These golf tips for seniors and why you should forget the golf cart could very well help seniors get the most out of their game on several levels. There are many positive aspects to golfing for seniors.
It’s an excellent way to socialize with like-minded seniors, stay fit, and make the most of all the spare time that comes with retirement.
To get the most out of your time on the course, consider walking instead of riding in a cart.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING THE GOLF COURSE
In many quarters, including the United States Golf Association it’s believed that golfers should be walking the course as opposed to riding in a cart.
There’s no doubt that riding in a cart has become the favored choice for many golfers, but is it the best choice? David Fay, the former president of the USGA, had this to say about the controversy.
“We strongly believe that walking is the most enjoyable way to play golf and that the use of carts is detrimental to the game. This negative trend has to be stopped now before it becomes accepted that riding in a cart is the way to play golf.
The concept of walking the course for seniors makes perfect sense(assuming they are physically able) as walking in itself is the most fundamental of exercises. Walking an 18-hole golf course a couple of times a week can have a very positive effect on a senior’s cardiovascular health, as they age.
It’s also excellent for keeping legs strong for years. One of the biggest worries about seniors, as they age, is losing their balance and falling. A senior who incorporates plenty of walking into their fitness regimen will maintain a strong sense of balance for years.
STOP AND START WALKING
There are those who think that the stop-and-start nature of walking the golf course has limited health benefits.
Swedish researchers found that those who walked the golf course as opposed to using a cart equated to 40%-70% of the intensity of a maximum aerobic workout(over 18 holes).
Researchers that specialized in Cardiology also found that walking golfers reduced their bad cholesterol while keeping their good cholesterol steady. They also used a control group of golfers who rode the course on carts, and they did not show the same positive results.
It makes sense. I mean what’s the difference between sitting in your favorite chair at home and riding in a golf cart? I suppose apart from the fresh air there is no difference.
It’s been estimated that walking an 18-hole golf course and playing a round over four hours is comparable to a 45-minute exercise class. Think about that for a moment. You can have the advantage of increasing your fitness level by doing something you love. No need to go to a gym for your weekly workouts.
LEAVE THE CART BEHIND AND BURN CALORIES
The Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, Colorado came to the conclusion that walking just nine holes of golf on a rolling course was equivalent to a walk of 2.5 miles, compared .05 miles when using a cart.
Further to that, a golfer who walks 36 holes per week is burning nearly 3,000 calories.
Here are some tips for beginners or veteran golfers who normally ride carts, but want to walk, but feel they are not in good enough shape.
- If you are sharing a cart, walk alternate holes during a round, so that by the end of an 18 hole course you’ve walked nine holes.
- Walk a full set of nine and ride the other nine.
- Some courses require carts. In that instance, walk down the course to your ball while your partner drives the cart up.
- If you are playing with a partner who prefers to ride, ride only on the cart path and walk to and from your ball.
- It’s important to look after your back when walking the golf course. You can use a pushcart, switch from a single to double-strap bag, or best of all, get your self a Motorized Caddy.
GOLF CARTS CAN DAMAGE THE COURSE
Golf carts can do damage to the rough, areas around the bunkers and around greens. Of course, most golfers realize that carts are not to be used around bunkers and greens, but depending on the driver some do it anyway.
There was a time earlier during the game of golf when carts were first introduced when they would do minimal damage to a course. This was because when golfers were accustomed to playing on fairways, they were hardpan as grass and it wasn’t such a big deal to ride over it.
Today, however, there have been huge strides in the agronomy and turfgrass management that have introduced grasses to grow in areas that at one time, wasn’t viable. This has resulted in golf courses that are in better shape than ever.
The problem is, most of this new turf is more susceptible to wear and tear and carts do much more damage than walking and pulling a cart over the same grasses.
IT’S TRUE! WALKING IS FASTER THAN A CART
It might be hard to believe, but when playing with a partner, it’s faster to walk a course than it is to drive a cart over the same distance.
It somehow seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. At the time when golf carts were first introduced it was to allow more players onto a course at the same time. In a way, carts did that by speeding up the time it takes for a group on the No.1 tee to reach it’s first shot of the day off the tee.
What that did was shortened the time between tee times. Despite making the first hole faster, it didn’t hold up. Over 18 holes a group of four sharing two carts wastes a huge amount of time driving from one rider’s ball to the other rider’s ball.
It was far different for walkers. They walked directly to their own ball. The secondary effort of walking to your ball is a reduction in the amount of time spent chatting with a playing partner in a cart before getting around to hitting your next shot. The time spent walking is normally used to plan their next shot and decide about club selection.
There is something about walking a golf course that helps you learn about the course play, and gain an appreciation of the nuances that in most cases, are not visible from a golf cart.
And how about this statistic? In a scientific study, golfers who walked scored better than golfers who rode in a cart.
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Any opportunity for a senior to improve quality of life and increase longevity through exercise should try walking the golf course. This can have a huge impact on the overall health of a golfer who is on the course two or three times a week.
It’s great for heart health, burning calories, and reducing the impact that carts have on a golf course.
Nobody is saying that carts should be banned. There are many seniors who love to golf, but for health reasons simply could not manage to walk nine or eighteen holes of golf. As long as a golfer is adhering to proper etiquette and safety, there is no reason not to use a cart if needed.
Even if a senior is not capable of walking an entire course, just walking to and from their ball on occasion will be beneficial from a fitness point of view.
I sincerely hope that these golf tips for seniors and why you should forget the golf cart help my visitors get the most out of their day on the course.
If you would like to share your thoughts on this topic feel free to make a comment at the bottom of this page.