If you play a round of golf on most regulation-sized 18-hole golf courses, you will walk between 3 to 8 miles.
It just depends on the course’s length and the distance between the green and the next set of tees. If you want to figure the exact mileage, you can do so by learning more about a course’s yardage.
For instance, a regulation 18-hole golf course usually is from 6,200 and 7,000 yards. If you begin at the first tee and end at the 18th green, you should multiply the yards by 3, to get the total amount of feet. Then, you need to divide the answer by 5,260, which is the feet in one mile.
Let’s look at an example:
A golf course, is 19,500 feet (6,500 x 3) or 3.69 miles (19,500 divided by 5, 260). If you include the walking you do before a round and after a round, your total mileage will come out to around 4 to 4.50 miles. Again, if there is a great amount of distance between the greens and tees then this yardage goes up.
It also assumes a straight line, which we all know isn’t going to happen.
Throw in looking for errant tee shots, lining up puts, walking around other people’s golf putting lines, etc it can easily stretch to 5 or 6 miles.
Research reveals that walking 18 holes while playing a round of golf equates to brisk walking with respect to intensity.
This is true, even if your walking is stop-and-go. For instance, you may walk about 4 miles and burn about 800 calories – this also includes swinging your club.
If you do not walk but take a cart, the walking you do amounts to about 1 mile, and you will burn about half the calories that you do when walking the same area because your overall intensity is lower.
Therefore, by playing and walking 2 rounds of golf per week, you can meet the minimum requirements of getting enough exercise.
To receive the optimum cardiovascular benefit from your efforts, you should include a day or 2, during the week, where you involve yourself in high-intensity activities.
These activities may include tennis, running, or something similar that will raise your heart rate. You don’t need to do any of the activities for over an hour.
Additionally, this assumes just walking. If you are pushing a cart or carrying your clubs and the course is even moderately hilly it is an even more amazing workout.
How Much Energy Do I Burn From Riding In a Cart?
Research shows that you will receive a benefit but it’s not near as good as walking.
If you play golf, what you burn in calories or fat will be minimal if you choose to ride a golf cart.
If you take this approach, you should consider golf more of a recreational and leisure pursuit rather than real exercise.
Pro tip: Alternate walking holes with your playing partner.
However, even if you do ride in a golf court, you will still be doing more than sitting inside on the couch and watching golf on TV while munching tortilla chips smothered in melted cheese and salsa.
According to the American Heart Association, People need, on average, 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week to lower their risk for a heart attack or stroke.
You can equate this to an exercise session of 30 minutes, 5 days per week. One way you can do this is by walking at a brisk pace (around 4 miles per hour) about 10 miles during the week. This will burn about 1,000 calories.
If you walk 18 holes on a golf course instead of taking a golf cart, you certainly will get some exercise. This does not factor in the walking you do before a round, after a round, or when you walk in search of lost balls.
Can I wear a pedometer while golfing?
If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of calculating yardage, etc., you should wear a pedometer.
A pedometer is designed to measure the number of steps you take. Begin your measurement from the time you get out of your car to the moment you get back into your car.
So, how many steps equal a mile?
If you walk 2,000 steps, you have walked a mile.
Walking about 3.5 miles equals 7,000 steps. If you play a round of golf, you not only will you improve your cardiovascular health and lower your cholesterol, it also gives you a happier outlook.
That is because the good-feeling endorphins are released during the activity that make you feel less depressed and more optimistic.
Even if your ball lands in the rough, do not despair. By taking those additional steps, you can improve your overall health. That way, you won’t feel as bad if you end up finishing the game above par.
Therefore, those golfers who are lousier at the game will, at least, enjoy more exercise.
What should I eat when walking the golf course?
Besides burning calories and walking on the course to stay fit, you also need to consider what you eat, as it can affect your golf scores. It takes about 4 hours to play a round of golf.
According to researchers, it is best to eat carbs before a golf game, as they will keep you energized and prevent fatigue. Fatigue will affect your swing and concentration. Therefore, you need to eat nutrition-rich carbs to play well and burn calories during a golf round.
Also, it is best to eat about 3 hours before you start playing, as it gives the body enough time to break down the food and make it available for energy.
Don’t drink energy drinks or sugary carbs. While they break down quickly, they will not program the body to burn away stored fat. Rather, they will direct the body to burn off the sugar first.
Therefore, your calorie expenditure and fat burning will not be as great.
You can stay fit playing golf, as long as you walk during a round and play more than 1 round per week.
Again, some exercise is better than no exercise at all. So, even if you play only a round and do so in a golf cart, you still are doing something good for your health, both physically and mentally.