Golf is the ultimate lifestyle sport. There are many ways that the game engages our minds, bodies and senses. It's both competitive and social, full of moments of challenge and personal discovery. Perhaps the greatest gift is the opportunity to create experiences limited only to one's imagination, never to be bound by landscape or zip code.
If I think about my greatest days spent on a golf course, the most memorable are always when I've played on foot. Nearly every round as a kid was enjoyed walking and now as I get older, I've re-embraced the notion that a "rolling stone" gathers no moss.
This, of course, wasn't always the case. Somewhere between then and now, I became either tired or lazy. It was too easy to drive my car to the course, only to throw my clubs onto a tinier car, which was then often restricted to the cart path. If someone in my group suggested walking, my excuse was always that my large Staff Bag would be unreasonable to carry. It's safe to say I went the better part of a decade riding out of what I thought was convenience. In reality, all I was doing was robbing myself of the gift of playing the game the way it was meant to be played.
To really soak all you can out of anything, you've got to be present. Nothing allows you to slow down and take notice on a golf course better than walking. I recently re-discovered what it means to play golf and I owe that to slinging the bag over my shoulders and getting after it. Whether it be enjoying the unique design features of the course, feeling the burn in my legs or elevating my heart rate on a steep climb, I now feel more "in" the game than ever.
This perspective isn't meant to slight anyone who isn't physically equipped to play the course entirely on foot. It is saying, if you CAN walk the course, I believe doing so will greatly elevate your enjoyment of the game. If walking isn't possible, simply take this challenge as an opportunity to slow down, get into the moment, and increase your "awareness" as you play.
There are lots of ways to walk. Carry a light bag, get a slick new push cart or even pay a kid a few bucks for the loop. The key, is to start moving and keep moving as long as you can. Commit to playing your next round on foot and you can count this challenge as complete.