De-stress the Scottish way
Is golf the ultimate stress relief? The great game has all the right ingredients for an experience made to savour. But to get the most out of golf, it’s not just how you play the game, but where…
Feeling stress on occasion is natural in even the most charmed life. As much as stress can have a downward effect on our lives, the way we choose to manage stress can actually become its own source of happiness and fulfillment—not merely a way to cope, but a way of life.
An entire cottage industry has sprung up around “de-stressing,” and there is no shortage of information and recommendations of techniques to manage stress. The methods range from meditation to laughter to nature hikes, but common themes emerge: slow down and refocus, take time for yourself but reach out to loved ones, get physically active while quieting your mind.
Some social psychologists are even studying the practice of consciously working to be more “in the moment” during positive, enjoyable experiences as a way to fight stress and be happier. Fred B. Bryant is Professor of Social Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago; in his book Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, Dr. Bryant examines the psychology of enjoyment and provides practical advice on how to better savour those moments. The principle is not only to do things we enjoy, but to be aware of our enjoyment as it comes.
Love your day on the links a little more
The members of The Royal Ottawa Golf Club would certainly agree that the great game is an experience to savour. It’s true that golf can combine all the elements of commonly cited stress management techniques, yet you’re removed from the daily grind, out enjoying natural beauty and fresh air. You’re exercising, but the pace is deliberate, with moments of deep concentration. A game is often a chance to catch up with valued friends, and a post-game drink or dinner extends the pleasure of company.
Of course, for some, playing time is a chance to compete with themselves and others—to shave a few strokes off the old handicap, or to win a club competition. For some, this may be its own source of stress. It all comes down to your personal approach to golfing. Does it reflect your approach in other areas of your life? If playing stresses you out, maybe it’s time to reframe the game as a golden opportunity to leave your stress triggers behind at the first tee.
So what makes for a golf experience that truly transports you? As countless members will tell you, a private club enhances the game in every way.
The Royal Ottawa Golf Club can be your oasis
Everything about The Royal Ottawa is designed to provide members with a relaxed, enjoyable experience. It starts with location: the lush, stately grounds are just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, yet worlds away from the bustle of city life. Accessibility allows you to fit playing time into even the busiest schedule. While the 18-hole Championship course is demanding enough for even the most experienced golfer, a quick round on the family-friendly, par-35 Royal Nine is equally rewarding.
Membership in a private club puts an end to Saturday mornings spent jockeying for position on public courses. But it also demands a certain level of decorum, such as the dress code respectful of the game and its traditions, and the “cell phones off” policy. Think of these as enhancements to the atmosphere, reminders that you’ve left the everyday grind behind, and that “me time” starts now.
Once you’ve spent time there, you won’t want to simply squeeze The Royal Ottawa in—you’ll relish every moment: teeing off in the morning sun; relaxing on the expansive clubhouse verandah after a round; getting into the spirit of club competitions; sharpening skills with the help of expert golf professionals; making new connections that, over years, become valued friendships.
Membership is an investment, to be sure, but one that pays lasting dividends. In fact, The Royal Ottawa Golf Club offers a wide range of membership packages and price points. With more options, more people can take advantage of all that the club has to offer. Your positive state of mind is worth it!