Is Carrying A Golf Bag Healthy For You? | Benefits | Risks

No matter which golf course you go to, you’re bound to see players lugging around carry bags. After all, you need a way to carry around all your golf clubs and gear. Nowadays, there are many different golf bags available on the market, you can find everything from a push cart with all-terrain wheels to a stand bag or cart bag that isn’t meant to move easily.

For a long time, carry bags have been considered the ideal and have been favored over the bulkier push cart or cart bag. However, that doesn’t mean that carry bags are the best and some may even be harmful.

In this article you will learn the answer to the question “is carrying a golf bag good for you,” and what the best options are to protect your body during long tournament weekends and days on the golf course.

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Is Carrying a Golf Bag Good for You?

There are two sides to the “is carrying golf bags good for you” argument. The first is that yes, it is good for you because it is a type of weight and lifting weights is healthy. Carrying the bag’s weight also increases the effort required to play golf which makes it a better form of exercise.

Carry bags are also more mobile than push carts which means that you can take them to more places, allowing you to get more exercise.

The other side to this argument is that no, carrying a golf bag is not good for you because it puts too much tension on the spine. Carrying a golf bag weight has the potential to pull the spine out of alignment and create muscle imbalances. In fact, according to Dr. Marc Darrow, even just carrying a 20-pound golf bag for a few miles can be enough to cause significant chronic pain, which is why many health professionals recommend pull carts or a push buggy as players tend to face fewer injuries this way.

When you carry a golf bag you also have to pick it up and put it down up to 100 times during the course of a game. Since you pick it up from one side and typically carry the bag on one side this can put stress on your joints which over time can lead to repetitive use injuries.

Every time you make a golf swing, you are twisting your back and creating the potential for injuries. You don’t want to increase your chance of injury by adding extra weight.

Four friends on golf course carrying their golf bag

How to Prevent Injury from Carrying a Golf Bag

Use a push cart or a pull cart

Push carts allow you to carry your supplies around the golf course without putting excess strain on your back. Push carts typically also have more storage space than a regular carry bag or stand bag so you can carry all of your golf clubs and other supplies.

A pull cart is another great option, but according to Dr. Josh Nelson, an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in sports medicine, they can sometimes be harder on your back than a push cart. When using a push cart you are able to keep your back straight by pushing with both arms. Using a pull cart means that you pull the cart with one arm which can twist the spine excessively.

Maintain good posture

One of the biggest reasons that golfers suffer from injuries related to carrying golf bags is that they do not maintain good posture. Maintaining good posture will help to keep your spine in alignment and prevent injury since you are keeping your muscles engaged.

Warm up

As with any sport, it is important to warm up before you begin to play. This helps to keep your muscles flexible and warm which also helps to prevent injury.

Invest in a double strap golf bag

Most golfers tend to carry their bags on one shoulder. This increases the chances of injury because you are putting more pressure on one shoulder than the other.

The main difference between a double strap golf bag and a single strap golf bag is how they are worn. Single strap bags are worn on one shoulder while double strap bags are worn like backpacks using a strap on each shoulder.

Using a double strap golf bag allows you to even out the pressure between your two shoulders to help you carry your bag in a way that does not strain your shoulders as much.

A man carrying a golf bag in his back


Is carrying a golf bag good exercise?

Yes, carrying a golf bag can be good exercise. It allows you to strengthen the muscles in your back and arms while helping to increase your endurance.

Is golf good exercise?

Yes, golf is a good form of low-impact exercise. Golf is also a lifelong sport meaning that you can play it at any age.

What muscles does carrying golf bags work?

Carrying a golf bag mainly works the muscles in the back and shoulders. Picking up and setting down the bag also works muscles in the arms.

Is carrying golf bag bad for your back?

Using a carry bag to carry your equipment around the golf course can strengthen your muscles and serve as a good form of exercise. However, it can also cause muscle imbalances if you always wear the bag on the same side.

Why use a golf carry bag?

Using a golf carry bag or something like a push cart to carry your golf equipment helps to prevent damage to your clubs and keep your golf balls contained. Using one will also make it easier to keep track of all of your supplies.


Although carry bags are frequently favored over something like a golf push cart, they can actually be harmful with long-term use.

Over time, using a carry bag on one shoulder can pull the spine out of alignment and strain the muscles. This can eventually cause an injury which could put you out of the game for an extended period.

The best way to prevent an injury related to overuse is by using a push cart or stand bags instead of carry bags. Since these bags are not carried on the shoulder, you won’t have the same issues that come with using a carrying golf bag.

If you do choose to use a carry bag, it is best to pick a back that has double shoulder straps. That way you are able to balance the weight between your two shoulders. These bags help you to maintain better posture which will reduce your overall risk of injury.

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