06/28/2013 05:42 AM
Some practice yoga, some relax by the water, and some enjoy the scenery and views from one of the many fantastic bars and restaurants here in Newport, Rhode Island. When I find a little free time (it is rare that I do) I prefer to spend my time at one of the many gorgeous golf courses that our ocean state has to offer. An early morning or mid afternoon round can be just what the Doctor ordered to relieve stress after the never ending story that is the private practice of law. The early morning dew on the greens and a nice brisk breeze provides all the clarity one needs to help let go of the work week. Additionally, golfing helps reduce stress and provides hours of low intensity exertion that releases endorphins into the body and stimulates blood flow. So for this Kevin Hagan Law blog entry I decided to try something different and provide some information about the courses that I enjoy in Rhode Island, and some of the benefits of the game that has been “de-stressing” folks since the 15th century.
So first, why golf?
1) Elevates mood, self confidence, and reduces risks of depression
2) Golf also reduces stress and cholesterol, two things that everyone needs to reduce. A single game of golf can burn up to a thousand calories, which is a great way to stay in shape and burn off excess fat. A game of golf gets the blood flowing and increases your heart rate, making golf a wonderful cardio-vascular exercise. Playing golf once a week means that you’re walking between four and eight miles regularly once a week, which is great for the heart and lungs. Any activity that leaves you slightly short of breath and works up a bit of a sweat is great for your cardiovascular system, or heart. In addition to lowering harmful cholesterol, it also helps speed up your metabolism, making weight loss easier. A round of golf burns about 300 calories in a 150 pound individual who plays for 1 hour while carrying clubs. If you choose to ride in a cart, the same round of golf will burn only 230 calories. The driving range burns about 200 calories per hour.
3) Playing golf improves heart and lungs efficiency and increases circulation.
4) It helps you sleep better: Study after study has shown that regular exercise increases the positives that sleep brings. You’ll fall asleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for a longer period of time with regular exercise, which includes activities like golf. Sleep is important because it allows time for your muscles to repair themselves. Playing a round of golf by day will likely increase the quality of your restfulness by night.
5) Strengthens bones and maximizes bone density
6) Reduces stiffness in muscles and joints
7) Improves flexibility and posture
8) Improves mental capacity and concentration
9) In addition to the many health benefits of golf, the course itself may actually be the place where some work itself is done. So we need to ask....Why do so many people like to do business on the golf course? It seems that especially for men, when they are in the act of accomplishment, they feel good about themselves and want to do business. This could relate to some sort of tribal, hunting instinct. I also think golf is a great way to discover a person’s true character. You can tell a lot about someone by the way they react to little mistakes they make, how they react when they get frustrated or angry, and how they think based on their self-talk. You can also discern someone’s honesty - if they will cheat or lie about their golf score, you can bet that dishonesty is possibly in their nature.
And now to the important stuff, a quick list of my favorite courses to unwind, de-stress and maintain the competitive edge that drives (pun intended) a sole practitioners law practice.
1) Kirkbrae Country Club: Kirkbrae Country Club is a private, member owned country club located in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Kirkbrae is considered one of New England’s finest country clubs. In 2000, Kirkbrae completed a 47,000 square foot, multi-million dollar construction of its clubhouse, creating some of the most panoramic and breathtaking views of the Northern Rhode Island landscape. Established in 1962, Kirkbrae features an 18-hole Championship golf course, an Olympic size swimming pool, a fully equipped health facility, a 500-seat banquet facility and a 255 seat member dining area. The Club is open year round and operates seven days per week.
In 2000, the membership of Kirkbrae constructed a brand new 47,000 square foot clubhouse, making Kirkbrae one of the largest private clubs in Rhode Island. The membership is very proud of the facility and the amenities, especially the quality of service and food & beverage operations.
Today, some forty years after it first opened, Kirkbrae has emerged as one of the finest country clubs in New England, and has become a premier choice for weddings, banquets, and corporate events. Serving all of southeastern New England, Kirkbrae Country Club offers the perfect atmosphere with fabulous and unparalleled service.
2) Newport National: The Orchard Course, which opened in June 2002 to rave national and regional reviews. Designed by legendary golf architect Arthur Hills and his associate Drew Rogers, the course is located in Middletown, Rhode Island on almost 200 acres of former shrub and tree nurseries and offers sweeping views of The Sakonnet Passage, Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. The Orchard Course, which measures 7,244 yards from the championship tees, has been nominated for “Best New Private Course” in Golf Digest’s Annual (2003) Survey of America’s Best New Courses. In 2004, it was named the #1 course in Rhode Island with public access by GolfWeek. The Orchard Course features greens, tees and fairways consisting of 100% seaside bent grass, and grand, swaying fescue often exceeding 4’ in length. The fairways and greens were designed to play fast and firm; the greens are undulating and well-bunkered, and pitch-and-run shots will often be required to save par after a missed green. Reminiscent of some of Irelands finest golf links, The Orchard Course will play a little differently everyday depending on the famous Aquidneck Island winds.
3) Sakonnet Country Club: The 18-hole "Sakonnet" course at the Sakonnet Golf Club facility in Little Compton, Rhode Island features 5,902 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 69 . The course rating is 69.7 and it has a slope rating of 122 on Bent grass. Designed by Donald J. Ross, ASGCA, the Sakonnet golf course opened in 1899. Cynde Flanagan manages the course as the General Manager.
4) Newport Country Club: The 18-hole "Newport" course at the Newport Country Club facility in Newport, Rhode Island features 6,735 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70 . The course rating is 72.7 and it has a slope rating of 129 on Rye grass. Designed by William F. Davis/(R) A.W. Tillinghast, the Newport golf course opened in 1893. Jack Kane manages the course as the General Manager
5) Montaup Country Club: The 18-hole "Montaup" course at the Montaup Country Club facility in Portsmouth, Rhode Island features 6,236 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71 . The course rating is 71.4 and it has a slope rating of 123. Montaup golf course opened in 1923.
In closing, Golf and the law have gone hand and hand for a long time. Making friends and developing business leads, all while chasing a little white ball, just makes for the ideal venture. Although it would just be an estimate I have probably identified about 10-20% of my income that has been derived directly from people I have met playing golf. Simply put, Golf generates camaraderie and a sense of friendship that incidentally improves the bottom line. It’s not easy, but make the time to play and the rewards will be great. FORE!