Walking a golf course gives you the best of both worlds. You get plenty of exercise, and your enjoyment of the game is greatly enhanced.
According to the Walking Golfers Society, there are four primary benefits of walking when you golf:
• Physical – You burn almost twice as many calories as you would riding in a cart.
• Scoring – You shoot better scores than those who are riding in a cart.
• Social – You have a much better opportunity to interact with all of your playing partners.
• Experience – You can fully enjoy the natural beauty of the course from tee to green.
Neil Wolkodoff, director of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, recently completed a study at the Inverness Golf Club in Denver, which discussed the physical benefits of walking when you golf.
Wolkodoff found eight male volunteers, aged 26 to 61, with handicaps between two and 17 to participate in an experiment that would analyze energy consumption and scoring while playing several nine-hole rounds of golf.
The participants wore equipment that measured such variables as heart rate, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and distance covered per round.
Each golfer then played nine holes at Inverness in four different scenarios:
• Carrying a bag
• Pushing a cart
• Golfing with a caddy
• Playing with a motorized golf cart
Walkodoff concluded that over a nine-hole round:
– A golfer burned an average of 721 calories carrying a bag
– A golfer burned an average of 718 calories pushing a cart
– A golfer burned an average of 613 calories using a caddy
– A golfer burned an average of 411 calories riding in a cart
Thus, over an 18-hole round we can assume that:
– A golfer will burn roughly the same number of calories carrying a bag as pushing a cart
– A golfer will burn 216 more calories by carrying a bag versus taking a caddy
– A golfer will burn 620 more calories by carrying a bag versus taking a cart
So, the study estimates that walking when you golf burns almost twice as many calories as riding in a motorized cart, which is a significant physical benefit.
The Walking Golfers Society is dedicated to providing information about the many benefits of walking when you golf, which is how the game was intended to be played.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.