February 22, 2018
On the Back Nine
The morning announces itself with a melody.
Golden beams peak shyly over the water. Birds encourage the sun’s arrival, singing cheerfully as waves glimmer in the fresh sunlight and crash upon shore.
Today, you woke up before the sun.
With a half-empty glass of orange juice in your hand, you relax in a patio chair and watch the wind ripple across the water. But it’s hard to focus on the dreamy scene as you start pondering how the breeze might affect your drive on the first hole. You just moved into your new Orchid Island home, and although the sunrise was gorgeous, the draw of your golf cart and a day on the links is impossible to resist. You give a quick kiss to your still-sleeping spouse, throw on your shoes, and leap into your cart.
It seems like you weren’t the only person eager to get an early start. As you drive down the palm tree-lined road, you meet friendly neighbors on morning walks, greet fellow golfers, and wave hello as you pass a group preparing for a fishing excursion.
Historic oak trees; exceptional grasses; shimmering ponds; lush landscapes. Everywhere you look is a perfect harmony of green and blue. The award-winning, Arnold Palmer championship golf course takes your breath away, and it’s no wonder that it’s the centerpiece of the community.
You bring your cart to a stop and absentmindedly adjust your headcovers while you wait for the rest of your foursome to show up. Then you take your long-awaited first step into the tee box, admiring the quality of the grass and how it feels beneath your feet. It’s immediately clear how much you are going to enjoy the tranquility that island life brings to your favorite sport. The now fully-risen sun warms the back of your neck as you turn to see a family of egrets strolling leisurely across the course.
In fact, that wasn’t your first wildlife sighting of the morning.
White pelicans and spoonbills dotted the lakes on your ride over, and otters frolicked in the ponds. After all, Orchid Island has been a certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary since 2005. You’ve always valued wildlife conservation and wanted to live in a community that has the same beliefs, where people protect natural resources, and preserve and enhance the habitat. It’s exciting to see island life out and about - and clearly, very interested in golfing.
But of course they’re interested in golfing; why wouldn’t they be? Between increased confidence and mental sharpness, combined with sunshine and fresh air, golf benefits your entire well-being.
According to the Golf & Health Project
, those who play golf can live up to five years longer than those who don’t play.
And even if you use a cart, the average golfer still walks 10,000 steps on an 18 hole course, which can equal 4 miles or more. Depending on the course itself, you could even travel upwards of 8 miles.
Orchid Island’s course is built to provide great exercise for and challenge players of all levels. It offers flexible overall distances, ranging from 4,321 to 7,126 yards.
Not only does golf allow for extensive physical and mental benefits, but it produces social ones as well. Orchid Island offers a weekly calendar of events for men, women, and mixed teams to make it fun and easy to start friendships, meet your neighbors, and feel involved in the community.
The socialization of golf takes mental wellness to the next level. Those with social support enjoy a longer life span, and it contributes to decreased risk of dementia and depression. It boosts confidence
, reduces anxiety, and lessens stress, which releases endorphins
and improves your mood. And because golf is a low-impact sport, all ages can reap the benefits of this simultaneously relaxing and challenging activity.
As a matter of fact, you’ve been golfing for hours. Where did the time go? You feel the rewarding, joyful exhaustion that only golf brings.
You met new friends and neighbors who also spent their days on the course, and they invite you to join their 19th-hole tradition of sipping drinks around the fireplace at the golf club.
But you know what the best news is?
Tomorrow, you get to enjoy it all over again.