Why It Matters:
  • Nearly 24 million Americans hit the golf course in 2016, according to the National Golf Foundation.
  • For clients who are golfers, skipping the golf cart can save them big bucks every year.
  • Walking 18 holes has potential health benefits.

Financial professionals can double as golf caddies without ever leaving the office. If you have clients who golf frequently, remind them of the financial and physical benefits of walking 18 holes.

Based on a quick review of 18-hole cart rentals at municipal courses in eight major cities (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle), the average cost of a cart is about $17. For someone who plays twice a week during the summer (about 25 rounds), that’s $425 in cart costs.

The health benefits might be even more valuable. The Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science (CCHSS) studied the effects of walking nine holes versus riding in a cart.

Monitoring volunteers who wore portable metabolic equipment on the course, CCHSS medical director Neil Wolkodoff, Ph.D., found that golfers who walked while carrying their own clubs burned 721 calories. Those who used a push cart burned 718 calories, and players using a caddie burned 621.

“The health benefit is based upon total kcal (calories) expended, so this can help with blood sugar regulation and blood pressure, but golf really won’t make you fit,” Wolkodoff said in an email. “You just don’t sustain the heart rate for 20 minutes or more, so you really don’t improve your aerobic fitness.

“That is an important distinction as this puts golf in the mild to moderate category of exercise, something you do in addition to formal exercise four to five times per week, but not instead of formal exercise.”

The American Heart Association has long touted the benefits of walking at least 30 minutes every day, and a recent study by researchers at the University of British Columbia found that walking for one hour a few times a week can help brain function for those diagnosed in the early stage of cognitive decline.

An 18-hole stroll on a 6,000-yard layout translates to about 3.5 miles from tee to green, not including a few detours to search for wayward shots.

Share a few of these facts with your golf-happy clients, and connect them to others at our Community. Next time out, they might just take you along for the walk.

The Benefits of Walking

Things to Consider:
  • Set up a small tournament for clients who enjoy golfing. It’s also a great way to ask for referrals and invite prospects.
  • Challenge clients to walk 18 holes instead of riding in a cart.
  • Remind clients that $17 cart fees add up fast, and they can burn more calories by walking.