“Of all exercises walking is the best.” – Thomas Jefferson
SASsy Golf Bags
By Pamela Lynn Sullivan
The cool spring air, some of the greenest grass you have ever seen, and a red-tailed hawk flying to her nest to feed her babies. It’s early morning in Arvada and Susan Schmidt, creator of the SASsy ™ golf bag, is doing her favorite thing – walking while golfing alone. Not that she dislikes golfing with others; it’s that when she’s alone she finds the peace and serenity she craves after a long workweek in downtown Denver. Call her somewhat of a pioneer, carrying her light bag in the golfing world. But she is certainly not the first to discover the huge benefits of walking while golfing. For hundreds of years people walked while playing golf without thinking twice about it. Why should it be any different today?
As David Fay, executive director of the United States Golf Association has written, “We strongly believe that walking is the most enjoyable way to play golf and that the use of carts is detrimental to the game. This negative trend needs to be stopped now before it becomes accepted that riding in a cart is the way to play golf.” According to the USGA in a pamphlet titled “A Call to Feed, Golf is a Walking Game.” It’s been estimated that “walking with a light bag, pull cart, or caddie provides twice the benefit of caloric expenditure as riding in a cart.”
Walking a golf course is good or your health, and good or the course’s health. Everyone knows that walking is one of the most recommended forms of exercise. It only makes sense that walking a golf course is considered good for you. Walking the course instead of riding in a golf cart can be a great part of any exercise program, which has long been proved by scientific studies, not to mention anecdotal evidence and good old common sense.
Walkinggolf.com cites a study by Cardiologist Dr. Edward A. Palank in which he evaluated bad cholesterol versus good cholesterol. Dr. Palank had one group of middle-aged golfers walk three times a week for four months without changing their diets or starting any other exercise program. His study showed that walking golfers reduced their levels of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) while keeping their good cholesterol steady (high-density lipoprotein). The control group of golfers riding in golf carts failed to show these results. “The key is in improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad, which walking the course succeeded in doing.” Cites Dr. Palank.
Another study highlighted on WalkingGolf.com states, “According to Golf Science International, researcher Gi Magnusson calculates that four hours of playing golf – walking – is comparable to a 45 minute fitness class.” And the best part is, he concludes, “Golf is unique in the way it motivates middle-aged and elderly individuals to walk a fairly long distance on a regular basis.”
It is suggested that if you are not used to walking the course to start out slowly. Walk the first nine holes and ride the second, or vice versa.
Susan likes the idea of getting back to the basics of golfing.
“Walkers can fully appreciate the quality and beauty of the course.” She says. “Walkers can enjoy the company of your opponents or fellow competitors, and also, golf is a game of rhythm, and waling enhances its rhythmical character and the ability to concentrate.” When a bad shot happens, a golfer has plenty of time to ponder their mistakes and focus on what they need to do to improve the next shot. Also, walking the course is actually faster, especially when carts are restricted to paths, she adds.
Susan, a graduate of the Tailoring and Apparel School in Minneapolis, made custom clothing for ten years through her company, A Touch of SAS, LLC. She currently works full-time at an investment banking first in Denver. Susan donates 5% of all golf bags sold to the buyer’s charity of choice. She also supports the Disabled American Veterans and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She donates her bags to specific charity events such as the Biz Bash sponsored by the Colorado Business Bank and the King of Swing Golf Tournament, which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It is the connection with others who love the game and with nature that Susan appreciates. “For me, golf brings me to another place.” She says. “Whether I am with friends or alone, when I walk the course I feel a real connection with nature. It is my meditation.”
The SASsy ™ golf bags Susan creates are very light (weighing less than 2 pounds), waterproof, and can hold a full set of clubs. She makes them for men, women and children in both patters and solids. When walking the course with a SASsy ™ lightweight golf bag, she says, there is no fighting with the possible assembly of a pull cart, no bumps for the cart’s wheels to contend with, and the feeling of freedom to either walk alone or with someone else. The bags are triple-stitched with a lightweight dowel along the side to keep the bags standing tall. They are only available online at www.sassygolfbags.com .
Susan started her line of golf bags after her doctor said she should “get off her pockets” while golfing and walk the course. Susan now golfs at least once a week. Please see her website for more interesting facts on the benefits of walking the courses, and also for a complimentary list of metro area public golf courses that are easy to walk.
By Pamela Lynn Sullivan of Women’s Edition Magazine, June/2007
Reprinted with purchased permission of Women’s Edition Magazine