I’m in the walking camp and truly believe one’s game is enhanced to the tune of three strokes better per round by walking. On foot you get into a rhythm, get a better feel for the course, can judge the effects of wind and terrain, and can play without delay. Compare to the worst case cart scenario: You are the driver, riding with a player that sprays the ball, who doesn’t play from the same tee box as you, and the course is wet and enforcing “Cart path only.” There’s nothing worse than walking all the way across the fairway to hunt for lost balls or grabbing a bag full of clubs because you can’t measure yardage or visualize the correct shot parked on the cart path. Everything is so much easier when you can just walk to your ball.
There are circumstances where you should be playing out of a cart. On my recent trip to Myrtle Beach, golfing at The Legends would be nearly impossible for a walker. The 54-hole complex and driving range is the size of a small airport and motorized transportation is a must. We were blessed with good weather and could ride the carts in the fairways, which helped to speed play and allowed us to conserve energy for playing 36 holes in the summer heat.
Finally, a word of caution: If you’re going to walk, make sure you’re physically up for the test. Pulling or carrying your bag over four miles in summer heat is not trivial. My back and legs used to get tired after 14 or 15 holes so I dedicated myself to an off-season workout regimen that included aerobic conditioning as well as core strengthening exercises.