Walking on the golf course, overrated?

The game of golf is said to have started as early as 1457 with the first rules of golf established in 1744. The golf cart was introduced in the early 1930s but did not gain popularity with golfers until the 1960s. With those stats, you can come up with the conclusion that golf has been played on foot for over 500 years. But what makes walking better than riding?

Everyone is quick to say walking is better, whether it’s for health reasons, perhaps someone claims to score better, or some even claim that it isn’t a sport unless your bag is slung across your back. What about the arguments for riding a cart? They seem to be slim, but the reasons are much more compelling after first glance.

First, riding can save you time. If you were to play a round of golf “correctly”, you’d show up an hour before your tee time to warm up, hitting golf balls and putting to get the feel of the greens. Then you play, and if you’re walking, rounds of golf can take up to a good five hours of your time. They can take even longer if you grab some food at the turn. After, you stay behind with your buddies at the restaurant to grab a drink, adding another hour at least. Most people don’t have seven hours a day, maybe they don’t even have half of that. Riding can help cut that time in half or even less if you only play nine.

Perhaps, walking is better for you physically if you are able-bodied but what if someone can’t walk for long periods of time? Let’s face it, the act of swinging a golf club isn’t that physically demanding but walking for five hours can be intense for some individuals. Riding can also help the strain on people’s backs as the golf cart is holding the golf bag, not the player.

Socially, golf carts might seem to be a disadvantage but if you take a closer look, it’s not. Golf carts enable conversation from the beginning of a round. If someone is to spray a shot left or right, the individual isn’t walking to their ball alone. Plus, even if cart partners are having conversations on the side, all four tend to talk and update on the tee and green. (Sometimes you don’t even get that much social interaction while walking.)

While walking the course can be enjoyable, riding every once in a while can bring benefits to everyone in your foursome. Perhaps your playing partners have other reasons as to riding the cart besides just “not wanting to walk”.


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