Does Golf Qualify as Exercise?

Does Golf Qualify as Exercise?

All throughout the US, won’t have to go far before you find a great country club that offers an excellent golf course to attract hordes of applicants. Of course, they also offer terrific food, and in many cases, they have some sort of gym as well. Add the spaces for parties and events, and even workplaces for members, and a country club is a veritable home away from home.

Golf is undoubtedly popular, and some people count as part of an “active” life style. But is it really a proper form of exercise? That’s a good question, and there’s an ongoing debate about it.

Here are some reasons why it’s good exercise:

Lots of Walking

Ask any doctor, and they’ll tell you that brisk walking is a form of exercise. Even if you’re ambling a bit more slowly along the course, you’ll actually burn a lot of calories. It’s been estimated that if you walk through an entire 18-hole golf course, you’ll burn off about 1,400 to 1,600 calories by the time you’re done.

Keep in mind that you’re walking a distance of about 3.6 to 3.8 miles, and that’s more than just a casual stroll around the block. In addition, you’re not walking on flat ground all the time. You have inclines and hills to deal with.

Of course, that’s contingent on your decision not to ride on the golf cart. But even if you do ride the gold cart as you play at the Bay Club, you’ll still burn off maybe 800 to 900 calories at the end.

You’re also getting your heart rate up, and your lungs get a workout as well. Swinging a club once may not seem to matter, but when you’re swinging the club 80 times, you’re also working a lot of muscles. Add the weight of the golf bag, and it’s not as easy as you might think. So, you might even get a bit of strength training in there.

Balance Training

Golfing helps you to find your balance. You won’t do well in golf without balance, and you can improve your balance with lots of golf rounds. This isn’t as trivial a benefit as you might think, because you need balance in your everyday life.

Plus, improved balance involves improving your core muscles, and you’re also working your abdominals, lower back, and the buttocks. You’re also boosting your flexibility and mobility along the way

Mental and Emotional Health

A lot of players bemoan the challenge that golf plays. There’s no denying that it can be quite frustrating. There’s an old joke that it’s named “golf” because all the other 4-letter words were already taken.

But it does wonders for your mental health. You have to do a lot of thinking, regarding your approach strategy and the club you’ll use. Plus, you have to consider factors such as the distance, the elevation, the position of the ball, and even the wind direction and strength.

At the same time, it’s relaxing. In plenty of golf courses, the views are just amazing. And it doesn’t hurt that you get to socialize with other people.


If you look at it a certain way, then golf certainly qualifies as a form of exercise. That it’s also enjoyable is one its advantages. While plenty of people might quit their gym membership after a few months on the treadmill and weightlifting bench, golf aficionados can play golf for years.

Even if you think that golf isn’t as good an exercise as running or biking, a little bit of exercise is certainly better than none. And it’s hard to dispute that golf does offer physical, mental, and even emotional health benefits as well.

Add how the risk for injury is minimal, and it’s actually a perfect exercise for a lot of people—if you can afford it!

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