One of the positives that I have seen during the pandemic is that more people are outside walking.

This has carried over to golf courses as well, as golf carts were being limited to one person each. Rose Hill golf course has seen 45 to 60 golfers walking each day.

Walking keeps golfers out of golf carts and allows for the social distance needed to enjoy the game and stay healthy.

The United States Golf Association thinks we should be walking the golf course. “Walking a golf course is good for your health, good for the golf course’s health, and good for the game’s health,” they say.

According to researchers from the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, four hours of playing golf while walking is comparable to a 45-minute fitness class. Walking the golf course helps control your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, and the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Walking is actually faster than riding in a golf cart because each golfer goes straight to their ball instead of having to ride to their partner’s ball and wait for them to hit. Walking also reduces the amount of time players spend chatting with their cart partner between shots.

Unfortunately, many of the courses in our community were built to sell houses and the distance between holes is too long to walk the entire course. When the social distance restrictions are lifted, we will once again be able to have two golfers to a cart and players can alternate walking on each hole.

Listed below are some of the benefits of walking the golf course:

• Walking nine holes is equivalent to a walk of 2.5 miles

• Carrying your clubs or using a pull cart for nine holes burns approximately 720 calories

• Walkers tend to score better than cart riders because they have time to size up their next shot

• Walking to your ball allows you to enjoy the beauty of the golf course

• Most golfers who walk score better because they are stretched out and relaxed

• Walking allows you to feel the slope and texture of the grass, which helps with shot selection

Social distance restrictions or not, next time you golf, get out and walk the course and enjoy the beauty of nature while becoming healthier.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses.;