Walking vs using a golf buggy – it’s a continual debate when it comes to the way golfers like to get around the course. For the diehard walkers, it’s a no-brainer that you get more exercise, burn more calories and receive more benefits from walking the course. But is this actually the case? Let’s dive in and find out.
Walking vs pushing
It seems obvious. Walking and carrying your clubs must burn more energy than using a walker golf buggy or a ride-on, right? Well actually, this isn’t as clear cut as it might seem.
There have been a number of studies carried out on just this topic, which have examined the potential benefits and drawbacks of the various ways of getting around the course – and the results might not be what you expect.
If you’ve always assumed that carrying your bag and walking will provide a better workout than pulling your bag on a golf buggy, you’re certainly not alone. Many people believe that this is the case. But the studies have proven otherwise. When examining the number of calories burnt by golfers who carried their own bag and golfers who pushed their bag on a buggy, there was a negligible difference between the number of calories burnt by each group.
This is a little surprising – but not when you consider the fact that you’re still walking the entirety of the course even if you’re pushing your buggy. You’ll still be burning roughly the same number of calories as those who carry their bag. It doesn’t seem to make a difference how you transport your clubs when you walk the course, because the exercise effect will be pretty much the same. You’ll still be pulling your clubs out, hitting your shots and walking the same distance – thus getting all the benefits that come with walking the course.
The difference a push buggy makes
So, a push buggy doesn’t negate the exercise you get on the course – good news for those who might struggle with lifting their golf bag onto and off their shoulder continually.
What a push buggy actually does is relieves the strain on your back, shoulders, neck, wrists and arms that is often caused by carrying your bag. A push buggy allows you to save your strength for where it matters – hitting your shots. Carrying your bag puts a great deal of compressive force and torsional stress on your spine, and could potentially lead to a lifetime of back issues if you do so incorrectly from a young age. It can also cause poor posture, and can lead to an increased chance of shoulder, neck and back injuries – and surprisingly, also ankle injuries. As well, carting your clubs around on your back leads to lactic acid build up in the surrounding muscles, causing fatigue and possible injury as well. Considering the average golf bag can weigh around 15 kilograms, and you have to lift and drop the bag potentially more than 100 times during your round, it’s fair to say that it’s not the ideal mode of transport. And when you consider that you’ll walk around 12 kilometres when you play the full course, it’s very easy to understand why carrying your bag can strain your body.
Medical experts believe it’s better for your long-term health to push or cart your clubs, rather than lugging them around yourself. Using a push or walker golf buggy will save your back, keep your more flexible and pain-free and reduce your chances of injury – as well as allowing you to focus more on your game. There’s no doubt that golf can be tough on your back, so anything that can preserve it for as long as possible is well worth doing!
A push buggy can actually allow you to get MORE exercise
For older people or those who are injured or have a medical condition, the use of a golf buggy can help them get more exercise. They may not be able to play golf at all without one, as they may not be capable of carrying their bag around. A golf buggy may well be the only way they can get out and enjoy the game, and reap the benefits of exercise – which will bring enormous benefits for their health and wellbeing. If you want to play the game for a lifetime and especially as you age, a golf buggy will help you to do so.
See for yourself, and give one of our high quality walker golf buggies a try. You’ll still get the same amount of exercise, and your body will feel a whole lot better!
Discover the other benefits of using a golf buggy here.