It has been a challenging year for many of us, and this Mental Health Week there's never been a better time to get out on the course with your mates to unwind and de-stress.
I've been playing golf professionally since 1994 and have seen first-hand the importance of the sport when it comes to physical and mental wellbeing.
I've been taking on Cancer Council's 'The Longest Day' challenge for three years - playing 72 holes of golf in one day, and it has become my much-needed day to switch off, have fun, and reconnect with mates. If you love golf, I'd urge you to take part too this summer.
The campaign is so important for two reasons: because we raise vital funds for people affected by cancer, and because it is a very rare opportunity to spend a full day on the course with friends.
It is a mentally and physically challenging day, but it is incredibly rewarding. You have to break through the mental barriers of playing for so long, and the physical challenge of all the walking if like me, you choose to opt for no cart!
But the other part of it, which I love, is the ability to spend time with your mates without any distractions, meetings or phones - it's rare you'll get an opportunity like that, and it's so important.
You'll get to know yourself and your team a lot better, and there's really no other setting like it for checking in on each other and reflecting on the year that has been. You'll be tested mentally and physically, but your mates will help you get through, and this has probably helped my golf to this day!
So, this Mental Health Week, challenge your mates to take part, find your local club, and use the quality time to check in on each other. To register, visit: thelongestday.com.au/mates
I'll see you on the course!
Paul Gow, Cancer Council NSW ambassador and former PGA US Tour Player
About Cancer Council:
Cancer Council is Australia's leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer.
Cancer Council is committed to conducting and funding world-class research that improves outcomes across the entire cancer journey. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we're getting closer to a cancer free future every day.