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mburton

Help me prepare for walking

45 posts in this topic

After a recent curiousness to try it, furthered by reading through the walking vs. riding thread.. I've decided to make the switch, purchase a carry bag and walk whenever possible. I'm looking for any helpful advice you guys might have that you've learned over the years. Such as: any additional things to purchase or what I should bring in general to be best prepared. Also, anything different in regards to etiquette. (Minus the obvious let faster cart players through if applicable) I've got to say I'm pretty excited to give walking a try and think that I'll really enjoy it. Hopefully the 100 degree doesn't stick around much longer! Thanks in advance for any advice and help.
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Buy a push or pull cart. I carried for a few years before I switched to a hand cart and I wish I made the change earlier. Carrying a bag (vs a hand cart) is more tiring, damages your clothes, and puts additional strain on your back.

As for tips on the actual walking aspect, learn the optimal places to put your bag when you're around the greens. You can't cover as much distance on foot as you do in a cart, so placing your bag along an efficient route between holes is beneficial.

A lot of people will leave their bags far from the tee if the tee box is out of the way of the walking route. If you do that, make sure you bring enough clubs for whatever shot you may need. Carry an extra ball and tee in your pocket in case you hit an errant shot so you don't have to walk some 30 yards back to your bag for a provisional ball. I actually hate doing this, so I'll drag my cart with me all the way down to a tee box, even if it is out of the way.

Be ready for your shot faster. This one isn't really much of an issue because you're not sharing a cart with anybody, so while others have to drive around to different places, you can just walk directly to your ball and wait for your turn. While you wait, you can size up your lie, get your yardages, and prepare for your shot. Everything that isn't your preshot routine can be done ahead of time.

Pay attention to your ball. You don't have the luxury of zooming along your flight line and driving in circles around the general vicinity of where you think your shot landed to look for it. Try to follow it as much as you can and narrow it down to specific landmarks. Don't just see it go towards the woods and say "it went by the woods." Narrow it down as much as you can, "it came down at the third tall tree from the left." This will speed up the process when you have to look for a ball.

Bring plenty of fluids, and snacks if you have to. If you are just starting to make the switch, you're probably going to underestimate how much energy it takes to walk and carry 18 holes. An extra towel is good too, if the weather is hot and you sweat.

If I can think of anymore, I'll add them.

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If you insist on carrying the bag, lighten the load.  I only take the driver, 2 hybrids, 6/8/9 irons, PW, SW and putter. Covers 99% of my needs, reduces my decision making, and reduces the bag weight.

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I agree with @billchao .  A push/pull cart makes things much easier and allows you to carry extra items like an umbrella, rain gear and extra fluids without putting stress on your back.  I am certainly capable of carrying for 18 holes, but the cart makes more sense and reduces fatigue so I play better.

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Push carts are fantastic for walking. makes the round very enjoyable.
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Push/pull cart that rolls easily

and/or liteweight quality bag with a drink holder and double zippers

If carrying bag, take all clubs but cut down on non-essential items.

Delete head covers except for driver and putter - and make it lite weight

If you're out of shape, start endurance exercises

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Big second on the fluids. Make sure you have a big bottle of water. Avoid alcohol or too much coffee before the round. Also, like @ billchao said, having a second towel could be really handy when it's hot out.

Also, in my experience, cart riders are rarely any faster than walkers. I wouldn't worry about that a whole lot.

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I agree with the sentiments above. Walking and carrying are two different animals. I like to walk. I'll never carry a bag again. I play better golf walking because I'm thinking about my shot as I'm walking to my ball instead of chatting with my partner and suddenly I'm at my ball when I'm riding.
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Posters above have it covered.

When you don't have a cart, leaving behind clubs is extra pain. A little extra vigilance making sure you have all your clubs goes a long way, same for lightning warnings.

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I agree with the sentiments above. Walking and carrying are two different animals. I like to walk. I'll never carry a bag again. I play better golf walking because I'm thinking about my shot as I'm walking to my ball instead of chatting with my partner and suddenly I'm at my ball when I'm riding.

That distinction is so important and glossed over in the walking vs. riding debate. Buying a pushcart over renting one of the cheap ones at the course has also been a big help for me to make walking easier.

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walking is never as fast as riding...2 guys in my regular group walk every week, they are fast enough, never hold up the course. me and my partner are forever waiting for them. Think about it you have a 200 to 300 yard walk on 14 to 16 of the holes on a normal course - there is no way to argue that you can do this as fast as riding. It just isn't possible.

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I walk 18 most weekends, sometimes 24 holes, and there is no way I would do it without my push cart, it's a must, get one and you'll prefer walking, carrying will make you go back to carts.

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Given comparable players, efficient use of the cart and a relatively clear course, you are correct.

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walking is never as fast as riding...2 guys in my regular group walk every week, they are fast enough, never hold up the course. me and my partner are forever waiting for them. Think about it you have a 200 to 300 yard walk on 14 to 16 of the holes on a normal course - there is no way to argue that you can do this as fast as riding. It just isn't possible.

That makes sense. You'd think that would be the case. I'm just saying that riders, at least in my experience, tend not to actually play any faster than walkers. I can't remember the last time I saw walkers holding people up. The goof balls in the motor carts are another story.

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Yes, a fast golfer in a cart is faster than a faster golfer walking.  But as a fast walker, I can't recall the last time I held up any cart golfer.  I've always played fast, ready golf and am often waiting for riders at the next tee because I can take short cuts.  I've walked 18 holes in 3 hours.

I haven't yet gone to a pull/push cart.  I still carry my clubs.  I like the old school feel of it, and I figure I can use the extra exercise.  I suppose at some point when I get older, I'll get a push cart, but I'm holding off on it while I still can.

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I suppose at some point when I get older, I'll get a push cart, but I'm holding off on it while I still can.

Hopefully you will have a long wait.  I am 62 and still carry without any problems.  As you said, it feels good to get a little extra workout.

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.. I've decided to make the switch, purchase a carry bag and walk whenever possible.  I'm looking for any helpful advice you guys might have that you've learned over the years...

Invest in some quality comfortable golf shoes if you haven't already.  Clean your bag out often; weight is your enemy.  When near the green, leave your bag on the side and rear of the green in the direction of the next hole.  That allows you to exit the green quickly and the group following you will appreciate your consideration.

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Buy a push or pull cart. I carried for a few years before I switched to a hand cart and I wish I made the change earlier. Carrying a bag (vs a hand cart) is more tiring, damages your clothes, and puts additional strain on your back.

As for tips on the actual walking aspect, learn the optimal places to put your bag when you're around the greens. You can't cover as much distance on foot as you do in a cart, so placing your bag along an efficient route between holes is beneficial.

A lot of people will leave their bags far from the tee if the tee box is out of the way of the walking route. If you do that, make sure you bring enough clubs for whatever shot you may need. Carry an extra ball and tee in your pocket in case you hit an errant shot so you don't have to walk some 30 yards back to your bag for a provisional ball. I actually hate doing this, so I'll drag my cart with me all the way down to a tee box, even if it is out of the way.

Be ready for your shot faster. This one isn't really much of an issue because you're not sharing a cart with anybody, so while others have to drive around to different places, you can just walk directly to your ball and wait for your turn. While you wait, you can size up your lie, get your yardages, and prepare for your shot. Everything that isn't your preshot routine can be done ahead of time.

Pay attention to your ball. You don't have the luxury of zooming along your flight line and driving in circles around the general vicinity of where you think your shot landed to look for it. Try to follow it as much as you can and narrow it down to specific landmarks. Don't just see it go towards the woods and say "it went by the woods." Narrow it down as much as you can, "it came down at the third tall tree from the left." This will speed up the process when you have to look for a ball.

Bring plenty of fluids, and snacks if you have to. If you are just starting to make the switch, you're probably going to underestimate how much energy it takes to walk and carry 18 holes. An extra towel is good too, if the weather is hot and you sweat.

If I can think of anymore, I'll add them.

Couldn't agree more.  I used to carry all the time, but now I use a push cart.  Even though I work out everyday and am in a very good shape, the difference between carrying and pushing a cart is still very significant when it come to your energy level towards the end.  Plus, like @billchao says, you can carry a lot more stuff when you use a push cart.

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