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…

Ottawa Business Journal - - INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT -

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!

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