Low Impact, High Benefits: Health in Golf

Playing the game of golf can improve your quality of life. Walking 9 or 18 holes of golf (with or without a cart) can help oxygenate the body, improve posture and renew your spirit.

By the Numbers
  • A study conducted in Denver, CO, concludes that those who walk a 9-hole course can expect to walk an average of 2.5 miles.
  • Those who walk 36 holes a week will burn around 2,900 calories a week. Studies show that burning 2,500 calories a week improves your overall health by lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • Cardiologist Dr. Edward A. Palank‚Äôs study shows that golfers who walk the course reduce their levels of bad cholesterol while keeping their good cholesterol steady.
  • According to the Health Status calorie counter: A person who weighs between 150-200 pounds, will burn between 2,000 to 2,700 calories by walking an 18-hole golf course. You must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound.

An enjoyable game, and for many an opportunity for social outings, golf is also a way to pick up some beneficial exercise. Whether walking the course, hitting the range or taking a cart, playing golf is a leisurely way to burn some extra calories. This is true even in the case of a nine-hole outing, depending in part on a player's weight, walking vs. taking a cart and metabolism.

Walking vs. Cart

It comes as little surprise that golfers will burn more calories during a round on the links should they choose to walk nine holes over using a cart. According to Shapefit, an online health and nutrition advice site, a 190-pound golfer will burn approximately 130 more calories per hour (431 to 302) pulling his clubs on a wheeling device than by taking a cart. Should a player elect to carry his clubs, that jumps to 474 calories per hour. Considering an average nine-hole outing takes between two and three hours, golfers may burn upwards of 300 more calories total by carrying or pulling their clubs.

Taking a Cart

According to Shapefit, a 130-pound golfer will burn approximately 207 calories per hour while taking a cart, compared to 246 for a 155-pound golfer and 302 calories per hour for a 190-pound golfer. That means that over a nine-hole round, which is likely to take around two hours with a cart, golfers burn between 400 and 700 calories per outing.

Pulling Clubs

According to Shapefit, a 130-pound golfer will burn approximately 295 calories per hour while pulling her clubs on a wheel-accessible device, compared to 352 for a 155-pound golfer and 431 calories per hour for a 190-pound golfer. That means that over a nine-hole round, which while pulling clubs is likely to take around 2 1/2 hours, golfers burn between 700 and 1,100 calories per outing.

Carrying Clubs

According to Shapefit, a 130-pound golfer will burn approximately 325 calories per hour while carrying her clubs, compared to 387 for a 155-pound golfer and 474 calories per hour for a 190-pound golfer. That means that over a nine-hole round, which while carrying clubs is likely to take around 2 1/2 hours, golfers burn between 800 and 1,200 calories per outing.

Driving Range

Before hitting the links, some golfers will first take to the driving range. Fortunately, this serves as another way to burn calories. According to Shapefit, a 130-pound golfer will burn approximately 177 calories per hour on the range, compared to 211 for a 155-pound golfer and 259 calories per hour for a 190-pound golfer.

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