Walk for Better Health and Scores

Walk for Better Health and ScoresGolf and fitness. Two words you might not believe go together, judging from some of the physiques you see on the golf course. But working on strength, flexibility, and balance can not only make you feel better but also improve your scores.

A study recently completed by sports scientist Neil Wolkodoff, director of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver revealed some interesting and very specific conclusions about the value of golf as exercise, and also about the effects of walking versus riding on the golfer’s score. Wolkodoff recruited eight amateurs, all men, ranging from ages 26 to 61 and handicaps ranging from 2 to 17.

The volunteers were fitted with various montoring and measuring equipment, and then each played the front nine of a hilly Denver golf course several times over the study period.

During these 9-hole outings, the golfers varied their means of transportation by either walking or riding in a cart and also their means of transporting their golf clubs with either the bag on a golf cart, on their shoulders, on a push cart, or by employing a caddy.

Among the findings for 9 holes:

Calories Burned
Walking carrying a bag: 721
Walking using a push cart: 718
Walking using caddie: 613
Riding: 411

Miles Walked:
Not riding in cart: 2.5
Riding in cart: 0.5

The study concludes that golfers who walk 36 holes a week will burn around 2,900 calories per week. The threshold of 2,500 calories burned in a week is an important one; according to Wolkodff, “studies have shown that those who burn 2,500 calories a week improve their overall health by lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

The study also looked at the effects on golf scores with different methods of transporting one’s golf bag.

Those findings were even more interesting:

Average Scores
Using push cart: 40
Using caddie: 42
Riding: 43
Carrying bag: 45

Wolkodoff’s conclusion is that golf uses a lot of energy and puts aside the naysayers who don’t considered it to be a sport.


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