When you arrive at the golf course on your golf trip, you unload your clubs and approach the clubhouse to pay your fees. But as you speak with the cashier, you are suddenly faced with a dilemma: Should you walk or rent a cart?
Whichever you choose, both could benefit and impede your game. Here's how:
Benefits of walking:
- An ultimate calorie burner. According to Ron Kapriske of golfdigest.com, an estimated 1,442 calories are burned by walking the 18 holes. Whereas by riding a golf cart, only 809 calories are burned.
- Helps you prepare for your next shots. Think about it – by walking, you can study the course layout, including the contours of fairways and greens, more easily than golfers who ride. Therefore, you will be able to judge breaks in greens, as well as landing areas.
- Makes you appreciate the course more. When you put your feet on the ground and walk the hills, you get an appreciation for nature and the beauty of the golf course.
- Allows you to socialize with your buddies. By walking a course with a friend or loved one, you can converse with them frequently, as you stroll fairways, approach greens, and search for balls together. This one-on-one interaction offers you an entirely different social experience than you will have if you choose to ride in a cart.
Downside of walking:
- Take up much of your energy. Sometimes, when you haven't been playing or walking a lot prior to the start of the golf vacation season, walking the 18 holes can be an arduous feat. The energy you have spent on walking can affect the consistency of your swings.
Benefits of riding a golf cart:
- Golf carts make games more accessible. For the elderly, the frail, the disabled and younger children, golf carts deserve a considerable credit for making the game more accessible. If you're physically unable to tote your own golf clubs (even with a pushcart) or to walk the course, then by all means, hop in the cart and enjoy the ride.
- Some people believe that golf carts make the game move faster. And certainly many golf course operators love them; some mandate the use of carts and charge extra for the privilege.
Downsides of riding a golf cart:
- Lessen your focus. After you made your shots, your focus for the next five minutes is on driving the cart and interacting with whomever you’re riding with instead of thinking about your game and your next shot.
- Riding can slow down the game. Whether you’re parking the cart in poor locations, riding back and forth searching for balls, or walking back and forth to the cart to change clubs, riding could take up much of your time and energy.
For many golfers, walking is highly beneficial. However, some golf courses don’t allow it. So, know before you go. If you think it’s allowed on the golf course, then, walk on your golf trip.