It should come as no surprise that at QOD Golf USA, we are big advocates of walking the golf course. However, it is also no secret that the U.S. is behind many other countries when it comes to the percentage of golfers who walk. The reality is, that there are more options than ever for walkers and riders alike.
There is no better example of this than the range of products available at last year's PGA Show in Orlando, where the different options available to transport your clubs varied from traditional golf push carts, electric golf trolleys, bikes, scooters and everything in between.
While the riding cart companies may still claim to have a firm grip on the industry in the U.S., there has never been more competition lining up behind them ready to take the mantel. Having been one of the main players at golf courses around the globe for decades, motorized golf push cart manufacturers are finally starting to take the world's largest golf market more seriously.
For better or for worse, there is no denying that golf is in the midst of an image change - highlighted by the numerous rules changes introduced by the USGA and R & A at the start of the year. We believe that encouraging people of all ages to walk should be at the front and center of that campaign.
Unlike rule changes, though, a lot of the decisions that could be made to actively encourage walking, fall upon golf courses themselves, where attitudes can take a long time to change.
For example, many public courses will claim that stocking up on riding carts and striking deals with online booking systems like Golf Now where a cart is automatically included in the price is imperative to remain profitable, while turning a blind eye to the significant added costs of maintenance that come with having hundreds of 1,000-pound machines ride over their precious turf on a daily basis.
That's not to say some courses aren't bucking the trend. A few years ago, Longbow Golf Course in Arizona introduced 'walk-free Wednesdays', which contrary to how it sounds, offered golfers the chance to play 9 holes for free providing they ditched the golf riding cart.
Other courses are following suit with similar initiatives, and to be fair to Golf Now, they do also have a section of their website dedicated to 'Play & Walk' deals, although it would be nice to see the number of courses on offer expanded.
A lot of barriers that discourage the use of electric golf caddies are directly linked to the stigma against walking, whether it be for financial reasons for the golf courses themselves, or the misconception that your 6-hour round on a Sunday would become even slower if more players walked.
QOD Golf USA will always back any initiative whether it be from the USGA or elsewhere that highlights the benefits and promotes the activity of walking the golf course. We also welcome competition from other motorized golf push carts and companies offering innovative new ways to transport your golf clubs around the course that offer an alternative to the traditional riding carts.
If you are looking for a way to walk the course without putting your body under stress, allowing you to finish the round with more energy and preserve your golfing career for years to come, then an electric golf caddy may be the best investment for your golf game and your health that you have ever made.
Whether you choose to go with the world's most compact electric golf trolley or a different motorized golf caddy cart, we hope it helps you enjoy the walk for many years and countless rounds.
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