Push carts are becoming more common on the course, not just for recreational golfers, but for college athletes and amateur players as well...
Golfers in the past carried their clubs. Many staunch golf traditionalists believe this is the way the game should be played.
Until 2009, carrying their clubs was mandatory for American Junior Golfers in tournament play.
In 2014, Stanford athletes invoked criticism for their coach's decision to have their players use push carts instead of carrying.
Now, a very large percentage of college athletes and amateur golfers are embracing push carts... but why the change?
Golfers who play using push carts are not as fatigued as golfers who carry.
Dr. Neil Wolkodoff, Medical Director of the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science, advocated strongly for push carts after conducting a study on the physical effects of using one vs carrying a bag.
His results suggested that golfers score lower while walking with a caddie, or when using a push cart, than when using a power cart. Golfers who carried a golf bag posted higher average scores.
Having fresh and rested legs, back, and shoulders are an advantage in a game where every stroke counts.
Carrying a heavy bag puts pressure on the spine and core muscles. There is also rotational stress on the back and muscles from lifting the golf bag almost 100 times during a round (when carrying).
More research studies suggest that there is a greater chance of golfers injuring their shoulders, back, and/or ankles by carrying heavy loads.
Walking with a push cart over using a power cart is also great low-impact exercise. Walking boasts plenty of overall health benefits that extend beyond the golf course.
In the summer, pushing a golf cart keeps you cooler. The back sweats less without the carry-bag contact and extra work to haul it around.
Using an umbrella holder on a push cart provides hands-free shade or rain shelter: two things not as easily acquired when carrying.
It makes sense that a more comfortable golfer will perform better.
Golf clubs are easier to access in a push cart compared to a carry cart. An umbrella holder simplifies the routine. Push carts have many accessories that may assist the player in developing a routine that is repetitive and efficient. Golfers with consistent pre- and post-shot routines score better.
A push cart allows for easier access to a plethora of items, as well as keeping hands free.
Push carts often have baskets or easy-access storage areas for things such as range finders, extra balls, and water bottles. Easier access to water promotes consumption. Hydration improves performance.
Push carts also allow golfers to carry more layers on hand and have easier access without the worry of creating more weight/bulk in a carry bag. More clothing and accessories for changing weather conditions will allow for better preparedness. This will also improve performance.
Today's push carts are lighter than in the past. They are more stable. The wheels have better traction and less resistance. The carts collapse for easy storage and portability. They are adjustable for different heights to improve posture.
Push carts make maneuvering around the golf course easy with the added bonus of being able to bring them closer to the green than a power cart.
The Bottom Line
Golfers who use push carts instead of carrying have a better chance of golfing for longer with fewer injuries.
Using a push cart instead of riding or carrying improves on-the-course performance and promotes off-the-course health as well.
Fewer injuries and improved performance are two of the most persuasive reasons golfers of all ages should use a push cart to play golf.