The Amazing Value of Health & Wellness

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Wow.it's been an amazing summer thus far in 2012. It has even been hot, with triple digits here on the west side of the Cascade range, compared with our normal moderate temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW.) If you're like me, you've got the window down to cool off, and you find yourself glancing at the temperature reading in the car every once in a while.

At this point, the little voice in my head says, "You better enjoy this.'cause it's not going to last." That's right, I know deep down, that this amazing summer will be replaced by ever present drizzle, fog, rain and similar weather in just a month or two. [Only in the PNW, have we invented words like drizzle.I've got a new one. Drizzle + Fog = Fizzle.] But it is the gray days, with rain or not, that help each one of us to revel in, or cherish, the weather we have now.

With that said, I am always impressed by the hardiness of the Pacific northwest "outdoors enthusiast." On days when Californians would stay in, the spirit of the PNW golfer, hiker, skier or mountain biker says, "I'm not made of sugar.I'm going anyway."

To be in this group of hardy enthusiasts, some believe you need to on the upper end of fitness, have the right gear, and be willing to suffer. While these statements can be true, I submit it is equally true that to be a PNW golfer, one needs only to be looking for some health and wellness, the opportunity to test one's mettle, build special bonds with golf buddies, (and possibly have a decent pair of waterproof shoes.)

While I can say I have memories of low rounds on perfect days at some amazing locations, I also have equally special memories of the days playing this game I love with my "golf comrades" fighting the elements, hitting both good and not so good shots. I've found that these inclement weather days bring out the courage, the commitment and the joy I find in this game of golf. On the perfect days, most typically I remember the weather.on the crappy ones, I remember the shots I hit or the shots my friends hit. The best part is that both are equally special.

Those "golf comrades" who've shared places like Bandon Dunes in Oregon, or Chambers Bay in Washington, with me on these inclement days also share a special bond of going through it together, almost in a fraternal way. Did we shoot our best score those days? No way! But, we did grow our confidence in ourselves, and each other, and we got to push ourselves a bit to improve our health (physically) and our wellness (psychologically.) I assume those who take part in other outdoor sports, besides golf, can also talk about the unique combination of growth they experience in their own health and wellness.

Depending on how you look at it, the one difference golf offers is these benefits without the age-specific, physical capabilities and possibly risks found in some other sports. You can get the benefits of health and wellness in less than two hours walking nine holes at facilities like Green Mountain GC, Tri-Mountain GC, Camas Meadows GC, Lewis River GC or The Cedars on Salmon Creek GC. It doesn't require a drive up the mountain, or over to the coast and a tank full of gas either.just a little bit of time and a friend or two.

So, before this wonderful summer winds (quicker than we'd all like,) to it's inevitable close, let me encourage you to visit one of the courses I mentioned above with a good friend (or two.) They have new golfer and "returning golfer" programs that are reasonably priced and available through the early part of October that will fit your schedule. They even have good prices on a comfortable pair of waterproof shoes to keep your tootsies dry too!

Are you ready for GET GOLF READY? Many golf courses now offer special pricing for novice golfers to learn how to play through a low-stress, comprehensive group clinic program called GET GOLF READY (GGR). It is a specially designed program for adults, families, couples, etc to learn how to play, plus all the etiquette and related information to make GGR students feel like they belong and are comfortable on the course. To see if there's a GET GOLF READY program available near you, please visit www.getgolfready.com and enter your zipcode. If you, or someone you care about, might be looking to "get connected" to the great, transcendent game of golf, this is the place to go...(be sure to take that someone you care about with you, too.)