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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