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3 Reasons to Leave the Golf Cart Behind

You’ve just arrived at your favorite local golf course. After unloading your clubs, you approach the clubhouse, the anticipation of your next round increasing with each step. Upon entering, you prepare to pay. But, as you speak with the cashier, you are suddenly faced with a dilemma. Should you walk or rent a cart?

Both have their share of pros and cons, yet research shows that most golfers tend to lean toward carting the course. However, if you choose to walk rather than ride, you may discover a host of refreshing benefits.

1. Preserve the Game’s Oldest Tradition

There is no doubt about it. The game of golf has more traditions than any other.

For centuries, golfers have competed in 18-hole rounds, a custom that originated in Scotland. Since 1873, the Claret Jug has been presented to Open Championship winners and across the pond, the green jacket has become synonymous with Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.

The game’s most renowned ideals – patience, sportsmanship, courtesy, and honesty – have been embraced for decades.

But, golf’s oldest tradition – walking – is often overlooked. In 1951, Merle Williams’ Marketeer Company released its electric golf cart, which soon became popular throughout the United States. A trend began and, before too long, golfers around the world were relishing the golf cart’s mobility.

Although the cart remains popular today, you can still preserve the game’s oldest tradition by leaving it behind and encouraging future generations to continue to treasure and partake in one of golf’s original traditions.

2. Improve Your Health

When it comes to walking, there’s no doubting the health benefits it offers. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have recommended that adults complete 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise – like walking – five days per week, at minimum.

Walking has also been proven to reduce the risk factors for many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, and in some studies has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments by up to 31 percent.

To improve the function of your heart, Harvard Medical School advises you to walk 18 holes three to five times per week, as most 18-hole golf courses are roughly four miles long. We don’t suggest using this study as an excuse to play golf all day everyday, but it’s certainly an affirmation that walking your round IS good for you.

And if you need even more proof, The New York Times has this great data:

  • Golfers who walk while carrying their bags burn 721 calories
  • Golfers who walk with push carts burn 718 calories
  • Golfers who ride in a cart only burn an average of 411 calories

3. Social & Other Benefits

As a highly sociable game, golf provides you an opportunity to mingle with colleagues, friends, and relatives. By walking a course with a friend or loved one, you can converse with them frequently, as you stroll fairways, approach greens, and search for balls together. This one-on-one interaction by foot offers you an entirely different social experience than you will have if you choose to ride in a cart.

Walking may also improve your scores, as well as the conditions of the courses you play. Think about it – by walking, you can study the layouts of courses, including the contours of fairways and greens, more easily than golfers who ride. Therefore, you will be able to judge breaks in greens, as well as landing areas.

And, from time to time, golf carts can damage fairways and dirt paths, especially after heavy rainstorms. If you choose to walk instead using golf shoe cleats and spikes you avoid damage to the course.

Perhaps the most surprising benefit is that walking your round is actually FASTER than carting it when you play with partners.

The benefits of walking are clear, so why not get more out of your round by walking next outing?

Use GolfNow’s Play & Walk to easily find courses near you that cater to the walking golfer.

2 responses to “3 Reasons to Leave the Golf Cart Behind”

  1. […] walking is generally beneficial to your health, you may want to ride a golf cart on extremely hot, humid […]

  2. Gerry Gaskell says:

    I much sooner walk than cart. My scores are always better and my weight loss during golf season is worth it. I walk our course in the summer 5 days a week, but when we winter in Arizona, the courses are spread over communities and walking isn’t an option.

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