Study Proves Walking Golf Improves Scores, Focus, Health

Study Proves Walking Golf Improves Scores, Focus, Health

A study conducted by the Colorado Center For Health and Sports Science has found that walking rounds of golf improves scores, mental focus and health.

The results of the study surprise The GolfBlogger not at all. I have done my own informal survey and found that I am five strokes better when I walk as opposed to riding. I think it has a lot to do with getting into the flow, and having time to relax a bit between shots.

In the study, bags and push carts supplied by Big Max, the European golf bag and push cart company (site link).

The goal was to determine how much energy golfers expend riding, using a push cart and using an electric trolley versus riding in a motorized cart. The study also tried to determine participants mental focus and their scores to par on nine hole rounds.

Not surprisingly, researchers found that riding expended the fewest amount of energy (211 kcal/hr), followed by walkers using an electric trolley (236 kcal/hr) and walkers with push carts (288/kcal/hr).

Walking in the study showed a 36% increase in kcal expenditures over riding. According to researchers, both using a push cart and electric trolley reached the threshold for being recognized as moderate intensity exercise.
“To have further definitive data on increased energy expenditure from walking the course is great news for the game,” commented Neil Wolkodoff, PhD, lead researcher on the study. “It is clear that if you walk the course, you will experience the same health benefits as other moderate exercises, possibly better.”

Over nine holes, the average stroke to par was one better for walkers as opposed to the riders. Using an electric trolley resulted in the highest mental focus score, followed by push carts and riding.

An infographics showing results follows:

Measurements were made with a VO2 Master metabolic analyzer and a mask. Focus and scores were self reported.

Rick Oldach, CEO of BIG MAX U.S.A. said “Neil and the team have done a fantastic job. The methodology for testing energy expenditure delivers undisputed evidence for the health benefits of walking the course. The results that particularly please me though are around mental focus and scores. I’ve long suspected that having time to think between shots, to decompress after each shot and to have time to prepare for the next shot is of real benefit, and this study proves that walking improves performance.”

This study confirms others that indicate walking can extend your life and build muscle among other fitness benefits.

A PDF of the study follows:

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