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The Debate of Walking vs. Riding during a Golf Round

The game of golf began in Scotland as early as 1457 and by 1744 the first rules of golf were established. The first golf cart was introduced in the 1930’s but, the golf cart did not become popular on golf courses until the 1960’s. For almost two hundred years, walking was the only way to play a round of golf. In this article, I will outline several of the benefits of walking the golf course versus riding in a golf cart including, benefits to your health, benefits to your golf game, and social advantages.

One of the most obvious advantages of walking during a golf round is the health benefits. A golfer usually burns twice as many calories walking 18 holes as does one who rides. Walking 18 holes is equivalent to a 3.5 – 4 mile run and can exceed 10,000 steps during a typical golf round. This exercise will help maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, strengthen muscles and bones, improve your balance and coordination, and improve your overall mood.

You might even see your golf handicap improve with regular walking during golf rounds. Walking allows you to set your own pace, get a better feel and get into a better rhythm during the round. The golfer can create more consistency in their pre-shot routine and the golfer does not feel as rushed due to their fellow partner waiting in the cart. Walking can even improve the social atmosphere during a round. Instead of talking with the same golfer in the cart for 18 holes, the walking golfer has a chance to have conversations with the other golfers in their foursome as they walk up the fairway or to the green for their next shot.

If you prefer playing with a foursome during a normal 18 hole round, riding in a golf cart does not save any time. Think about how much time you have wasted looking for another golfers golf ball in the rough and woods or how much time it takes your partner to hit their shot, then drive to your ball and you hit your shot. Golf carts do have their place in the golfing world. They are very beneficial to golfers who may not physically be able to walk a complete round but still want to enjoy the game they love. Next time you play a round of golf, try walking instead of riding in a golf cart and just see if walking helps you enjoy the game of golf how the game was originally intended to be played.

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