Originally Posted by chasm
Fair enough. But if youngish men are finding a round of golf is tiring them out, the answer is clear. They need to work on their physical conditioning.
I think you're missing part of the issue here, which I feel is that the fatigue most people feel is due (at least in part, if not more so) to the fact that most don't drink enough water or eat at all on the course. When a round lasts for 6 hours or more (which, unfortunately, is becoming more common over here) and you're not drinking larger quantities of water and eating something, you will become a bit tired. It's the equivalent of you going for an extended bike ride and only allowing yourself to drink the water bottle you brought without refilling it.
Some courses help out by having many water coolers or fountains on the course (my home course I feel does a decent job with a water cooler every 2-3 holes on the course), but on the courses that have nothing besides water at the clubhouse it can lead to big time dehydration. 75* Fahrenheit isn't that warm out here (most people are comfortable in their homes at between 68-72*) and the hot days get up to over 100* Fahrenheit or about 38* Celcius. If you go out in that kind of heat walking 18 holes and don't drink at least 80 oz of water (5 standard sized plastic water bottles) you will feel it. When it's that hot I usually end up drinking around 96 oz of water per nine holes (32 oz water bottle filled 3 times a side) and I sometimes am still thirsty at the end of the round.
As for the food issue, just think about it. If you eat lunch at noon and tee it up at 1, you can be out playing golf until 7. I know that in some countries in Europe a dinner at 7 would be considered early (France I know is this way, not sure about other places), but in the U.S. we tend to eat dinner sometime around 5 PM-7 PM. With a 6 hour round of golf you will find yourself around the 13-14th hole when 5 PM rolls around, a time when you would have dinner on an average day. Not only are you not eating at that time, but you've essentially taken a 3 mile hike (assuming the course is hilly) with a 20 lb backpack while swinging a club at high speeds in periodic intervals. Do you know of a single backpacker who wouldn't take at least a granola bar to eat if he plans to be gone for more than a couple hours? Even so, many golfer don't think of this and don't bring a granola bar or other light snacks.
As a final kick in the pants, golfers who prefer to drink alcohol while on the course make it worse on themselves in terms of drinking water. Alcohol has an effect on the pituitary gland that, in essence, makes you pee more. It works by reducing the levels of a hormone that lets your body know when it's dehydrated so that it'll stop peeing out your water, but the basic part is that alcohol helps contribute to dehydration fairly often. This means that people who are drinking will need to consume even more water to maintain a proper level of hydration, which already is not being met by many due to a number of factors including course infrastructure, thirst level (because you're drinking beer), and the fact that some don't even carry a water bottle and prefer to just drink from the paper cups at the water cooler (which will result in less water being consumed).
It's not that the people are out of shape so much as often times we let ourselves become dehydrated or hungry. Those two things can affect your golfing performance negatively.