How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Golf 2024? Surprising Insights

The serene game of golf may not be synonymous with high-intensity workouts, but it’s still an active pursuit. “How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Golf? Surprising Insights” tees off into the surprising number of calories you can shed on the greens.

How Many Calories Can You Burn Playing Golf?

Walking the Course vs. Riding a Cart

Walking the Course:
You’re signing up for a significant calorie-burning exercise when you walk the links. A game of golf usually involves walking over four miles when you cover 18 holes, even more on an undulating course. This means, on average, you could burn 350-475 calories per hour, depending on your weight and the game’s intensity.

Riding a Cart:
While riding in a golf cart might seem relaxing, it still burns more calories than sitting on the couch! You can expect to burn around 333 calories an hour if you traverse the course in a cart instead of walking.

The Impact of Carrying Your Bag

Carrying vs. Using a Caddy or Push Cart:
To up the calorie-burning stakes, carry your golf bag. This effort increases the intensity of your workout, with estimates suggesting you could burn upwards of 515 calories per hour if you’re a 200-pound individual. However, using a caddy or a push cart will also increase your calorie expenditure compared to riding, although to a lesser extent.

Calculating Calories Burned Over 18 Holes

Here’s a quick way to estimate your calorie burn based on a round of 18 holes, which typically takes about 4 hours:

  1. Walking and Carrying Bag: [(Weight in kg) × (MET of 5.4 for carrying clubs)] × 4 hours / 200 = Total calories burned
  2. Walking and Using a Push Cart: [(Weight in kg) × (MET of 3.5 for pushing cart)] × 4 hours / 200 = Total calories burned
  3. Riding a Golf Cart: [(Weight in kg) × (MET for riding a cart)] × 4 hours / 200 = Total calories burned

An Apple Watch or a Fitbit can give you a personalized calorie count that considers your heart rate, steps taken, and overall activity level while you play. Remember, these fitness tools can provide valuable insights to complement your weight loss and exercise goals as you enjoy golf.

Health Benefits Beyond Calorie Counting

A golfer swinging a club on a lush green golf course with trees and blue sky in the background

When you carry your bag and clubs around the course, you’re performing a significant physical activity that can be cardiovascular exercise. Each swing contributes to building muscle and improving endurance, while walking the course can increase your heart rate and boost your cardio health.

Moreover, golf is not just a workout for the body but also for the mind. Concentrating on your game improves mental focus and can offer mental health benefits by reducing stress levels, leaving you feeling mentally refreshed.

  • Endurance: Build stamina by walking the course and carrying your bag.
  • Mental Health: Enjoy a mental escape and reduce stress through focused play.

Improving Flexibility and Balance

Golf is a sport that naturally encourages better mobility and balance, thanks to the dynamic movements involved in the game.

Reaching down to place your ball or swinging your club requires and promotes flexibility. Balancing on uneven terrain as you navigate the course can also enhance your sense of balance, contributing to overall physical stability.

  • Flexibility: Swinging a club stretches various muscle groups across your body.
  • Balance: Walking on various inclines and terrains sharpens your balance.

Combining these physical routines with good nutrition will optimize your health benefits. You’re not just playing a game; you’re embarking on a journey to a healthier you!

The Influence of Age, Weight, and Equipment on Energy Expenditure

A golfer swings a club on a sunny course, carrying clubs and wearing a fitness tracker

Adapting to the Terrain and Course Topography

Your golf adventure takes place on varied terrains, each with its own challenges. Hilly courses demand more energy expenditure due to the increased effort in walking uphill and stabilizing your body and equipment on the incline. Your steps become your workout, as the topography turns a casual game into a fitness goal achiever.

  • Flat courses: Easier on the back and shoulders, less energy required.
  • Hilly courses: Increased calorie burn, engages more muscles.

Selection of Clubs and the Role of Caddies

The size and weight of your clubs can influence the force you need for each swing, thus impacting the total calories burned during a round. Utilizing a caddie can help lighten the load, making it critical to balance the desire for physical challenge versus the need for endurance through the game.

  • Carry your own clubs: Greater weight leads to higher energy expenditure.
  • Using a caddie: Focus more on your swing and less on carrying.

Age and Weight Considerations

Age and weight are crucial in determining your energy needs and how your body burns calories. Younger golfers might have a naturally higher metabolic rate, while weight considerations affect energy usage for different body sizes.

Matching your food and nutritional choices on the course—like picking the right snacks and electrolytes—is as essential as selecting the suitable iron for the shot.

  • Younger players: Typically higher energy expenditure.
  • Weight management: Heavier players may burn more calories per activity.


How many calories do you burn playing 18 holes of golf?

Playing 18 holes of golf typically burns around 800-1,500 calories, depending on whether you walk or ride a cart.

Is golf a good way to lose weight?

Golf can be a good way to lose weight, especially if you walk the course and carry your clubs, increasing calorie burn.

How many calories do you burn hitting 100 golf balls?

Hitting 100 golf balls at the driving range may burn approximately 200-350 calories, based on the exertion level.

How many calories do you burn playing 9 holes of golf with a cart?

Playing 9 holes of golf with a cart burns around 400-700 calories, with the exact number depending on your weight and the course’s difficulty.

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