Junior golfer carrying vs push cart

My son that has been taking swinging lessons for the last year or two is now hitting the ball far enough to play on the course. He has played some but he really wants to give it a try this year coming up. He has a junior set of clubs, he is 11 and going to be 12 this summer. Not a very big kid, athletic and trim but not tall. Anyway he seemed to have a little trouble carrying his bag for an extended amount of time when we did go to the course last year. I carried my bag up until last year when I decided I didn’t want to hunch over anymore for 4 hours, all the up and down lifting etc, so I got a push cart for the first time. I also didn’t really golf a lot until I was in my teens.

Our coach is an advocate for push carts to help with posture and less stress on the body while trying to play a round. I am sure that after a few years, he will grow into a stronger teenager from hormones and all that comes with that. So I guess I am asking opinions on if I should get him a push cart for now or make him man up for 9 holes and carry the clubs?

I’m a fan of push carts. At junior events I see near me, almost everyone is using them. Where I live it’s very hilly and lugging a bag over your shoulder is tough.
Or if you go the carry bag route, make sure he’s got a lightweight stand bag.

That being said, I thinking asking kids to man up is a good thing, builds character. Maybe make him earn the push cart.

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I’m a big fan of the push cart, but if it’s only 9 holes with a lightweight bag then I’m not sure it’s absolutely necessary. Also a big fan of making kids earn things so if it’s something they really want there are always chores to be done.

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I def agree with you guys. He is going to have to earn it either way. He has a set with 7 or 8 clubs and the bag is light and kick stand. He carried it last year, so I know he CAN. We are in New Hampshire. There is a decent amount of ‘mountain’ golf here. The courses we play are walkable easily. The Shattuck which is 10 mins away is not so much. Maybe I will see how it goes and see if he complains about it lol. The garage could use a good cleaning… lol

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Please, get your son a push cart.
When I was young, there were only the caddies or the pull carts. I carried my own golf bag up until I was in my mid 30’s before the push cart was popular. Saved my back and my shoulders and wishing I had the wisdom to lift the weight off my shoulders sooner.
Yes, Youngman could easily carry the light weight golf bags with 14 clubs, but why damage the body if it is not necessary ?
We’ve learned the glory we had when we were younger, may that be football, baseball or any other competitive sports we had participated will come back to haunt us in old age, with demand for compounded interest.
The coach is correct, get your son a nice push cart, it’s worth it, just think of all the green fees you could have saved before he turned 18.

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Urge to wax rhapsodic about, “Uphill, both ways!” rising…

How much do his clubs/bag weigh versus, say, an overnighting backpack like Boy Scouts used to do?

'Course, you actually want him to want to play golf when he gets older…

Edit: if it’s what his coach is expecting from him and his peers, I guess a push cart is the way to go. When I was his age, i saved up for W. German imported goalie gear, because I felt they gave me an edge, and I’d have resented the hell out of someone telling me not to use it. If the cart gives his peers a similar edge–lack of fatigue, whatever—he’s going to want one.

I use one when i (rarely) play. But that’s because I’m usually carrying so much crap: water bottles, gps/tablet app shottracking thingy, an Edwin Watts’ amount of balls, sunscreen, gloves, et friggin cetera. I don’t have Bryson’s bag by a long shot, but it’s easier with the cart.

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MyGolfSpy study showed that push carts (trolleys for us Brits) can save up to 2.5 shots a round. That instantly got me to stop carrying my bag.

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That is interesting to hear! I can leave it up to him a bit also. I imagine that his friends may play a part in what he wants to do also lol. I bet he doesn’t want to be the only one pushing a cart around. lol. I haven’t gained two strokes by pushing a cart, but it makes it easier to walk for sure.

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Definitely get your son a push cart. I’m guessing the coach has a bit of experience in dealing with pre-adolescent golfers in what they reasonably can or can’t handle. Also, I don’t understand the comments regarding “earning” cart privileges or “manning up”.

Push carts are far superior to pull carts–avoids shoulder damage. Carrying with a two-strap rig is similarly balanced. But the big issue is to lighten the load–nobody less skilled than an advanced amateur needs 14 clubs. Your son would likely do quite well with the old starter set–tee club (D or 3), 4 hybrid, 6-8-PW, and putter. For that matter, so would you. And throw all the crap out of the bag. 6 balls, some tees, a bandaid or two, and a water bottle. It’s a game, not an expedition. “Manning up” is an insulting fantasy–don’t put that kind of insult on your kid. Let him enjoy the game.

I apologize if the use of the term “man up” in my OP offends you. I didn’t expect it to be a topic of the post. I suppose I use terms that my parents used and in this ever changing world, everyone is offended by everything. An “insulting fantasy” to yoh is just me saying to him “I think you can carry those clubs dude!” Please don’t tell me that I’m insulting my kid. He is not reading this forum.

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I very likely overreacted. Many of the local clubs have etiquette and rules maniacs and scare off prospective members. I make sure that our club is more welcoming, especially to beginners. The term “man up” can have some unpleasant connotations to some folks, and I’m sure you’d be unhappy if someone else used it towards your son. Please accept my apology; you and your son would always be welcome at our place.

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I have a 4 year old daughter and am often trying to balance challenging her for the sake of building grit and challenging her to “work smarter, not harder”.

Imo, this might be a great learning opportunity for your son. If he brings up difficulty carrying his clubs, ask him if he doesn’t like doing it because it’s hard or because he thinks there’s a better way to do it? If he can make a logical case for a push cart (which I think there’s 100% a case), challenge him to come up with ideas on how to acquire a cart. Maybe the hard work comes in the form of a garage cleaning as you mentioned or reading Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit.

Just throwing out ideas as you know your son better than anyone and the things he needs to be successful and well rounded. Happy parenting! :grin:

Man up and buy your son a push cart. Long term effects of carrying a bag are not pretty no matter how strong you are.

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Hahaha, touché my friend. It is currently -1 F* right now with about 6 inches of snow so it’s not happening right now. I was just seeing what people thought in general. Honestly if all his friends are pushing or carrying its probably what he is going to want to do.

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My thought is you have the hardest part out of the way. In our youth it was not acceptable to do anything but carry your clubs. Getting a teenager to go against his friends is a long uphill battle.

Don’t forget a “light weight cart bag”. You won’t think a few pounds in weight will make that much a difference ? By the time one load up the spare ammo, raingear, water bottle, snack… it could be very different pushing the cart on a rather hilly terrain.
I ditched the staff bag, the mini staff bag and splurged on a light weight cart bag. That extra few pounds of weight will feel like a ton after a couple holes walking up and down the hillsides.

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The lightest bag possible is a step in the right direction. You can also toss out the odd or even irons, since most of us can’t play the difference between a five and a six. Eight or ten clubs is more than enough for most courses.

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Of course, I had done that when the method was not popular. I’d carry just the odd or the even irons in the set before; not to lighten the weight of the bag, but use it as a training. Some shorter tracks with 3-4 clubs.
That’s when I had a better golf game !
Most the guys I see with 3-4 wedges did not exhibit the need/ability for using those wedges. two wedges is what I’ll need.
Although, frankly, I do rotate the different SW according to the golf course; with variation of loft and bounce.

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Yep, I’ve had a light kickstand bag for years. When my brother and I began golfing, lo, many decades ago, our dad bought a used set of clubs and ‘split’ them; you get the even clubs and you get the odd clubs. It didn’t seem to hurt our games. In fact, I may try that again this Summer - thanks for the idea!

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