It is hard to find a silver lining in the Covid Pandemic, but golfers are nothing if not optimistic.
One positive may be that golfers everywhere are rediscovering the joys of walking a round.
Walking is not only the safest way to playing during the COVID-19 crisis, it is strongly recommended and even required at numerous courses and clubs. This could be the case for the foreseeable future as operators look to maintain social distancing guidelines and are short on golf carts due to single rider requirements.
It is also the way the game was meant to be played. Walking is what makes the game a sport. Even if you don’t play play well, you will burn between 700 and 1,000 calories hoofing 18 holes.
Numerous studies have shown that walking your rounds is good for you and can extend your life. The University of Edinburgh found that regular golfers live five years longer than non-golfers, and playing golf helps prevent 40 major chronic diseases such as diabetes, breast and colon cancer. A study in the British Journal of Sports medicine found that those who regularly walk have a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 24 percent reduction in the risky of dying from cariovascular disease.
Fitness is of particular importance in the Covid-19 era, as comorbidities such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease seem to play a factor in the severity of the disease. One study from New York found that 88% of hospitalized patients had more than one comorbidity.
Here’s a news roundup of walking-friendly gear to keep you looking good and performing up to your potential.
Walker Trolleys Cape Model
Pushcarts are harder to buy right now than toilet paper, but Austin-based Walker Trolleys is on top of it. The Cape model draws its inspiration from 1920s and ’30s roadsters and bicycles, is easily collapsible and fits in the trunk or cargo area of almost any car or SUV.
An Integrated, customizable soft good-storage, premium materials and a clean, sleek-yet-classic design make the Cape stand out among a crowded field.
It retails for $399 and is still available for pre-order at the Walker Trolley website.
For more information, visit www.walkertrolleys.com.
Big Max Push Carts
Big Max, Europe’s leading golf trolley brand, has recently been making inroads in the US Market. The Blade IP is an ultra-slim design that folds and unfolds with just a couple of shakes. In its folded state, the Blade IP lays nearly flat for storage in tight spaces. Extended, it holds full-sized golf bags.
Paired with the lightweight — and waterproof — Big Max Aqua Sport 2 Bag, the Blade IP is perfect for walkers.
For more information, visit Big Max.
True Linkswear Offers OG Feel
True Linkswear was founded in 2009 with a mission to create golf shoes specifically designed for walking.
The 2020 lineup from True Linkswear’s features the OG Feel. This shoe, designed for the feel golfer has a zero-drop, flexible rubber sole to enhance ground feel. Breathable knit construction keeps your feet cool. An aggressive rubber tread provides on-course traction and versatility. Available for pre-order for $139, they’re available in three color patters and 14 sizes.
For more information on 2020’s latest offerings, visit www.truelinkswear.com/roadmap/.
Read The GolfBlogger’s True TL-01 Golf Shoe Review.
Swiftwick is a rarity in the apparel business in that it manufacturers its performance socks in the United States.
For the walking golfer, Swiftwick produces four models in a variety of heights: The Maxus, The Flite XT, The Pursuit and the Performance.
Regardless of the model, the socks are moisture wicking and designed to prevent blisters. The designs offer moderate compression and cushioning to support muscles and absorb impact.
Read The GolfBlogger’s Swiftwick Socks Review.
Based in Greenville, South Carolina, Kentwool is another apparel manufacturer that can proudly say its products are “Made In The USA.”
Kentwool socks are manufactured from super fine merino wool yarn, along with other premium natural and high tech fabrics. Merino wool is naturally breathable, cool in the summer, warm in the winter, odor resistant and able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear.
Carrying a blister-free guarantee, Kentwool socks create what the company calls a ” optimal micro-climate that promotes wicking and comfort while reducing friction, abrasion and muscle fatigue.”
Read The GolfBlogger’s Kentwool Tour Performance Socks Review.
Southern Tide Driver Brrr Performance Polo and T3 Gulf Shorts
Walking is hot business, so Southern Tide, based in Greenville, S.C., developed a line of hot weather walking apparel. Their T3 Gulf Shorts are made from quick-dry fabric that effortlessly transitions from a morning on the course to an afternoon on the water.
The T3s come in both nine and 10-inch inseams with 4-way stretch for flexibility. The nine inch version retails for $89.50 while the 10-inch (featuring Brrr technology) retails for $99.50.
Southern Tide made the Skipjack polo famous, and its new Driver Brrr Polo ($99.50) keeps golfers up to three degrees cooler. Available in four classic striped patterns, it’s is also moisture-wicking and UPF 50-plus rated.
For more information visit www.southerntide.com.
Peter Millar Featherweight
Raleigh, N.C.-based Peter Millar bills its Featherweight Polo as the “lightest shirt you’ll ever own.” Weighing in at an incredible 2.5 ounces, Featherweight polos stretch four ways for full range of motion, wick away moisture from the body and resist odor.
They come in a classic fit, designed with a standard sleeve length and opening and are relaxed in the shoulder, chest and waist.
For more information, visit www.petermillar.com.
Sun Mountain 2.5+ Golf Bag
If a push cart isn’t to your liking, you’ll want a lighweight carry bag.
The Sun Mountain 2.5+ golf bag weights just 2.5 pounds. ith a nine-inch top and four, full-length club dividers, 2.5+ doesn’t skimp on conveniences, either, offering five pockets including a full-length clothing pocket, velour-lined valuables pocket, two accessory pockets and a beverage pouch.
2.5+ also includes classic Sun Mountain details the details: a durable top with built-in handle, sturdy bottom with the patented Roller-Bottom leg mechanism for quick and strong leg action, proprietary X-Strap® Dual Strap shoulder strap system, lumbar hip pad with AirFlow System, umbrella attachment, towel holder and a top-mounted leg mechanism for added stability.
Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
More important than a golfer’s choice in carts, shoes bags or shirts is staying hydrated while walking.
Your body is mostly water, and balance between water and electrolytes is key to nerve and muscle function.
Plainly put, dehydration kills.
With many courses not supplying the usual water coolers for public health reasons, carrying your own is vitally important.
Hydroflask makes double wall vacuum insulated water bottles from pro-grade stainless steel. A powder coat on the bottle makes them easy to grip and more durable.
Read the GolfBlogger’s Hydro Flask Water Bottle Review.
Sunstroke is no joke. And that baseball cap you wear when riding just isn’t enough to protect your cranium from the sun when you’re walking.
Tilley is a Canadian company that makes broad brimmed hats that are guaranteed for life. The AirFlo models have extra ventilation in the crowns to help keep you cool. The fabric is both water repellent and certified UPF 50+.
Pinehurst Resort Donald Ross Package
With golf getting at least a yellow and at best a greenlight in nearly every state, traveling to play golf (with all necessary precautions) is also firing back up as the golf season reboots. There’s no better place to (responsibly) celebrate its return than at walker-friendly Pinehurst Resort.
All 10 (including the par-3 Cradle) courses have remained open and the resort’s hotels are reopening in late May. Starting at $1,208 per person, the Donald Ross golf package is perfect for two to four golfers. It includes resort accommodations for two nights, three rounds of golf, daily three-course dinner and breakfast.
Walking isn’t just allowed at Pinehurst, it is encouraged. Donald Ross’s famed No. 2 Course (restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw) and the reimagined No. 4 Course designed by Gil Hanse are both properly played on foot. Caddies are also available on No. 2, ideal for navigating the rigors of this storied U.S. Open venue.
The No. 1 and No. 3 courses – both designed by Ross, both under 6,100 yards – are two of the best walking tracks in the country. No. 3 was recently restored to its original Sandhills aesthetic by Kyle Franz and is chock-full of trademark Ross design characteristics.
Resort officials encourage future golfer guests to call (855) 235-8507 with any questions about accommodations, dining options and golf course maintenance.
For more information visit www.pinehurst.com.