Table of Contents
- How far do you really walk when playing golf?
- Why does the distance walked matter?
- How to track how far you walk playing golf?
- The benefits of playing golf aren't just physical
- Final thoughts
Mark Twain famously claimed, "Golf is a good walk spoiled."
And while there aren't many amateur golfers that would tend to agree with the late American wordsmith, it highlights golf as a rather brilliant way to keep fit, thanks to the vast amount of ground a player will cover.
But just how far does the average golfer walk when playing an 18-hole round of golf?
This blog post will address precisely that, as well as the numerous benefits of the game and why you should get out on the course as much as you can.
Simply put, the answer is, it depends.
Each course is different and utilises its areas of land differently, but one thing is for certain, regardless of the course you play at: once you tee off, the real walking begins. (The hop from the car to the green doesn't count!).
And, if you are constantly that your actual golf swing is the culprit, where you continually have to go looking to find lost balls, you might want to concentrate on honing your game in order to save your legs. However, you will doubtless burn extra calories, so it isn't all bad.
However, the average golfer will cover over 5 miles during an 18-hole round, which can equate to 2,000+ calories burned for the average male. While the average golfer covered this amount, it differs between golfers.
The more distance you walk in a day, the healthier and happier you will look and feel. In fact, the physical benefits of playing golf are plentiful. Let's discuss some of them:
Just about any form of physical exercise will get the blood pumping and your heart working that little bit extra. Doing so can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, calms harmful cholesterol and lowers the risk of diabetes and a stroke. It's not just walking, however, that can help your heart; carrying your bag and swinging golf clubs both contribute to this positively as well. On average, a golfer's heart rate will increase to 100 beats per minute over a 2 to 5-hour period of hitting balls.
Ditching the golf carts and becoming a walking golfer can also have noticeable health benefits when it comes to losing weight. While the magic number of steps per day for weight loss is 10,000, many golfers will find that they will exceed this during an 18-hole round.
Some studies have found that golfers have up to a 40% lower death rate compared to non-golfers. This equates to an extra 5 years of life expectancy.
Being physically active keeps your brain active, alert and happy. When you play a game of golf, the physicality of the game ensures your brain gets a good blood supply which is vital to help it function well, both now and in later life.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Offers social interaction
Promotes better sleep
Private courses don't allow walking, so how can I stay fit when golfing?
While not every private course prohibits walking, they are many that prefer you to use a golf buggy. If you want to keep fit while golfing, you could switch it up and occasionally visit another golf club that allows you to travel the distance of the course on foot. But, if you are a serious walking enthusiast, you may want to find another course to play your morning round.
Does the putting green or practice tee count as proper exercise?
Yes! Anything that adds extra distance and steps to your day is an added bonus to the 5+ miles you'll walk on the course. Even making a few extra practice swings in the tee box will provide you with extra calorie burning. It all counts.
Is golf a good form of exercise for recovering from an injury?
Depending on what type of injury you are recovering from, golf can be the ideal rehabilitation. Golf is perfect for working the buttocks, ab muscles and lower back. It will allow you to improve your core balance while gifting you increased strength, flexibility and mobility. Just don't go play a round if you have a fresh shoulder injury!
How many times a week should I play golf in order to reap the most physical and mental benefits?
The more time you can spend on the course, the better for your mental and physical health. However, even just one game a week will help make a difference to your body and mind. When you aren't on the course, simple things like walking to work or cycling can help to keep you active and mentally alert, as well as little adjustments, such as taking the stairs instead of the convenience of the lift.