Fitness Buddies: Golfing Girls
The Activity: Weekly round of golf at the Princeton Golf & Country Club
The Group: They call themselves "The Hootie Hoos" because they love owls. (They even have matching owl golf club covers.)
The Results: The women report feeling less stressed and getting a cardio boost from their time together on the course. Plus they enjoy the emotional benefits of their friendship.
It's Your Turn!
Have you always wanted to play but feel intimidated? Follow these tips from golf teacher Nancy Quarcelino (who runs a golf school out of Tennessee's Kings Creek Golf Club) and you'll be ready to hit the links in no time.
Enlist a Pro to teach you all the basics. It's ideal to learn from a professional alongside a group of other beginners. "A golf pro will show you proper form, help you pick out equipment that's right for your body, and explain the game etiquette," Nancy says. This doesn't have to break the bank—look for group lessons, which are cheaper and offer built-in playing partners. (Visit playgolfamerica.com to find lessons at various price points.)
Use your entire body. Some beginners (and even experienced players) swing only with their arms. You'll hit the ball farther (and eventually with more precision) if you engage core, back, and leg muscles.
Don't get frustrated. Golf isn't a game you'll learn overnight. "Don't feel discouraged at first," Nancy says. "It takes time to build skills, but your hard work will pay off." The more time you put into it, the faster you'll feel comfortable. She recommends practicing at least twice a week to get started. "Don't wait for perfection—the key is having fun!"