Motion is the Lotion! Why is Golf Great for Veterans?
We all know that golf is a gentleman’s game. It’s a sport of integrity, honor, and respect which aligns perfectly with military service values. But did you know that golf can also be great physically and mentally for veterans?
Veterans Need Sense of Accomplishment
Many veterans of the Armed Forces find it difficult to adjust to civilian life after their military service. This can be due to many reasons, including the loss of a sense of purpose and community that they had while in the military, injury, depression, or isolation.
“One of the biggest impacts Tee It Up for the Troops makes on our veterans is that sense of community,” said Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Acosta. “A lot of us when we come back from our military service feel like we’re alone a bit. Tee It Up for the Troops raises awareness in our communities and allows people to embrace our veterans and engage with us and let us become part of the community that we love so much.”
One way to help veterans transition back into civilian life is to give them a sense of accomplishment through the game of golf.
How Golfing Can Help?
Golfing provides many benefits for those who participate. For veterans, golfing can help provide a sense of accomplishment. Whether it be learning the game, working to improve their game through practice, enjoying a sense of normalcy in their lives, visiting new places and golf courses, or knowing that they can play a physical game even with physical limitations, golf brings a sense of accomplishment.
Golfing can also help improve mental and physical health, as well as social skills. In addition, golfing can be a way to connect with other veterans and build a support network.
By providing these benefits, golfing can help veterans make a successful transition back into civilian life.
Golfing and PTSD
For veterans dealing with PTSD, golf can be a particularly helpful activity. The relaxed pace and social nature of the game can help ease anxiety and provide a distraction from intrusive thoughts. Veterans with PTSD often suffer from depression, anxiety, and isolation, and being outdoors in nature and good company can also be calming and therapeutic.
Many veterans who are looking for a way to stay active and connected, often consider taking up golf. It’s a great way to get some exercise and social interaction. There is much joy that comes from being out on a golf course instead of laying in a bed feeling disabled.
“I have experienced incredible healing from my involvement with Tee It Up for the Troops,” said US Army Veteran, SPC Colby “CJ” Geeker. “As a combat veteran, I sustained multiple traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan. This organization is helping me and other soldiers heal and find peace. Tee It Up for the Troops has inspired me to pursue golf as a profession so I can help other veterans experience the same healing through golf that I have.”
Golf Helps Wounded Veterans
Getting out and staying active is not only great for veterans struggling with mental illness, it also has rehabilitative benefits. Tee It Up for the Troops supports programs that provide adaptive sports and recreation opportunities for veterans with injuries and have rehabilitative benefits.
Disabled veterans use golf as therapy and motivation. Golf allows veterans to feel whole again. Aside from the camaraderie and sense of purpose that golf can offer, the sport is also helpful for wounded veterans and amputees as physical therapy to improve balance. The benefit of sports like golf proves invaluable to those with limb injuries. Golf is a great equalizer. Golf is not off-limits to amputees.
“After being injured, I looked for purpose. You have a life ahead of you, you have a new purpose that you have to fulfill. You have a family that still loves you. You need to keep moving. Tee It Up for the Troops has facilitated a fantastic environment.” -Tee It up for the Troops Warrior
Golf for Veterans with Health Conditions
Agent Orange was an herbicide that the U.S. Military used during the Vietnam War. Exposure to Agent Orange is associated with several medical conditions. Golf can help veterans stay active and improve their balance and coordination when they face adverse health problems. The game of golf can help veterans manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Vietnam Veteran and Ret. Colonel Terry Branham has witnessed these medical conditions in himself and his battle buddies. That is why he stays active with golf and other activities to keep his legs strong. “Motion is the lotion! Strong legs from moving remain a vet’s best investment,” said Branham.
Golf and movement can help issues such as arthritis and back pain, as well as, overcoming major hurdles such as the loss of a limb or the loss of motor functions from a stroke. Golf can help cope with these symptoms by providing a sense of accomplishment, social interaction, and fresh air.
Golf Keeps Veterans Fit
The walking and swinging of a club helps veterans to move all the right muscles and improve balance and coordination. As veterans play golf, they are sure to improve physical fitness just like a person who hits the gym daily or plays other sports. You don’t have to run or jump to play golf, and there is very little twisting or turning involved. This makes it an excellent choice for veterans with joint pain or other mobility issues. Being active can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions.
Keep Moving With Tee It Up for the Troops
Motion has always been and will always be, the lotion for a healthy, active life. And golf is a perfect way for veterans to get some exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. The quietness of the course calms the mind and being with other veterans is all part of the value and benefit of golf as a complementary therapy for physically or emotionally affected veterans.
Join One of Our Events Today!
Tee It Up for the Troops hosts golf events across the country and we invite you to help support us so warriors can play in our events. Funds raised from our events also provide comprehensive assistance for veterans in all areas of their life.
Learn how to join an event: Local Military Charity Events | Tee It Up for the Troops
This story is dedicated to Retired Colonel Terry Branham who served on the Tee It Up for the Troops Board of Directors admirably for 5 1/2 years. “Motion is the Lotion” are not only the words of Col. Branham but a lifestyle he chooses to live daily by staying active. He golfs in our events, exercises daily in his workout room in the winter and when the weather is nice, he takes his dog, Annie, on morning and evening walks. He has been actively involved in numerous organizations, including a team that builds disability ramps for disabled veterans and their families across the Twin Cities area.