You arrive at the course and get your clubs out of your car. You put your bag next to the practice putting green and stroll towards the Pro Shop. You take a look at some of the new putters on the rack and wait for the person at the counter to finish buying a new shirt. You waive to the club pro and tell them you are checking in for your round of golf. They welcome you to the course and ask, “are you going to walk or ride today?”.
We believe the answer to this question is important. You don’t need to rent a golf cart, and we’ll tell you why.
Why Turn Down Exercise in the Fresh Air?
Here at FitMyFoot we believe that outdoor exercise is great for the body and mind. You don’t think golf is an athletic activity? True that it isn’t the same as running a marathon, but if you walk 18 holes, you will cover five to eight miles. You might even play better. All golfers swing better once they are loose – back muscles, leg muscles, and even your feet will all warm-up quicker when you walk the fairway instead of getting in and out of a golf cart.
Walking on the golf course will not train you to be a sprinter in the next Olympics, but it will help your body move better. During your round, pay attention to your body. Do you feel any pain? You may notice that your back or legs get tired by late in the back nine. When you finish playing, how are your feet? Tired and sore? If so, slip a pair of our custom insoles in your existing shoes and have the same spring in your step on the 18th hole that you did when you teed off on the first.
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Who’s Your Caddie?
Not all golf courses offer a caddie program, but if you get an opportunity to play with one, don’t turn it down. A caddie for your round will cost a little more than riding in a cart, but it’s worth the price. First, you still get the exercise we discussed above. Second, you get your own personal “golf butler” for the day. They will carry and wash your clubs throughout the round. They will help you pick the correct club and give you advice on reading the greens. Are you worried you aren’t good enough and will embarrass yourself? Don’t fret – regardless of your level, we promise they have caddied for someone worse! If somehow you are truly the worst golfer in the world, who cares, the caddie is still getting paid.
While we are on the topic of caddies, let’s think about their typical day. Most walk 36 holes (15+ miles) and frequently carry two golf bags throughout their journey. That routine must lead to sore feet by the end of the day. Can you guess what we think they could use? You are correct – some custom insoles from FitMyFoot would certainly make them more comfortable. The perfect gift for the caddie in your life.
Play the Game as it was Designed!
When a course architect visits the land of a future golf course, do you think they envision the hole to be walked or to accessed from a cart path? When the first golfers played in Scotland in the 15th century, do you think they walked the links or jumped in a little buggy? You know the answer.
John Feinstein wrote a famous golf book titled “a good walk spoiled” – notice it wasn’t called “a nice ride in an electric cart soured”. All experienced golfers know that the game can be frustrating at times. The walk between shots is the perfect time to relax, forget the last shot, and get prepared for the next one. Use this time to improve your mental game.
The game is perfect when you hit your shot, pick up your bag, and walk down the fairway with some of your buddies.
Do You Have the Correct Equipment to be a Walking Golfer?
Have we won you over? You are ready to ditch the cart and start walking the course? To enjoy your new approach to the game (walking) you do need to make sure you have the correct equipment and accessories. Here are the walking golfer basics:
- Carry Bag – the golf carry bag has come a long way over the last 10 years or so. They are now amazingly light – most weigh less than 5 pounds. Make sure you get one with the double-should strap – they do a great job balancing the weight across both your shoulders (basically, it’s the same as wearing a backpack).
- High-Tech Water Bottle – if you are walking the course on a hot summer day, hydration is key. Find a refillable bottle that will keep your drink cold. Heading back to item #1, many carry bags now have an insulted pocket to hold your drink of choice.
- Walking Shoes – this is another area where the golf industry has truly embraced the walking golfer. Golf shoes used to be uncomfortable and look more like “dress” shoes than something you would wear to exercise, but that has changed. You can find golf shoes that look you are heading to run a 10k, but they have soft spikes on the bottom. Of course, we also recommend you get a pair of custom insoles to give your feet that extra layer of protection.
- Push Cart (optional) – we consider the push cart optional for the walking golfer. If you prefer to carry your clubs, great, but there is nothing wrong with using a push cart. The advantages are pretty simple – you have more storage for snacks and gear, plus you spare your shoulders. Push carts are very popular with more “experienced” (older) players.
We know what you are thinking – what have I been doing all these years? Why did I always answer the pro shop attendant “Yep, I will ride today”? Decide to change now. Ditch the cart. Use the game of golf to get healthier. We can’t promise you will shoot lower scores, but it is possible. Play well and enjoy your day strolling the fairways!