It may be all about the knees. The “exercise” in our full round of golf is of course swinging a club as many as 100 times. However, the total exercise in golf would be walking 4-5 miles over a pleasant combination of grass and woodlands. In some courses, there are rolling hills with elevated holes and tee offs. You have been learning golf, for sure, but along the way you learn about your body.
In the old days, our ancestors who played golf carried their own bags, or had a caddie carry them. Perhaps golf was a way for the idle rich to go out walking and yet appear they actually had something to do. Shooting birds was a little dangerous — as was chasing foxes astride fast horses. But golf was safe. It actually looked as much a sport as shooting birds or riding down terrified little animals.
So walking while golfing was safe (, if you kept enough distance from other golfers). And it did not carry the reverse snobbery of merely “exercising.” When people carried their own golf bags about 4 miles, that was really good exercise. When the rich people paid caddies, the walk became more invigorating than exhausting.
In the 20th century, golf became a business aimed at the new rich, who were never idle and even less reluctant to spend what money had come their way. To save time, they began to ride in gas, and then electric, carts. The golf course owners surely did (and still do) love carts that could – on busy days – move about twice the number of golfers around the courses in the same amount of time. Golf carts added income to the course while paying for themselves.
Time and money then rose in place of safe, sporting exercise. Truth be told, many golfers over age 50 found that, with carts, they could continue their golf until they were age 75 or older. For public golf course managers, this meant many more years of customers pumping money into electric cart fees and buckets of driving range balls, as well as the course fees themselves. With apparel and new kinds of clubs, plus expensive balls to lose with slices, this became a truly sustainable industry.
Enter you, the 75 year old novice. Walking. Whoa! Walking? At age 75? The “cash cow” of carts plus the added numbers who could fill the course on prime weekends are threatened by those of us at age 75 who can still walk the course on our retired weekdays. And there are more of us to come.
When you are 75 years old you may think you are too old to plan a total personal revolution for the rest of your life. But it’s exactly the time to consider golf as a time to be walking again. A new form of walking for anyone, but especially we who are over 75, is Golf Trekking. Much of Golf Trekking will be about the knees. Stay tuned…