Two recent stories added further support to the recent growth in popularity of golf and its health & wellness benefits.
“Walking is cool again,” one California-based golfer recently explained to The New York Times in an article titled, “Golf Carts Are Parked, Walking Is In and, Yes, It’s Exercise.” “I’m out there together with these kids walking, getting a good workout and playing the sport the way it was meant to be played.”
Motorized carts have ferried golfers from hole to hole for 50 years, but more players these days are walking their rounds, and some courses have shunned carts entirely.
A story in Eat, Sleep, and Play added… given the events of 2020, when golfing experienced a generational surge in popularity because it’s a friendly activity to do during the era of social distancing, it’s now being widely recognized for something that it’s been all along: Worthwhile exercise.
The New York Times story said that… the walking boom, propelled by the advent of lightweight carry bags and technologically sophisticated push carts for golf bags, is being advanced by a legion of young and older players — with an increasing percentage of them women — who hark back to golf’s roots as a walk-only activity.
The increase in walking rounds — some golf courses have seen an upsurge of 300 percent — is traced to the pandemic and the impact it has had on leisure pursuits.
In 2020, golf was one of the few outdoor activities considered safe from the spread of the coronavirus and American golf facilities hosted 50 million more golf rounds than they did in 2019.
The walking golfers flocking to the game in the last two years are part of a cohort of new players that are more likely to be female and younger than 35.
Still, before this year, nearly 70 percent of rounds were played with a golf cart, according to National Golf Foundation. But in a foundation survey last summer, 33 percent of golfers who played regularly said they were walking more frequently.
The Eat, Sleep and Play article states that….the folks at the UK-based website Skilled Golf took well known (and often cited) research published by Harvard Medical School and combined it with other datasets to reveal which of these more “leisure” sports are especially great at burning calories. According to their calculations, if you were to walk a full 18 holes while carrying your own clubs, which usually takes roughly four hours, an “average, healthy, and able-bodied person weighing approximately 155 lbs.” would burn upwards of 1,640 calories.
The New York Times story said that …. sales of easy-to-carry golf bags and lightweight, nimble push carts rocketed by as much as 210 percent in 2020. This year, sales of women’s golf bags have doubled and junior golf bags sales are up 200 percent.
There are also new modes of golf course transportation — the Finn Cycle, an electric two-wheel golf scooter — challenging the standard electric or gas golf cart.
Eat, Sleep and Play advanced the conversation further saying….There are other added benefits to playing the game, as well.
1 – You’ll Gain Greater Balance and Stability
2 – You’ll Gain Flexibility
3 – You’ll De-Stress –
This one is debatable, given that many golfers get frustrated with the game. But for most amateur golfers, the game is a healthy release. For starters, it’s a walk in nature, which is one of the most important things you can do to bolster your mental health.
4 – You’ll Have More Friends
Seems clear to us — golf is the solution!