I’m not going to use the word positive in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic, but increased walking is one development many golfers have found enjoyment in over the last year.
Here in Myrtle Beach, Founders Group International, the area’s largest golf course ownership group, leads the way in allowing walking throughout the year, but is it something you want to do on your next trip?
Here are three reasons to walk on your next trip and three factors that might make you want to stick to the cart:
— Enough with the excuses! Anyone that made a New Year’s resolution that centered around getting in better shape should commit to walking. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s the value of being in good shape and golf, in addition, to being socially distant by nature, provides exercise. The game’s physical benefits increase exponentially for those who play on foot. You can expect to walk approximately six miles during a round, which is a great way to burn off the chicken wings you ate the night before.
— Walking can lead to improved play, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. There is also plenty of time to enjoy the conversations with your playing partners that help make a day on the course so enjoyable.
— Walking will NOT slow pace of play. As a matter of fact, it may improve pace. Everyone walks directly to their ball, eliminating time spent mindlessly sitting in a cart waiting for your partner to hit before going to your own ball. You can also travel directly to the green because there are no signs directing walkers out of the fairway, as there are for carts.
Requirements for walking: A good pair of shoes, a pull cart (I’m not too proud to use one and you shouldn’t be either!), and the willingness to start.
Walking Isn’t For Me
— Whether it’s a bad back, knee or some other cause, not everyone is fortunate enough to be physically able to walk. If you don’t think you are able to walk a full round, starting on vacation isn’t the best of ideas.
— If your group likes to burn the midnight oil, walking 6+ miles on a beautiful 82 degree day in Myrtle Beach’s abundant sunshine might be detrimental, especially if you arrive at the first tee dehydrated. Be smart. Walking is a great way to stay in shape but if your golf trip is a marathon that pushes your body to the limit, on and off the course, the cart might be your best option (at least for the final day or two!).
— Not every course is conducive to walking. Tidewater is one of the area’s best layouts but the distance between certain holes makes walking impossible. If you are planning to eschew carts, make sure you are playing courses that lend themselves to an enjoyable stroll.
Walking is a great way to experience the game and it has health benefits that extend far beyond the course.
Whether you are playing at home or Myrtle Beach, why not give it a try?