actually, that walker 'feels' like he is.
faster or slower depends on a lot more than push vs ride.
How fast depends more on where the ball goes and how long it takes to find it than anything. You could warp drive between shots and be slow if you spend all day spraying it all over the course. Balls in the fairway can usually be seen from the tee. Balls in knee deep unmaintained scrub is golf's version of a twisted Easter egg hunt. The golfer that can travel to a ball and play it again asap will always be faster.
Sure if they're idiots. Nothing says everyone pushing a cart has a brain. Slow is due to lack of common sense not how you travel to and from balls. I mostly ride but I also walk. When I ride I can make a club selection within 20 or so yards of my ball just watching the gps tick down. If the GPS says 143 out or whatever I grab that club, a wedge or two along with the putter and meet my cart partner at the green. If we get paired with a walker they'll either wear out attempting to keep up or fall back a hole if nobody is behind.
There's no way a walker can keep up with a cart playing smart. Especially on a course where there's distance between greens and tees. Some of the places we play have paths that run under streets and it's some 150-200 yards between holes. You'd have to putt out and run to keep up. I only walk park style courses.
Worth mentioning is I went out early today, got paired up with a 2some riding and we were the 2nd time of the day behind a 3some of older men walking. Despite one of the guys in my group playing some horrific golf we finished in 3.5 hrs. The walkers were pretty darn fast we only had to wait in them a few times and only on par 3's and 5's.
When people play smart it can be fast walking or riding. But we had to get creative a few times. Like I said one guy played bad. He looked for balls too long and too often. Twice I had to lend my cart to his partner to go back to his cart and retrieve clubs after we left him behind. I offered to let him out his bag on my cart but he declined because he had treated the terrible golfer to a round for his bday. But we made it work and we stayed ahead of the single being us. Though I think the single only played 9 holes. Anyway we motored through there quick to be done in 3.5.
Seriously dudes were like ants on rockets out there. And yeah I don't play money games with the old timers. There's a guy at my former home course that can barely take the club back to waist level and the same coming back and he is solid. First time I played with him and his wife I swear I heard them making fun of me.
Another example of grown men way to concerned with what another grown man is doing. My wife got me a push cart when my Physical therapist (bad back) suggested that I walk more instead of ride. My wife realized that I probably will never stop golfing so the cart was a compromise. Im 37 years old, I own a flat brimmed cap and a push cart LOL. I appreciate this forum for making me realize that Cargo shorts weren't cool on the course but thats another thread all together
I know part of the reason I carry is simply because, depending on the tournament, you are not allowed to use a push-cart. I know that some CJGA tournaments specifically stated that you couldn't use a push cart unless you were a girl in the 8-12 bracket (I'm looking at you, Flat Irons tournament). The other reason is the fact that, unfortunately, you will get laughed at if you show up to a high school tournament with a push cart. It's not really a fair thing, but it happens nonetheless.
That being said, I will use a push cart whenever I'm planning on playing more than 27 holes in a day. It just makes it so much easier on your feet and back to be walking only on your own weight, as well as being able to avoid picking up/setting it down for every shot.
With a bad back I have always avoided carrying (started at age 40), and will sometimes use a pull cart for 9 full length holes, or 18 on an executive course (about 4400 yards), unless it is in the dead of Summer. I have never run into a problem with friends or strangers caring about how I transport myself and my clubs - it sounds like your "friends" are the exception.
When I play by myself I walk. I have always carried my bag until just recently. As I have gotten older (65) I do not tolerate the heat as well as I used to. To enable me to continue to walk when I play, I bought a push cart. I find it easier to walk the course that way. I am into comfort and enjoying my outing, so I really don't care what others may think about using a push cart...Two bottles of water and a bag of sunflower seeds and I am good for a round of 18.