10 DIY ways to make carrying your bag a little bit easier

golfers carrying golf bags

Here are 10 ways to lighten the load for a walking-intensive season.

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If you’ve played golf often this spring, you’ve probably found yourself carrying your bag more than you’re used to. And if you’ve played golf often this spring, you’ve probably also wondered: if you’re supposed to walk when you play, then why is walking so damn hard?

Well, the answer to that question might have something to do with you. If you’ve grown accustomed to riding in a cart or playing with a caddie, you may have accumulated habits that impinge upon your ability to carry your own bag. While you can’t get back the miles you’ve already walked, there are several small, easy tweaks you can make to minimize the impact walking has on your golf game. Here are 10 of our favorites.

10 DIY ways to improve walking

1. Adjust your bag straps: The easiest, cheapest improvement you can make to your golf bag right now is to fix those straps! Play around with the length and direction of the straps until you’ve found the perfect length between your dominant and non-dominant shoulder. A proper adjustment will look different for each person, but focus on finding a balance between relieving pressure on your back and keeping your clubs upright. It might take five minutes, but this can completely change your game.

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2. Remove one of your straps: If you find yourself slinging your bag over a single shoulder, consider removing one of the straps. Often, removing the unused strap will redistribute the weight on your dominant shoulder, making it easier for you to carry.

3. Buy the Walk18Golf Harness: If you’ve tried the above solutions but still can’t manage to shake back pain while walking, consider purchasing the Walk18Golf harness. Designed to minimize pressure on your spine and shoulders, the harness runs down the length of your back and attaches to your bag at its midpoint. It’s only marginally larger than a traditional bag strap, a small price to pay for pain-free golf.

4. Invest in a new bag strap: For $20, $30 or more, you can buy a brand new lease on your golf game. So long as your bag isn’t prohibitively heavy, a new strap (with gel padding, anyone?) can go a long way in making your walk just a little bit easier.

5. Buy a new golf bag: Last week, we covered our nine favorite lightweight bags. Go take a gander at that post (linked HERE), from feather-light, one-strap bags to multi-pocketed carry-alls for your gadgets and gizmos, we’ve got you covered.

6. Empty out your bag: It sounds so simple, but so few people take the time to cull through the crap in their bag. Throw out the old scorecards, remove all-but-one of the rain jackets, leave the umbrella in the car if the weather looks good, only keep a few golf balls on you. All these tiny changes add up, and they can be the difference in your next round.

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7. Buy better shoes: Anyone who’s ever run competitively knows, you can only go as far as your shoes will take you. As such, it’s worth investing in good golf shoes. Adidas’ CodeChaos spikes earn high marks for comfort, while Asics and FootJoy shoes draw rave reviews from flat-footed golfers.

8. Wear comfortable socks: Good socks follow the same logic as good shoes: you might be able to get away without them, but once you’ve run into an issue with them, your day is over. Spend the money to purchase good golf socks, like Bombas, and say goodbye to blisters for good.

9. Forecaddie for yourself: Leave your bag off in the distance. Walk it toward the next tee box, or better yet, the next fairway. Bring your driver with you to the green. These tiny moves save you precious weight-bearing steps and lessen the load on your shoulders, knees and back. It might make your round 5% better, but that 5% can go a long way.

10. Play with fewer clubs: Play with 11, 8, 6, 5 or even 3 clubs. Go nuts. There are no rules. Take the one-club challenge. Force yourself to do more with less and lighten your burden in the process. You won’t regret it.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.