Some people may think of golf as an old man’s sport, and not particularly athletic, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Golf can be an incredibly physical activity, and many people who think it isn’t have probably never tried the game or don’t understand how much skill, technique and athleticism the sport requires.
However it isn’t just actually swinging the club which is physically demanding. Walking several acres across variable terrain is no mean feat, especially considering that the average golf course in the UK is between 6,200 – 6,800 yards long! That’s a lot of land to cover walking alone.
But when you couple that with carrying your golf bag it can be quite some exercise! If you’re not comfortable carrying your golf bag, that can be quite a burden for 4 hours or so!
Spending too much energy lugging your clubs around the course can detract from the energy you have to play your best game. It can also be incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating in challenging conditions.
What’s more, carrying your bag and clubs incorrectly can potentially lead to injury or aches that can cause lasting damage, affecting your health as well as your ability to enjoy golf at all.
Obviously, this is something to avoid, so we’ve put together a guide on how to carry a golf bag properly to help you avoid injuries and save your energy for those all important tee shots!
We’re also going to include some helpful tips you can use to make carrying your golf bag even easier, and make it much more comfortable for yourself.
How to carry a golf bag?
While many golfers use cart bags or rely on trolleys to help move their golf bag around the course, sometimes you need to be able to carry your bag, even if it’s just from your trolley to your car!
Using good technique on the short journeys is just as important as if you’re carrying your bag around the whole course, although admittedly the risks aren’t nearly as high. Nonetheless, there are several important steps in carrying your bag properly.
The first thing you’ll need is a decent golf stand bag! If you don’t have one or aren’t confident you have a suitable bag, check out our guide on the best golf stand bags first.
1. Familiarize yourself with your bag
Getting comfortable with your bag is really important to make carrying it easier. It’s good to know how much it weighs, what kind of straps are installed as well as where the stand is located, where the pockets are located and how the clubs behave in the bag itself.
Most good golf bags are designed specifically to make carrying your clubs easy and comfortable, but some adjustments are still required such as altering straps, positioning clubs properly and ensuring that the padding and attachment points are working as they should be.
2. Load the bag
Loading the bag properly is key to ensuring you can carry it properly. Load the clubs in one by one with the longer clubs (woods and long irons) nearer to the back of the bag nearest to the shoulder strap attachment point.
Add the clubs in descending order from here so your lightest clubs sit at the front of the bag furthest away from the attachment points.
3. Distribute accessories
Additional accessories such as towels, balls, tees and drinks/snacks can add significant weight to your bag and offset the balance of your bag making it awkward to carry and swing around which makes it much more difficult to carry.
Place your accessories in the pockets so that the weight is distributed evenly and isn’t loaded up on one side of the bag. The lower down the bag the weight is placed the better.
4. Shoulder the bag
Shoulder the bag by lowering your strongest, dominant shoulder and slipping the strap over it so that it rests comfortably on your upper shoulder. Use the main carry handle to lift the bag up and use your legs to support the weight as you lift to avoid damaging your back.
Raise the bag off the ground and adjust the strap so that it is comfortably sitting on your shoulder. Strap types can vary, from single straps to double straps, so if you’re using a double strap, slip your other arm in and position this comfortably on your shoulder also, ideally before lifting or just afterwards.
5. Walk with the bag
As you walk with the bag, try to keep a steady pace and don’t make sudden jerky movements as this can cause the weight of the bag to swing wildly potentially unbalancing you, putting strain on your back and shoulders and potentially causing you to fall over or to let things fall out of your bag.
6. Don’t be afraid to use the stand
There’s absolutely no shame in making use of the stand at every opportunity to save your energy for the golf itself. Whenever you get the chance, slip the bag off and use the stand to your advantage, there’s no bravado in carrying your bag constantly.
You can also use the main carry strap to move your bag short distances like a suitcase, if the need arises and you are able to lift the bag comfortably.
- Pay attention to the type of bag you have. Does it have a single strap or double strap? Is it small or large, heavy or light? Where are the pockets placed? How strong are the attachments? How well padded are the straps? Does it have a stand? These are all important questions to ask when carrying your bag, and if you’re struggling you may need to find an upgrade or alternative.
- Lighten the load! Don’t carry unnecessary trash and luxuries in your golf bag! Keep to the essentials as this will make your life a lot easier. Yes, this applies to unnecessary clubs too!