The Benefits of Walking Around (of Golf)

I’m not sure of the exact break­down, but golfers who ride in a cart sub­stan­tial­ly out­num­ber those who walk. I guess I should not find this sur­pris­ing in our soci­ety. In my opin­ion, there are very few ben­e­fits rid­ing in a cart will give you over walk­ing.

You can com­plete a round in less time by rid­ing a cart if you are play­ing alone. How­ev­er, there is sig­nif­i­cant­ly less time saved when play­ing in a four­some. Besides, what’s your hur­ry?

Since most carts have roofs, you will stay dri­er in rainy con­di­tions by rid­ing a cart. You will still get wet when play­ing your shots, and once you’re wet you’re wet, this is not a huge ben­e­fit.

The last ben­e­fit of rid­ing in a cart, and the biggest one in my opin­ion, is that it allows peo­ple who may not phys­i­cal­ly be able to walk a com­plete round to still enjoy the game they love. This post is to those of us who are phys­i­cal­ly able to walk the course to rethink rid­ing in a cart and con­sid­er the ben­e­fits of walk­ing.

The most obvi­ous ben­e­fit of walk­ing is a health­i­er you. The length of an aver­age 18 hole golf course is around three and a half miles or five and a half kilo­me­ters. Since we all tend to zigzag around the course a bit, plan on walk­ing over four miles or six and a half kilo­me­ters for 18 holes. Walk­ing can low­er your bad cho­les­terol, raise your good cho­les­terol, low­er your blood pres­sure, reduce your risk of dia­betes, help man­age your weight and keep you fit.

Besides the health ben­e­fits, walk­ing instead of rid­ing in a cart also ben­e­fits your golf game.

First, you can set your own pace. Unless you are play­ing alone, you will like­ly have anoth­er golfer shar­ing your cart. Many times the oth­er golfer will be next to you wait­ing in the cart when you are prepar­ing to shoot. This instinc­tive­ly cre­ates a rushed feel­ing and more ten­sion in your golf swing. By walk­ing, you still get the social enjoy­ment of play­ing with a group, while being able to set your own pace for each shot.

Set­ting your own pace will cre­ate more con­sis­ten­cy in your pre-shot rou­tine. I’m not a fan of a long pre-shot rou­tine, as 15 to 20 sec­onds is plen­ty long enough, but you do want the same rou­tine every time. Walk­ing enables you to take the time, every time, for a con­sis­tent pre-shot rou­tine.

When you walk, you’ll nev­er be stuck with the wrong club. Many times when rid­ing a cart with a part­ner, you’ll grab a club for your upcom­ing shot before tak­ing a good look at it. The think­ing is you can save some time by hav­ing your part­ner take the cart to their next shot. Does this give you enough time to prop­er­ly judge your lie, the wind, or your tar­get? Many times it may but there will be times when you wish you could change clubs but go ahead and hit the wrong club any­way. Prop­er club selec­tion is cru­cial for every shot. Hit­ting the wrong club can eas­i­ly lead to a big score on a hole for a high hand­i­cap golfer.

Try walk­ing your next round instead of rid­ing in a cart. You will feel bet­ter phys­i­cal­ly and see ben­e­fits in your golf game.


  1. Nice post Scott,

    I’ve always pre­ferred walk­ing to rid­ing in a golf cart. I find I play bet­ter golf which I think for me comes down to a cou­ple of things.

    Being a longer hit­ter I find I am always wait­ing that bit longer when I am with some­one in a golf cart. The part­ners have to play 2 shots before they even get to my golf ball which means I am wait­ing longer. This real­ly tests your golf patience. Where if I am walk­ing I can usu­al­ly depend­ing on where I hit it walk out to the side and con­tin­u­ous­ly be mov­ing clos­er to my golf ball.

    Sec­ond­ly, walk­ing to my golf ball which gives me that lit­tle bit extra time to visu­alise and real­ly tar­get what type of shot i’m going to play.


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