Thinking about taking up golf? One of the first things you’ll need to do is buy a golf bag to fit all of your equipment in (i.e. golf clubs, towel, umbrella, spare apparel, waterproofs, refreshments, etc.).
Most golfers opt to use an electric trolley to transport their golf bags, allowing them to preserve their energy for the game. However, some prefer to manually push their equipment across the course, whilst others carry their bag on their back or shoulder.
Much like anything else, there are pros and cons to carrying your golf bag and clubs.
Let’s take a closer look at these.
The advantages of carrying golf clubs
If you’re playing a quick 9 holes or visiting the driving range to get some last-minute practice in, you may consider carrying your golf clubs – instead of having to lift your trolley in and out of the boot of your car.
Aside from this, choosing to carry your bag (as opposed to using a cart or buggy) can be good for your cardiovascular fitness, as you’ll do a lot of walking. And when you walk from one hole to the next, you’ll get your heart rate up and burn some serious calories.
Lifting and carrying your bag for long distances is a brilliant strength and endurance workout for the upper body – think of it as weight training. Meanwhile, walking focuses more on the lower body, and going up and down hills really makes your hamstrings and quads work.
The disadvantages of carrying golf clubs
Unless you opt for a waterproof design, you’ll have to lug a heavy, saturated bag around on your shoulder or back when playing in wet conditions.
It’s also worth mentioning that, when you carry your equipment onto the course, you’re limited on what you can take with you. The more you stow in your golf bag, the heavier it will be, and the harder it will be for you to carry.
One of the biggest downsides to carrying your golf clubs is that it puts a heck of a lot of strain on your upper body – especially if you’re playing a full 18 holes which can take several hours.
However, there are a few things you can do to alleviate pain and discomfort when carrying your golf clubs for either 9, 18 or 36 holes, which we discuss below.
4 top tips for carrying your golf clubs across the course with ease
1. Assess what’s in your bag and what you really need
Whilst it’s handy to have a pair of winter gloves and a beanie hat in your bag for the colder months, it’s unlikely you’ll need them for a round of golf in July.
Likewise, the maximum number of clubs you can play with is 14, but you don’t have to take this many onto the course with you – just take the ones you’ll need.
By swapping a few things out and just taking the bare essentials, you’ll free up space in your golf bag.
2. Use a lightweight golf bag
Carrying a heavy golf bag can put an awful lot of strain on your muscles – causing stiffness and soreness.
To reduce the risk of injury during a round of golf, you should use a golf bag that’s less than 20% of your body weight. Not only will it save your back but it will save your energy for the game too.
It’s also a sensible idea to use both shoulder straps, not just one. This distributes the weight evenly across your back, making carrying that little bit more manageable for you.
3. Opt for a stand bag
A lightweight, water-resistant golf stand bag has two built-in legs that allow the bag to sit at an angle when you’re taking your shot.
Whilst this saves you the trouble of bending down to pick it up and take out your clubs, it also prevents your bag and equipment from getting dirty and soaked on rainy golf days.
4. Make sure your straps are properly adjusted
Most golf bags feature adjustable straps to accommodate male and female golfers of all heights. Yet many still carry their golf bag too low.
Ideally, when carrying your clubs and other golf gear, it should sit just below the small of the back, with the top of the bag being slightly higher than the bottom.
Correctly adjusting the straps in this way will help to transfer some of the weight from the upper body to the lower body and keep your back in a more upright position.
For more tips on carrying your golf bag and clubs safely, get in touch with Clarkes’ Golf Centre – one of the UK’s leading golf superstores in the North West. They have a wide range of equipment from renowned brands and guarantee competitive prices. They can even advise you on the best clubs and bags for your needs and budget!