Golf for Health

Golf  Your Way to a Leaner, Healthier Body   tips from Julieta Stack

Here are a few ways you can use golf to improve your fitness and well-being.  The best thing about golf is that it's fun and you won't feel like you are "working out."  

  • Meet your friends for happy hour at the driving range at Pine Ridge.  Hit a bucket of balls, have a putting contest, then head up to the porch overlooking the golf course to relax and enjoy a beverage.
  • Instead of a dinner date, try a twilight round of golf at any of the BMGC courses.  It will probably cost less and if you want the evening to continue, you have that option. But you will learn a lot more about the other person over 9 holes of golf than you ever will while eating crabcakes.
  • Family/friend time!  About 99% of the golfers I've given lessons to have played mini golf.   Why not take your family out to putt on a REAL green and create your own mini golf experience.  There's no charge and your ball won't disappear forever after the last hole.  (If you need equipment, inquire at our pro shops.)
  • Strengthen your working in a charity scramble with some of your work colleagues.  If you don't know how to play, this is the perfect intro to the game.  After about 4 hours of lessons you'll be ready to participate in one of these. You may not win, but you'll have a lot of fun!  (Try one of my Intro to Golf classes or mini camps.)


Here are some interesting facts from A Denver Post article by Greg Henry.... 

"In a 2004 study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, "The golfer who currently plays four days a week while riding a cart could expend nearly 3,000 more calories a week if he or she walks the course," said Dr. Scott Lephart, director of the UPMC golf fitness laboratory. "(That) could result in a loss of 9 pounds of body weight over three months."

A 20-week study by the American Journal of Medicine in 2000 of 55 golfers age 48 to 64 found that those who walked 18 holes two or three times a week for five months increased their aerobic endurance, lost an average of 3 pounds more than a control group, had lower body fat and higher levels of the good cholesterol, HDL, according to a "Golf After 50" report on the PGA Tour's website.

Dr. Wade Aubry wrote in Golf Digest that "playing golf with a power cart burns between 2.5 and 3.7 calories per minute while playing golf walking burns between 5 and 8.5 calories per minute."

In a typical round, a golfer can expect to walk 5 or 6 miles, more than the recommended 10,000 steps a day, based on an average of 2,000 steps per mile.

For the golfer who has been a regular cart rider, health experts advise taking it slow and building up to walking the entire course.

"I advise golfers do their homework ahead of time," said Stacy Montgomery, fitness director at the McGetrick Academy and owner of New Directions Personal Training.

Some suggestions to get started:

Walk for 20 minutes to start and work up to 45 minutes, Montgomery says. The key, she says, is to "not get fatigued and frustrated."

When you do start walking the course, walk the front nine holes and switch with your cart partner and ride the back nine

Montgomery recommends golfers do plenty of stretching before, during and after a round. Stretching the hamstrings ("tight hamstrings can cause back pain and limit range of motion in the swing"), quadriceps and calves are essential for the golfer, she advises.

Montgomery also advises using a push cart because "carrying a bag will definitely add to fatigue."

More good news for golfers who want to walk: equipment the past 10 years has made it easier. Lightweight bags and the new "speed carts" put less strain on the golfer's back, legs, hips and arms.

The Sun Mountain golf equipment company developed lightweight "stand bags" in the 1980s, but perhaps its biggest innovation was the "speed cart" in 1999. The three-wheeled push cart "was designed to provide an ergonomic alternative for golfers who want to walk the course but do not want to carry their clubs," Steve Snyders, a Sun Mountain spokesman, said via e-mail. The traditional two-wheeled pull cart was awkward and often forces "the golfer to use shoulder muscles to balance and straighten the path of the cart. Speed Cart allows the efficient transfer energy from the natural walking position to the wheels, thereby reducing fatigue and allowing the shoulder muscles to be saved for the golf swing."

It didn't hurt that Sun Mountain's chief designer, owner and founder, Rick Reimers, is a former golf pro.

"We were confident that we really hit a home run with the design of the Speed Cart and did not release the product until we were extremely satisfied with its design and functionality," Snyders added.

Other companies have followed suit with similar designs, so there's a variety of carts at various prices available at metro-area golf shops.

Staff writer Greg Henry can be reached at 303-954-1210 or

Walking the course and using the right stuff

For more information on walking the golf course and equipment, visit: and

Golf equipment companies for bags and carts

The magazine's August issue included a 29-page health guide

Forum for golfers who like to walk the course

Helpful tips and how to get a program started

United States Golf Association

To order "A Call to Feet: Golf Is a Walking Game," an informative booklet on the benefits of walking the golf course, call 800-336-4446

Useful resources on many golf-related health issues from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center



UPCOMING Golf Fit EVENTS at Pine Ridge

Next Event TBA

Golf Fit -- with Julieta Stack, LPGA Teaching Professional 

90 minute class designed to help golfers of every skill level improve their game and their overall health.

*Swing analysis

*Range of motion exercises

*Golf specific drills you can do at home

*How to lose weight playing golf and nutrition tips

Caroline and Julieta team up in an innovative way to help golfers understand how your body moves during the swing.   Through swing analysis and range of motion testing, they target  your weak areas and show you specific exercises and stretches to help you achieve your optimal performance. 

  Cost:  $30.00 Space is limited.  Advance payment reserves your space.

Sign up online here or call Julieta 443-414-2288  

Golf Warm Up Exercises