I play golf and I am regarded by many as a traditional golfer because I walk.
The reason I walk has to do with the way the game was taught to me back in the 1960’s at St Andrews. My teacher was my father and a granduncle who explained the game to me advising that our family has golfed since 1771 when my great, great, great, great grandfather John Morris started playing at St Andrews.
There has only ever been one way of playing golf for my family and that is by walking.
I have tried carts but in all honesty it changed the game for me. It broke my concentration, that ability to be at one with the course that can only come from walking down the fairways. Trekking to and from the cart parked on its path at the side of the fairway does not give the golfer, in my humble opinion, the same opportunity to observe the course, the lie of the ball or the full options available to him. The golfer only gets a limited view of the surroundings when walking to & from the cart, missing out on the panoramic picture of the hole offered by walking from the tee to the fairway. No matter how minor the advantage it does impact your game, so carts are a no for me.
Some walking golfers will no doubt talk about carbon footprints and other solid arguments for walking, but I want to focus for a moment on the game itself.
The Game of Golf is and always has been a Walking Game, it brings the individual closer to himself and Nature, no matter if he is playing alone or in a four ball. It allows the golfer to understand, or at least try to understand, the architect and appreciate the little tests and traps that have been subtly scattered throughout the course. For me, this adds a factor of fun and enjoyment.
Walking is also very good for the human body, it is gentle exercise which over time can make a marked difference to ones life. My family, Golfers throughout on the Male side, have lived to their very late 80’s to early 90’s with perhaps just a few exceptions (i.e. Young Tom and my father, although neither died from heart related problems).
I have listened to many excuses from golfers about why they use a cart and do not walk. One favourite is that at the end of the day a cart will get them around a course quickly before the light goes. My opinion is, why rush golf? I would rather play a relaxed nine holes while enjoying the walk, the exercise and the feeling of stress rolling off my body step after step, than racing around on a cart mirroring my work day – but then that is how I view golf.
I also believe that the real inner spirit is allowed to renew, or at the very least refresh, itself when walking. It is important that we see and enjoy Nature as well as experience the natural ways of the wildlife that shares the countryside with us. Yet I am also a Man of the Links, feeling the air and wind on my face and watching it while it takes my ball those extra few yards, it just adds heaps to my enjoyment (for the most part).
I am no great golfer, I play golf for fun, but I believe I am able to talk about golf and how it is played as my family has great links with the game’s history and traditions going back over 230 years. I am a direct descendent of Old Tom Morris also related to Young Tom, George & Jack Morris (Hoylake), Willie Rusacks as well as James & Charlie Hunter (Prestwick). My Family have won The Open 8 times and have designed well over 100 courses, all the result of Walking.
There is only one way to really enjoy golf and that is to Walk. Please try it and experience the benefits not just to you mentally but also physically. I certainly support the aims and objectives of this site.
Melvyn Hunter Morrow
St. Andrews, Scotland
If you would like to share your passion for walking when you golf with others, please email us!