Golf carts are available at many courses. However, some people prefer to walk a course for the health benefits. A typical golf bag loaded with clubs and accessories can weigh between 15 lb. and 25 lb., and sometimes more. Walking and correctly carrying a weighted golf bag can provide a beneficial workout. As with any strenuous outdoor activity, you should take into account precautions to prevent injury.
Familiarize yourself with the golf bag, and make adjustments while it is empty, to ensure it fits your frame size. Pick up the bag, and place the shoulder strap on your dominant shoulder. Note how the bag sits on the strap, and make adjustments to the strap length to achieve a good fit.
Load the clubs into the bag, beginning with the longer and heavier woods. Placing these clubs in the section closest to the point where the shoulder strap connects to the bag will keep the heaviest weight higher and close to your body while you carry the bag.
Place the longer irons in the center section. Put the shorter irons, putter and other shorter clubs in the last section. Arranging the clubs in the bag in a descending order will position the lightest load on the bottom, and prevent excessive and unnecessary bouncing while you walk.
Distribute golf balls and other accessories evenly in the pockets around the bag. Load the golf bag much like a backpacker loads a pack. Make sure to evenly distribute weight so that the bag is balanced.
Lower your dominant shoulder, and slip the carry strap up your arm so that it rests comfortably on your shoulder. Use the handle to help lift the bag and, using your legs and not your back, raise and lift the bag off the ground. Adjust the strap so that it does not ride against your shoulder.
Familiarize yourself with the course, and take note of any crossover paths that could possibly save steps. Consider walking to a midpoint of a fairway, setting down the bag at a crossover path, and simply carrying a few clubs to finish the hole.