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Young folks and Power carts?


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So one thing I noticed getting back to the course (besides how busy they are) is how many young people are riding these days. I have three very walkable courses nearby, yet even on the par 3 in town I see people riding. I can see elderly people or those with physical challenges riding. But kids? Really? It's almost like it's automatic that they ride now. When I started, almost 50 years ago now, no one rode that I knew. Only the rich members even had power carts. I wasn't even in a power cart until I was in my twenties, I think, and that was only at the more exclusive cart only clubs.

I see kids of all ages, and young adults 20-30 riding, which would be fine if it made the game faster. But it doesn't.

The only way I seem to be able to avoid this is by going alone very early. It's a bit like fishing on a busy lake. Better be off by 9 before the speed boats get cranked up.

I like walking. I think about my next shot while on the way to the ball and pick a club. It makes the round more enjoyable and I think I play better. Plus it's good for my health. Any thoughts?

Anyway, end of rant.

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Times change, riding on most courses is the norm these days.  You started golf during a different era.  My generation and those younger don't have a frame of reference for what golf looked like "back in the day".  I'm 36 and I try to walk as much as I can but if I can get a deal with cart included, I'm taking the cart every time.  Not even because I think it's so much more convenient as much as I know how much a cart normally adds to the cost of a round.  

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Lots of courses in my area do not permit walking because the course (s) were designed for riding. Specifically, the distances are long between the tee box and the previous green, sometimes 200 yards or more.

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Our private club went through a sale process a couple of years ago and the membership average age probably dropped about ten years.  The addition of a pool and practice facility helped.  Anyway we have two very walkable courses, with no walking restrictions. 

 

A very high percentage of the older members walk and it seems the younger generations often ride.  Many of these younger members probably came from public courses and are just used to riding.  Years ago I switched from a hard to walk hilly course that went under to this club.  I relished the opportunity to get more exercise while saving some money.  I must also say that the younger generation appear to be better dressers on average. 

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I'm 28 and prefer walking, but so far this summer I've honestly only walked a few rounds.

 

Play with my dad most of the time and he's almost 60 and all sorts of broken so whenever we play we take a cart (still drives the ball 290 and regularly takes money from me though)

 

Other than that it's been 100-105 degrees almost every day the last few months here, and once it gets over 95 or 100 walking to me just seems grueling and un-fun

Edited by rooski
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This time of year I will be taking a cart because it is around 90F with a heat index over 100F. Save as much energy as I can.

 

During the cooler months I will be mainly walking. 

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I used to hike, climb, camp, cross-country ski and snow camp.  Generally, for the sake of walking, I don't walk much.  However, walking 18 holes is an absolute joy without description.  Though I've adapted to carts, there's always been something odd about speeding around in a cart only to stop to actually make shots.

 

Unfortunately, to offset raising payroll costs, many courses have resorted to giving CART fees to the Pro and staff.  I suspect that has been a partial reason for some courses no longer allowing walkers.  Also, opinions vary on the PoP effects of mixing in walkers with riders, I think it's problematic.   

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7 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

  Though I've adapted to carts, there's always been something odd about speeding around in a cart only to stop to actually make shots.

Do you think that a riders game would improve if they switched to walking? I often wonder if riders even have time to think about their shot. More time between shots might lead to a more thoughtful, strategic approach to the game.

 

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1 hour ago, caniac6 said:

I play in a group of around 20 guys. I'm almost 67, and one of the youngest. About 2/3 of our guys walk. 

 

Similar to my men's league which has about 30 members.  I'm 63 and I'm one of the youngest.  We have guys into their mid 80's.  Almost everyone walks, but it is only 9 holes so that will be a factor.

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2 minutes ago, Dcohenour said:

Do you think that a riders game would improve if they switched to walking? I often wonder if riders even have time to think about their shot. More time between shots might lead to a more thoughtful, strategic approach to the game.

 

I don't believe "improve" is the correct word.  That may happen sometime down the road.  Most people are out of shape, therefore walking 18 holes, up and down, pushing a cart with bag, will bring about unexpected exertion as they reach their ball.  And because of the increase in heart rate, attempting to execute a good shot will likely be more challenging.   Until said person gets themselves in decent shape, I don't see the game improving.  There is less gabbing while walking, so focus may improve.

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I work as a starter on weekends at a very busy 36 hole facility, 500+ rounds per day usually. 95% of these players ride, we start at 6:00 in the morning & maybe have 2 or 3 walking groups within the first hour, after that EVERYBODY rides. We have 120 carts available & about 11:30 we are looking for earlier carts to come in because we are close to running out. All ages are riding & both of our courses are easy walking, tees are not far from the last green. As a side note, MANY of the cart riders use the cart as their personal trash can, leaving garbage in every part of the cart. Cart return has 10 trash cans right there but are ignored by many, nothing better than reaching into a cart bin & coming up with a half eaten candy bar in the middle of the summer! Lazy people for sure.

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2 minutes ago, mesquite2 said:

I work as a starter on weekends at a very busy 36 hole facility, 500+ rounds per day usually. 95% of these players ride, we start at 6:00 in the morning & maybe have 2 or 3 walking groups within the first hour, after that EVERYBODY rides. We have 120 carts available & about 11:30 we are looking for earlier carts to come in because we are close to running out. All ages are riding & both of our courses are easy walking, tees are not far from the last green. As a side note, MANY of the cart riders use the cart as their personal trash can, leaving garbage in every part of the cart. Cart return has 10 trash cans right there but are ignored by many, nothing better than reaching into a cart bin & coming up with a half eaten candy bar in the middle of the summer! Lazy people for sure.

 

If carts were complimentary, I'd throw away my trash

 

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It is unfortunate that many courses are designed around carts where you have these long distances to the next tee. Remember that they make money off you renting that cart. Why would they want to loose that revenue stream.

 I love older designs where you can walk a short distance to the tee box. I walk one of the courses near me because I mapped out all the shortcuts around the course to get from green to tee. Unfortunately it would be too expensive and hard to redesign courses for walking but I would hope that would be a design trend for the future much more “green” I would also like to have to option of renting a powered push cart instead of a riding one. That would be a game changer I think more people would walk if they didn’t have to carry or push a big cart bag around. 

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So, MCounci2, no personal pride? because you have to pay for a cart that gives you the right to bring it back anyway you please? You probably pay rent, either now or in the past, so do you treat your home like the cart? The kids throwing YOUR garbage away didn't put it there, you did. When you took the cart out it was clean, bring it back that way.

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I play a lot of golf on public courses. My first anecdotal observation where I live is that outside of the municipal courses, probably 95% or more of golfers ride even on walkable courses when it's not hot. Second observation is that probably 85%+ of golfers I observe walking on public courses are in the age 55+ crowd.  It's rare for me to see someone under 40 walking unless they are an avid, very low-handicap player; not the beer drinking hacker crowd. Third observation is that very few courses in my area offer a walking rate anymore; generally only the municipal courses do, and the walkers tend to gravitate towards those.

 

I prefer to walk in general but ride on courses not set up for easy walking, or when the temp is going to be 90s or higher. Most of my regular playing partners who walk are senior citizens, decades older than I am.

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16 hours ago, Bonneville85308 said:

  It's rare for me to see someone under 40 walking unless they are an avid, very low-handicap player; not the beer drinking hacker crowd.

My observations are in line with yours. Older guys tend to walk, younger players tend to ride, even on par 3 and executive length courses. On the weekend, riding is almost mandatory or else you get run over. I've stopped playing if it is going to be above the mid 80's. Then I'm usually teeing off before sunrise and finished around 8:00 for 9 holes. It's a very nice time of day, usually very beautiful, and the best time to see wildlife. I grab my Sunday bag, 7 clubs, and my waterproofed shoes. So far I have been unable to recruit anyone else to join me though...

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15 hours ago, Dcohenour said:

I'm usually teeing off before sunrise and finished around 8:00 for 9 holes. It's a very nice time of day, usually very beautiful, and the best time to see wildlife.

 

I used to play a regular weekly game with a couple of other fellows where our aim was to be the first group off.  It was an easily walkable course and we would tee off about 6:45 am and be finished 18 walking usually by 10 am.  You needed good waterproof shoes and some bug spray when it was warm, but other than that it was a great way to start a day and not have to worry about any of the issues that affected a busy weekend course.

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