You don't need a scientist or doctor to tell you that bouncing around in a cart all day in between rotating your spine as fast as possible is not the best way to keep your back happy.
Nor do you need anyone to tell you how bending over and pushing a cart, or walking lopsided as you carry your bag, isn't a great strategy to ensuring your body will allow you to play golf for the rest of your life.
But these facts published in scientific studies do prove just how beneficial regularly walking the course can be.
According to a study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, which collected data on over 300,000 golfers over a fifteen-year period, the death rate for golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status.
This corresponds to a 5-year increase in life expectancy.
A study published in Physician and Sports Medicine concluded that regular walking when playing golf favorably affects body composition, including a 1.4kg reduction in weight, 2.2cm lost in waist circumference, and a reduction of 2.2cm in abdominal skin fold thickness.
The average total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round of golf is between 1,500 and 2,000 calories. Burning 3,000 calories is the equivalent of one pound of fat, so every time you walk the course, you're burning the equivalent of a half of pound of fat.
"Since walking is biomechanically more efficient than running, playing an 18-hole round of golf is roughly equivalent to a 3.5- to 4-mile run."
"When walking 18 holes of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20% for the young, 10% for the middle-aged, and 30% for the elderly players, and body weight is reduced M=0.7% for all groups.
Golfers who walk show greater increases in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and in the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol."
A study published by American Journal of Sports Medicine analyzed the injury data from a total of 703 golfers who were randomly selected over two golfing seasons.
Golfers who carried their bag on a regular basis suffered significantly more injuries to the lower back, shoulders, and ankles.
Two of the most common injuries in golf are low back pain and foot pain (plantar fascia pain) which are directly affected by carrying your clubs.
Palank, E., & Hargreaves, E. (1990). The benefits of walking the golf course. Physician and Sports Medicine,18, 77-80.
Parkkari, J., Natri, A., Kannus, P., Mänttäri, A., & Laukkanen, R., et al. (2000). A controlled trial of the health benefits of regular walking on a golf course. American Journal of Medicine,109(2), 102-108.
Sell, T. C., Abt, J. P., Lephart, S. M. (2008) Physical activity-related benefits of walking during golf. Science and Golf V: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf.128-132.
Gosheger G1, Liem D, Ludwig K, Greshake O, Winkelmann W. (2003) Injuries and overuse syndromes in golf. The American journal of sports medicine.SEE OUR CURRENT SALE