Published on June 8th, 2012 | by Jeff Shelman0
For Father’s Day, Give Dad A ‘Push’
Let’s just say that you have a golfer in your life who also happens to be a father. It could be your dad or your grandfather. It could even be your spouse.
So what should you get that golfer for Father’s Day? Here’s a hint: He probably doesn’t need another golf shirt.
Sure you could get your golfer a wedge or a putter or some new golf balls (though find out what kind he likes before doing so), but I have a different suggestion: Get dad a push cart.
If the dad in your life is like many, it might not hurt him to get a little exercise, become a little more active and maybe even lose a few pounds. That’s where the push cart comes in.
Maybe dad is the kind of golfer who only walks from the car to the golf cart and from the golf cart to his ball. If that’s the case, he might look at you a little funny. If so, you might need a little convincing to actually start walking a little bit.
Ask him to try it. Maybe he can walk once a week to start. Maybe he can walk nine holes and then get a cart for the back nine. If he still balks, tell him that you think he should consider it for his health.
Non-golfers like to crack on golf and say that it is more of an activity than a sport and that it requires only a little more exertion than bowling. While golf is something that can be enjoyed with an adult beverage in hand, walking the golf course is certainly serious activity.
Depending on how straight you hit the ball and how long the course is, walking 18 holes is the same as walking five to six miles. It isn’t power walking or jogging or running, but it still counts for something. If you wear a pedometer, you can easily log 12,000-15,000 steps over 18 holes.
As a walking golfer, I frequently hear excuses from other golfer on why they can’t walk. The most common one is that they can’t carry their bag for 18 holes as it hurts their back. I can understand that, but that’s the beauty of the push cart – golfers can walk without having to carry.
The new and improved push cart are very different from the old pull carts of the 1970s and ‘80s. Instead of pulling/dragging your clubs around on a 2-wheel pull cart that tips over, you can now push with little effort.
Featuring three or four wheels, the new era of push carts from companies including Clicgear and Sun Mountain roll smooth, are easy to push and are pretty stable. In addition, they allow golfers to gain the benefits of walking without having to carry their clubs. And if your golfer feels like he needs to have a few beverages on the course, it is certainly possible to attach a cooler to the push cart.
It also might be good for your game. A 2010 study looked at how many calories golfers burned when they carried their clubs, used a caddie, used a push cart or rode in a cart. At the same time, the study looked at scoring results as well.
Not surprisingly, a golfer that carries his or her clubs burns the most calories (721 calories per nine holes), but using a push cart was next (718 calories). The scoring results for the four rounds were interesting:
“The golfers’ results during the four rounds tracked similarly with consistent statistical trends. For example, seven of the eight golfers reported the same scoring pattern: lowest while playing with a pushcart (group average was a five-over-par 40 for nine holes), followed by playing with a caddie (42), playing in a motor cart (43) and playing while carrying their bag (45).”
Neil Wolkodoff , who ran the study as the director of the Center for Health and Sport Science at the Rose Medical Center in Denver, certainly sees reasons to walk with a push cart.
“The health benefits of walking was the best news of our study,” Wolkodoff told The New York Times. “Playing 18 holes of golf while pushing a cart twice a week shouldn’t replace an overall fitness regimen, but it could be a very worthy supplement.”
And that is one key reason why the push cart should be at the top of the list of potential Father’s Day gifts.
Read More from Jeff on his golf blog, OnlyGolfMatters.com