These used to be thought of as 2 diametrically opposite activities but now you can actually accomplish both quite easily - as long as you are willing to ditch the golf cart and start playing golf the way it was meant to be played - by walking.
Choosing to walk while golfing can help you get in shape.Just check out these stats:
- (For a 175 lb person)
- Calories burned per hour playing golf - riding cart: 288
- Calories burned per hour playing golf - walking:510
- Calories burned per hour running 5 MPH:710
Additional studies show the health benefits of walking while golfing versus riding a cart: Researchers in Sweden found that walking golf equated to 40-percent to 70-percent of the intensity of a maximum aerobic workout (assuming 18 holes played). In another, cardiologist Dr. Edward A. Palank's study showed that walking golfers reduced their levels of bad cholesterol while keeping their good cholesterol steady; the control group of riding golfers failed to show those good results.
Also, according to Golf Science International, a researcher named Gi Magnusson calculated that four hours of playing golf while walking is comparable to a 45-minute fitness class.
In additional to the health benefits of walking while golfing, there are other advantages that can actually speed up play, preserve the golf course and cut strokes off your score:
- Walkers, walk directly to their own ball and save time compared to 2 riders in a cart going to each of their balls.
- A secondary effect of walking directly to your own ball is a reduction in the amount of time you spend chatting with your playing partner in a cart before actually hitting the next shot. A walker can use the time spent trodding to his or her ball to think about their next shot and to think about club selection.
- Walking a course gets you closer to the golf course. That's not some weepy get-close-to-nature sentiment. It's a way to learn more about the courses you play, to gain an appreciation for the nuances of a golf course that just aren't visible from a golf cart.
- Ever wonder why they don't let carts out after it rains or only allow 90 degrees or cart path only?
- So like all New Years resolutions, the top questions are, how do you get started and how can you make it easier to keep the resolution throughout the year?Here are some tips that can get you started in the right direction but it is still up to you make the decision to say "no" to the cart and hoof it.
Wear comfortable shoes
Today's golf shoes are a lot different than the golf shoes of old. Today's new shoes are made to look and perform like an athletic shoe as opposed to a dress shoe. Fred Couples wears the ECCO Sreet Premier golf shoes during his competitive rounds because they are more comfortable and put less stress on his bad back. Adidas now has come out with a similar model called the adicross shoe and Nike and Footjoy have their versions and more will be available in 2012.
Recommended walking shoes:
- ECCO StreetPremier
- Adidas Adicross
- Adidas Tour360 ATV
- Nike Lunar Control
Get a light carry/stand bag
If you plan to walk buy a bag designed for walking. Obviously, cart bags are not recommended for walking. Unless you are professional caddy and used to carrying fully-loaded staff bags, cart bags should be left for when you use a cart. Stand bags are much better for walking but some stand bags are better than others. Make sure you check the weight of the stand bag because they can range from a low of 3 pounds to over 8 pounds.Remember, this weight is measured before you add your clubs and other items in the bag.After a few holes of carrying these bags you will definitely notice the difference.Also, the better walking bags now come with dual straps that evenly distribute the weight of the bag across your back as opposed to the bags that only have one strap.
Recommended Walking bags:
- Sun Mountain SuperLight 3.5
- Sun Mountain Swift X
- OGIO PaceStand Bag
- OGIO SprintStand Bag
- TaylorMadeMicro-Lite 3.0
- CallawayHyperlite 4.5
Use a pull/push cart
If you don't want to or physically cannot carry your bag but still want to get the full benefit of walking the course you can use a pull cart. Pull cart technology has advanced significantly over the past 5 years. There are many models that range from a standard pull cart to ones made out of exotic metals to decrease the weight to electronically controlled carts that are controlled by a remote. Either way, you are still getting the full benefit of walking the course and at the same time taking a load of your back.
Recommended Pull/Push Carts:
- BagboyExpress DLX
- IntechTri-trac 3 wheel
- MotocaddyS3 Digital Electronic Push Cart
- Stewart X7Lithium Electronic Push Cart
Nobody is suggesting that carts be banned or that longtime riders should give up the practice completely. There are certainly good reasons to use a golf cart from time to time. But the next time you step on the first tee, try to just keep stepping - all around the golf course. You'll be doing a favor for yourself, your course and your game.