How many calories do golfers burn vs. other sports

by Jordan on November 1, 2011

How many calories do you burn playing golf?

Do you wonder how many golf calories you burn? Often times when I’m out on the course I forget about the psychical benefits of playing this great sport. Growing up I was never considered an athlete because golf was not a sport.
There is no endurance in golf. No sweating. No heavy breathing.
Anyone who has played this game and walked a full round can contest that it does take energy out of you.
Just how much though compared to the other sports?
Dale Shaw will answer that. He’s a guest author to the blog so be nice!


Golf, rather like snooker and darts, is often considered rather passive and doesn’t need any required fitness. Though these old fashioned sentiments are changing. The rather chunky professionals of yesteryear have been replaced by the more conditioned Tiger Woods type of competitor who have found that extra-fitness adds to their game. And despite the reputation, golf can aid strength, balance, coordination and heart health to anyone taking part. But how does the sport measure up to other forms of exercise? Would you be better off running for the bus and saving all those green fees?


Would you be better off going for a strenuous walk rather than playing a round? Despite the financial drawbacks, a game of golf has far more cardiovascular benefits than simple regular walking. Most courses are at least four-miles on hilly terrain and if you carry, rather than pull your clubs, extra calories will be burned. Plus all the extra swinging, bending and lifting will add to the anaerobic action. Though fitness experts claim that long continued bouts of activity are better for health than the more concentrated spurts of energy required in golf, all the extra golfing rigmarole are an added bonus.


Running is a far more efficient calorie burner than golf, even if you carry your clubs and swing at the ball really, really ferociously. Playing golf, the average person can hope to use up 300 calories or so per hour, while even a light jog would probably burn double that. But the advantages of a round on your local course over a run around your local park revolves around injuries. Golf is an efficient strength trainer with the hamstrings and quadriceps being exercised in all that hill walking. While running gives these muscles a far more vigorous workout, the chance of pulling or straining something are greatly increased. Regular running will almost certainly damage knee and ankle joints more than regular golfing. Of course injuries occur in golf also, with wrists and shoulders being particularly vulnerable. But proper stretching and warm-up, good technique and proper equipment can help avoid these problems.


Regular visits to the gym are the perfect way to achieve premium fitness and tone your body. Adonis style physiques are not going to be chiseled on the course, no matter how many rounds you cram in. Today’s modern professionals spends as much time pumping iron as on the greens, concentrating on their core strength. But one element missing during workouts which golf has in abundance is brain training. Slogging away on the treadmill watching VH1 can leave you feeling slightly zombified. With golf, you’re required to remember numbers, concentrate on any number of techniques all at once and focus on your game. The brain gets as much of a work out as your body, which helps memory and keeps your mind active and vital.
And there is another important element with golf that is missing from many other sports and exercise regimes. Companionship. So many fitness pursuits are solitary endeavours; golf is as much a social activity than a calorie burning one. For many, it is the one aerobic activity that is undertaken in the retirement years and continued regularly and the intellectual stimulation that comes with social interaction is a vital brain-training tool.
Just remember, to get the most out of golf exercise-wise, you have to avoid all those shortcuts. No buggies, no idling and no cheeseburgers and beer after the game as a ‘reward’. Like most activities, put the most into your game and you’ll get the most out.
About the Author: Dale Shaw currently works for Wish UK, selling a range of exciting days out and adrenaline packed experience days. Visit the site to see what’s on offer.


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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