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Carrying vs. Pushing; Legitamate Research


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#1 tweakedmelon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:02 AM

Over the past few days, I have been entertaining the idea of getting a push cart. Now the problem with this decision is very similar to what I have seen splattered across the forum in many different topics, and I will throw OPINIONS out there, so that they really don't need to be repeated:

Pushing
Pros:
1) Less Fatigue (potentially better scoring and I will still want to go out and party on the weekends)
2) Healthier for back and shoulders by reducing disk compression?

Cons:
1) It hurts my 24 year old ego
2) Carrying is more "pure"

Basically, the pros in general outweigh the cons EXCEPT for the trump card: EGO. Now, I can get over my ego pretty easily. As someone fairly fresh out of college, it is very much like that first drunk hook-up with the crazy not-so-attractive girl everyone warned you about. Yeah, the first time it happens you get a lot of crap for it, but afterwards you think, " well who still got some action?"

Anyway, the point of this topic isn't for me to banter about personal pros and cons of carrying vs. pushing, but a quest for legitamate research on the health benefits or disadvantages of each option. Have any golf associations put out any clear studies on the impacts on scores or health from carrying vs. pushing?

Edited by tweakedmelon, 16 August 2012 - 11:48 AM.


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#2 oneunderbogey

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:18 AM

How is pushing cheaper in the long run then carrying?

#3 KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:26 AM

2009 Press release from AJGA:

"After studying the issue in depth, the AJGA found that carrying heavy golf bags on the back, especially among younger players, could potentially contribute to back injuries and fatigue.

The shift in policy occurred after consulting with doctors about the health issues involved in regularly carrying heavily weighted bags, especially when the bag’s weight comprises more than 20 percent of one’s body weight. For lightweight golfers who play multiple rounds per week, the possibility of injury to the lower back, shoulders and neck increases. Also, during those developmental years, reducing the stress on the back may help develop a healthier spine. Push carts have also been found to reduce fatigue."

Edited by KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, 16 August 2012 - 10:28 AM.


#4 tweakedmelon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:48 AM

View Postoneunderbogey, on 16 August 2012 - 10:18 AM, said:

How is pushing cheaper in the long run then carrying?

You're right. I had riding in mind when I wrote that point. Oops.

View PostKILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, on 16 August 2012 - 10:26 AM, said:

2009 Press release from AJGA:

"After studying the issue in depth, the AJGA found that carrying heavy golf bags on the back, especially among younger players, could potentially contribute to back injuries and fatigue.

The shift in policy occurred after consulting with doctors about the health issues involved in regularly carrying heavily weighted bags, especially when the bag’s weight comprises more than 20 percent of one’s body weight. For lightweight golfers who play multiple rounds per week, the possibility of injury to the lower back, shoulders and neck increases. Also, during those developmental years, reducing the stress on the back may help develop a healthier spine. Push carts have also been found to reduce fatigue."

I need more numbers, but this is a start. I want it to say I have XX% amount less risk of back injury (buldging disks, etc.) or that I score 3+ strokes higher when I carry.

Edited by tweakedmelon, 16 August 2012 - 11:49 AM.


#5 KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:50 AM

View Posttweakedmelon, on 16 August 2012 - 11:48 AM, said:

View Postoneunderbogey, on 16 August 2012 - 10:18 AM, said:

How is pushing cheaper in the long run then carrying?

You're right. I had riding in mind when I wrote that point. Oops.

View PostKILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, on 16 August 2012 - 10:26 AM, said:

2009 Press release from AJGA:

"After studying the issue in depth, the AJGA found that carrying heavy golf bags on the back, especially among younger players, could potentially contribute to back injuries and fatigue.

The shift in policy occurred after consulting with doctors about the health issues involved in regularly carrying heavily weighted bags, especially when the bag’s weight comprises more than 20 percent of one’s body weight. For lightweight golfers who play multiple rounds per week, the possibility of injury to the lower back, shoulders and neck increases. Also, during those developmental years, reducing the stress on the back may help develop a healthier spine. Push carts have also been found to reduce fatigue."

I need more numbers, but this is a start. I want it to say I have XX% amount less risk of back injury (buldging disks, etc.) or that I score 3+ strokes higher when I carry.

Here is a number for you: 100% less back injury from carrying your clubs if you don't carry your clubs.

Edited by KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, 16 August 2012 - 11:51 AM.


#6 johl

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:51 PM

if your bag is weighing more than 20% of your body weight then you carry too much stuff. i don't see how carrying will cause compression issues in your back? I'm in the military and we always carry weights in excess of 50kg day after day, week after week in some instances, and there are never any injuries as a direct result of the weight. the only time people get injured is when they use the wrong technique of do something stupid.
as long as you are carrying the bag properly you will be fine, but if pushing gets you playing more golf, then push

Edited by johl, 16 August 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#7 oneunderbogey

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:12 PM

View Postjohl, on 16 August 2012 - 12:51 PM, said:

if your bag is weighing more than 20% of your body weight then you carry too much stuff. i don't see how carrying will cause compression issues in your back? I'm in the military and we always carry weights in excess of 50kg day after day, week after week in some instances, and there are never any injuries as a direct result of the weight. the only time people get injured is when they use the wrong technique of do something stupid.
as long as you are carrying the bag properly you will be fine, but if pushing gets you playing more golf, then push

It was an article published by the AJGA, so I am assuming the study was focused on jounior golfers some of which are pretty young and small, so I am sure thier bag weighs more then 20% of thier body weight in many cases.

#8 SheriffBooth

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

View Postjohl, on 16 August 2012 - 12:51 PM, said:

if your bag is weighing more than 20% of your body weight then you carry too much stuff. i don't see how carrying will cause compression issues in your back? I'm in the military and we always carry weights in excess of 50kg day after day, week after week in some instances, and there are never any injuries as a direct result of the weight. the only time people get injured is when they use the wrong technique of do something stupid.
as long as you are carrying the bag properly you will be fine, but if pushing gets you playing more golf, then push

This +1.  Millions of service men and women, not to mention recreational hikers and campers, carry far more weight on a daily basis than even a heavy carry bag.  These are adults, of course.  That AJGA study focuses on children whose spines are still developing.  I would think the rotation of the golf swing is more likely create a back injury that the few extra pounds of carrying.

That said, I have used a push cart in the past when I was dealing with a rotator cuff impingement issue.  I could swing and play golf, but the weight of the bag and reaching behind me to shoulder it was making the impingement worse.  So I pushed for a while, but I can't say I noticed much appreciable reduction in end of round fatigue.
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#9 Fourmyle of Ceres

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

The Army has back injuries and lower-extremity joint problems out the yin-yang. Both in basic training and for infantry and similar specialties, long term. A lot of things the Army does are a bad idea unless you are forced to do it as a necessity (like killing people, bearing heavy packs).

There is no "research" that us going to inform the dilemma of "Would I rather look like the Cool Kids or save some wear and tear on my body?". That's like asking for a scientific answer fir whther you ought to get a tatoo or a nipple piercing...

#10 jshel

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

I'm a 41-year-old guy who loves to walk. Earlier this year I had some back soreness, so I busted out the push cart for a couple of months. I felt pretty darn good and I felt really good the next morning. I'm back carrying and I am starting to wonder if I should bring back the push cart.

It's kind of an ego thing for me. That and I like the freedom in being able to walk across a green with my bag -- something you can't do with a push cart.

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#11 Boomermike

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:29 PM

People whose brains have functioning common-sense mechanisms neither allow their egos to keep them from using a push cart, nor form negative opinions about people who use push carts.  

People whose brains have faulty common-sense mechanisms DO allow their egos to keep them from using a push cart, and DO form negative opinions about people who use push carts.  

It's factually, and without debate, that simple.  Place yourself under the appropriate label at your leisure.

#12 Solutions Etcetera

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

Check your ego at the door… not even PGA pros carry.

#13 Sean2

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:29 PM

I'm 57 and carry my bag 95% of the time. I do it mainly for exercise. I have a push cart, but rarely use it as it's a bit of a bother.
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#14 fore_life

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:39 PM

View PostSolutions Etcetera, on 16 August 2012 - 05:33 PM, said:

Check your ego at the door… not even PGA pros carry.

They have caddies that carry for them. How is that a valid argument? They also carry huge a** staff bags loaded with all types of gear
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#15 BRIDGESTONE1

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:22 PM

I like to carry so that I can walk across greens instead of having to walk around them. Speeds the game up

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#16 jpalermo

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:34 PM


"Here is a number for you: 100% less back injury from carrying your clubs if you don't carry your clubs."

Awesome.

I carry. If you get a lightweight bag with a good dual strap system, you're golden.
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#17 atlanta golfer

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:54 PM

I had spine surgery on Feb 29 of this year to remove an arthritic cyst growing out from a bone and pushing into my spinal cord.  My legs were growing numb and weak and when they found the issue via MRI they got me into surgery right away.   They removed the growth and did a single level fusion in the thoracic area, which is pretty rare.  Recovery was a b____ for about 3 weeks, lots of pain, then gradually got better until they let me start playing golf again at 3 months.   Today, only 6 months later, I'm playing better than ever and my index is at 8.4.  Part of the reason for my improvement is they made me work really hard on my core.  Well, the point of the story is, I used to carry and now I push.  I'm not saying that carrying had anything to do with my spine problem, but once you have something like that, you do everything you can to protect that back.  Most people at my club push versus carry, and there is a reason for that.

#18 tweakedmelon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:00 PM

My intent was not to start a thread with any bias either way. I recognize that some people prefer to carry and some people prefer to push. I have only carried because I have never had the means to push, yet I expect to give it a go soon.

With that said my true intent was to see if there was actual research done in any capacity to see if there are benefits.

#19 fore_life

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:24 PM

I thinks at people's see pushing have big cart bags or less walker friendly bags. But I guess if you push the bag downy really matter. I walk and carry a swift x loaded with bare minimums and I hardly even notice my bag. Then again I'm 6ft 1 and 250lbs so I doubt it's 20% of my weight haha
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#20 Solutions Etcetera

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:21 AM

View Postfore_life, on 16 August 2012 - 06:39 PM, said:

View PostSolutions Etcetera, on 16 August 2012 - 05:33 PM, said:

Check your ego at the door… not even PGA pros carry.

They have caddies that carry for them. How is that a valid argument? They also carry huge a** staff bags loaded with all types of gear

Pro golfers don't carry bags… seems pretty clear to me. If you don't have someone willing to caddie for you, you can buy one with wheels on it. Or, where I play, you can occasionally rent a llama:

DSCN1169.jpg

Even Ams don't carry their bags either in tournament play… and they don't use a "huge a**" bag.


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#21 tweakedmelon

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:54 AM

Did some more google sleuthing last night, and came across a study done by someone who appears to be a glorified trainer. (You can see what sort of confidence I have in the data already). Neil Wolkodoff did a study of 8 golfers playing 9 holes each of four styles of playing: carrying, pushing, caddy, and riding. Wolkodoff measured a number of variables, but I will focus on calories burned and average score.

Before I get to the results, which will inevitably cause mass chaos, I will point out the obvious flaws in this study. Sample size is small which suggests potentially high variance, and therefore making direct conclusions cannot necessarily made with significance. In addition, I feel there is a considerable amount of detail left unanswered in the surveys methodology. For instance, were all these 9 hole rounds played on one day? What was the order in which they were played? Etc...

So without further adue some results:

Average Calories Burned -
Carrying - 721
Pushing - 718
Caddy - 613
Riding - 411

Obviously carrying requires the most energy, no surprise here. What is surprising is the closeness of pushing. Again, we can't jump to many conclusions with the small sample size, but certainly interesting. Now let's pretend it is true, why do people feel they are so much fresher after pushing vs. riding when the same amount of calories are burned?

Now Scores -
Carrying - 45
Pushing - 40
Caddy - 42
Riding - 45

Frankly, I'm going to leave this one alone. Again small sample size, and I have a hard time deciphering what would really be significant. Some people will obviously call BS, while others will say, "I told you so." I'm calling it.

Here is the best link to the study I can find:
http://www.rosemed.c...sset/160715.pdf

I'd like to see a larger study done, with a more clear experimental method, but I will take what I can get at this point...

#22 highergr0und

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:23 AM

I've seen that study before......  I don't even think twice about ego when it comes to pushing my clubs.  I score better and feel better at the end of the round.

#23 Swingem

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:22 PM

Unfortunately, this is not the kind of subject that is likely to get funding for a large, randomized, controlled study. I carried for ~20yrs, and have been pushing my Clik-Gear for about 3yrs now, and both have their advantages. I take an annual trip to Bandon and we do 4 days, 36 per day. Used to be easy...10 years ago. I Could still carry 36 now, but with the Clik-Gear, why? The reduction in post-round fatigue is noticable.
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#24 Colby327

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:47 PM

Maybe its just me getting older, but I think the stigma of pushcarts is lessening.  Especially this year, seems like I've noticed a lot more younger players are opting to push instead of carry.  

FWIW - I'm 31, and split my rounds about 45%/45% with carrying & pushing (clic-gear), and ride the other 10% of the time.
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#25 +Church

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:51 PM

I hurt my back at work and when I carry my last few holes go down the drain.  I push and I'm only 23.  I could care less what people think of it.
Edit:  I know this isn't a statistic like you asked for just my 2 cents.

Edited by +Church, 17 August 2012 - 04:52 PM.


#26 DLiver

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:56 PM

Personally, I find pushing a cart to be more taxing than carrying.

#27 drumdude96

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:58 PM

View PostBoomermike, on 16 August 2012 - 05:29 PM, said:

People whose brains have functioning common-sense mechanisms neither allow their egos to keep them from using a push cart, nor form negative opinions about people who use push carts.  

People whose brains have faulty common-sense mechanisms DO allow their egos to keep them from using a push cart, and DO form negative opinions about people who use push carts.  

It's factually, and without debate, that simple.  Place yourself under the appropriate label at your leisure.

+1  Same thing goes for iron covers.

#28 drumdude96

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

My bag is HEAVY, so carrying isn't really an option for me.  All my clubs have heavy steel shafts, I carry tons of balls, water, food,  and anything and everything I may need on the course.  I would estimate my bag weighs around 50-60 pounds, so I use a push cart.  I can walk 36 holes no problem with the cart.  If I carried, I'b be done after 3 holes, lol.

#29 drumdude96

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:05 PM

View Postdrumdude96, on 17 August 2012 - 06:02 PM, said:

My bag is HEAVY, so carrying isn't really an option for me.  All my clubs have heavy steel shafts, I carry tons of balls, water, food,  and anything and everything I may need on the course.  I would estimate my bag weighs around 50-60 pounds, so I use a push cart.  I can walk 36 holes no problem with the cart.  If I carried, I'b be done after 3 holes, lol.

Okay, just weighed my bag on my postal scale.  It's only 40 pounds, but that's still way too heavy to carry for an entire round.  I bet the heaviest PGA tour bag doesn't weigh close to that.

#30 geoangus

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

okay party boy - you're 24 and want to be able to still go out after the round . . .

If you're carrying, how many beers can you stuff in your bag?  Now, if you were pushing a cart, with the cooler bag accessory, how many beers could you carry?

Kidding aside, I'm 50+, usually have 6 or so 16 oz bottles of water in the bag, plus food, a dozen or so balls, rain gear, etc . . . No way I'm carrying that, but in the push cart, no problem.

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