The potential health and performance benefits of using an electric golf trolley have been revealed in an important study commissioned by the market’s very first and leading brand, PowaKaddy.
Conducted by golf physiotherapist Andrew Caldwell, who provides services to clients such as the PGA and England Golf, the literature review suggests that some golfers who choose to carry their clubs could be at a higher risk of certain musculoskeletal injuries and impaired golf performance.
As well as potentially elevating the likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries by lifting the golf bag using an asymmetrical, dominant hand lift, carrying was shown to contribute to the onset of Golf Specific Fatigue, resulting in reduced clubhead velocity and potentially playing a factor in poor decision-making.
“Although claims have been made about the health benefits of electric trolley use for many years now, this literature review has evaluated the best available research and collated the current evidence on factors, such as energy expenditure cost, injury risk and golf performance,” said Caldwell, Clinical Director of Active Therapy – Physiotherapy & Golf Sports Injury Clinic, based at the Chase Golf Health Club & Spa in Staffordshire.
“Due to PowaKaddy commissioning this review, we have attained further important information based on the evidence to date, which examines the potential benefits of electric trolley use for golfers.
“The limited nature of the research, however, suggests there remains scope for a wider and more specific piece of research to be conducted in this area,” added Caldwell, who specialises in physiotherapy and athletic performance for golfers of all standards, from tour professionals to recreational players.
“Nevertheless, the research to date suggests that, for certain golfers, the use of an electric trolley may offer improved golf performance and reduced injury risk.”
Other headline findings included the significant reduction in energy expenditure and heart rate amongst golfers using electric trolleys over those who carried. This reduced metabolic demand of not carrying could help them to perform at their peak level for a longer period of time.
Significantly, less well-conditioned golfers, or those with reduced walking efficiency, may benefit most from not carrying and instead using an electric trolley.
There is also meaningful evidence to suggest that carrying could contribute to a 2.5% reduction in clubhead speed experienced over the course of a round of golf, which may result in a loss of up to 10 yards on tee shots.
Having played an important role in establishing this piece of research, PowaKaddy CEO David Catford said: “Through his work, Andrew has highlighted the problems that can be caused by carrying a golf bag. This supports our position that electric trolleys are not only good for your health, but also for your game.
“This message we think will be valuable for all golfers, regardless of age or ability, when thinking about how they transport their golf clubs around the course. Carrying a bag puts you at a disadvantage. This alone should be enough to persuade all golfers to consider an electric trolley.”
Active Therapy www.active-therapy.com
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