As golf season is officially underway in all parts of the country, many ambitious golfers are probably thinking, “this is the year I’m going to walk more.” It's good to have aspirations. If you count yourself among that group, here are a few things to consider regarding golf bags before you sling it on the shoulder and start hoofing it.
If considering a new carry bag, be aware that all listed weights might not be equal. Some manufacturers list weights with the strap and some without. Make sure you’re comparing equal dimensions. Every ounce is important in bags—lighter bag can help fend off fatigue, but that only occurs if that four-pound bag is really four pounds. Also make sure that you can get that double strap on and off easily. Carrying with just one strap places more stress on the back so make certain you find a double strap that works well for you. Our Editors’ Choice bags offer a good place to start (and offer a number of options outside the lightweight category, including a number of nifty cart bags).
If you’re continuing on with your current bag, there are some things you can do to lighten the load. Namely, go through your bag and get rid of what you don’t need. You probably don’t need more than six or so golf balls, two ball markers (loose change that’s accumulated in your bag weighs more than you think) and a dozen tees. Gloves tend to add up as well (two is more than fine). Get back to what you need, rather than what you can stuff in there and the idea of walking becomes more palatable and, perhaps, even enjoyable. Plus you never have to worry about a golf bag snickering at a poor shot or giving you a bad yardage.
A couple other tips for preventing injury if you increase your walking in 2018: If you favor one shoulder for the load of your bag, you might develop problems with your posture, including spinal curvature and pain in the lumbar joints, Golf Digest Professional Advisor Ralph Simpson advises. When carrying your golf bag, a good way to prevent injury is to switch shoulders often. If you have a two-strap bag, make sure the weight is distributed evenly and that you keep your shoulders level and your spine straight. Carry on.