf and we think our sport, with its unique blend of open space and nature, can offer a solution for people exploring new ways to take a break from the day-to-day.”
The University of Southern Queensland is also exploring the role sport, including golf, plays in creating a strong sense of connectedness and belonging, by embarking on a research study investigating the relationship between sport participation and mental health issues.
“We know that our exposure to green spaces can have a positive impact on our overall well-being, we often feel happier, more relaxed and more positive. Alongside our research, this suggests our response to experiencing nature is emotional and essential to our mental health,” said Andrea Lamont-Mills, Professor of Psychology, University of Southern Queensland.
Over the course of the film, Tee Your Mind provides a peaceful escape for viewers to unwind and immerse in the calming elements of golf.
Tee Your Mind will be live on Friday 4 September 2020 on www.golf.org.au/teeyourmind
An infographic, which contains statistics on the golf habits of the Australian public, can be found here.
The AGIC was established in 2006 as a group comprising the key bodies of the golf industry in Australia, designed to work together for the common good of the game. The Council is made up of representatives from Golf Australia, PGA of Australia, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Golf Management Australia, Australian Sports Turf Managers Association, Society of Australian Golf Course Architects and Public Golf Facilities Australia.