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Is Golfing Good Exercise?

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While golf might be considered a relaxing activity, it is not usually known as an intense form of exercise. In fact, some people do not even think of golfers as athletes. This could have something to do with the physical demands of other sports. Clearly, golf is played at a much slower pace and with less constant movement. But there are still some obvious, and perhaps not so obvious, exercise benefits to swinging a club and chasing that ball around 18 holes of a golf course.

Physical Benefits

Ironically, one of the biggest physical benefits of playing golf is the walking. On average, a golfer walks about 5 miles during one full round. Taking approximately 4 hours to finish 18 holes, a person could potentially burn 352 calories over an hour of walking for a grand total of 1408 calories burned in one round of golf.

A lot of golfers only play 9 holes (instead of the full 18) and they use a cart, rather than walking, which significantly reduces the actual exercise occurring. Regardless, the upper body gets a workout from the back and forth motions that a golf swing requires. Normally, each swing utilizes the muscles in the back, arms, and stomach. With correct form and posture, it's possible to condition the upper body and improve the overall effectiveness of a golf swing.

Mental Benefits

Since golf is fun and can be played by individuals or teams, it makes a good family activity. Plus, as a common interest, it can lead to new friendships at a country club.

The game is somewhat easy to learn, but it takes a certain amount of concentration and focus, which exercises the abilities of the mind, to truly excel. Knowledge of mathematics is also needed in order to keep track of the scoring.

Another mental benefit is that golf helps people escape from a busy life. If a person doesn't spend much time outside, a game of golf can be very refreshing. From the scenery, to the quiet time spent in reflection, golf can provide a leisurely balance. Studies have shown that regular physical activity improves sleep and reduces stress or anxiety. In addition, a person could notice a boost in self-esteem, positive feelings, and optimism. These are all important things that people experience simply by doing something that helps keep them active and healthy.

Golf and Age

Golf is a hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Even though the game is typically associated with older adults, there are younger golfers, as well. Among the benefits of a hobby is that it allows a person to develop skills for an activity that interests them. In the case of golf, the activity is low-impact and appropriate for a range of different fitness levels. Stretching and exercising are recommended and you should check with a doctor before starting any new program to ensure your safety and the prevention of injuries.


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