In the U.S., more and more courses are going cart only to increase profits, but research shows that this also increases scores. Neil Wolkodoff,the director of the Center for Health and Sport Science at the Rose Medical Center in Denver, found that golfers scored lower while walking with a caddie or with their clubs on a push cart than they did when using a motorized cart. Surprisingly, the highest average scores came from golfers carrying a golf bag.
Why is this? Well, it all has to do with how much energy it takes to golf. Golf might seem like a sedate sport to non-golfers, but Wolkodoff found that a round of golf uses a lot of energy. The most energy was expended while walking with a bag (721 calories burned for nine holes). Walking with a push cart burned just a little less (718). Walking with a caddie burned 621 calories for nine holes, and riding in a cart still burned 411 calories on average. Swinging a club involves the whole body and doing that 100 times over nine holes burns a lot of energy.
Wolkodoff also found that being fit helps to lower scores. He tested each golfer to find their aerobic endurance and anaerobic threshold levels — the point when lactic acid buildup generally begins to impair coordination and concentration. He found that exceeding one’s anaerobic threshold usually meant a poor game of golf. Look at it like this: if you are out of shape, then it would be difficult to perform a delicate chip after walking up a steep hill without taking the time to recover and let your heart and respiratory rates return to normal. Your body has been pushed beyond it’s limit and now you’re asking it for more. Not exactly a recipe for success.
“If you’re out of shape, exceeding your threshold could happen a few times every round, even while riding in a cart, because tee boxes and green complexes are often elevated.Your golf game will suffer,” Wolkodoff said.
So, Rockheads, if you’re looking for lower scores get you’ll need to do two things: hit the gym and walk the course! Go to Rock Bottom Fitness to find all the gear you’ll need to get in shape for the new golf season!