Calories Burned Playing Golf: Complete Overview and Chart


Golf is such an amazing game.  Here are golfjourney365, we love playing golf and try to play as frequently as possible.  We are so addicted to the game of golf that we built a golf simulator in our garage to allow us to play 12 months a year in spite of the cold, harsh winters that we face in the northeastern part of the United States.  

During the spring, summer and fall, we get out as frequently as possible and love the challenge of the game, the outdoors, the camaraderie and burning calories playing golf. 

Many people often wonder how many calories I burn playing golf. We have completed some research and have tracked our calories burned during different rounds of golf. Below we will provide a complete overview of the calories burned playing golf along with a quick reference chart.

Walking and Golfing – What a great combination!

How Many Calories Do I Burn Playing Golf?

This will vary depending on the number of holes played during the round and the whether you walked or used a power cart.  A goler walking 18 holes, will walk approximately 4 miles per round and burn around 1,440-1,920 calories during the 18 hole round of golf.  When you consider that an hour walking can burn between 6-8 calories per minute and then multiple that by 240 minutes you get the range of 1,440 and 1,920.  This is quite impressive for doing something that you love doing.

Factors that Influence Your Calories Burned During a Round of Golf

Walking and Carrying Your Bag?

For those who walk and carry their bag, they will see the maximum calorie burned.  Which is between that 1,440 and 1,920 range. Here at golfjourney365, we prefer to walk and carry our bag because we are able to enjoy the round of golf and burn some major calories during this exercise and enjoyment time in our day. 

A great alternative to walking and carrying a bag is to walk and use a push cart. This is used by many of my playing partners as they age or have a sore back and do not want to carry their bag.

The investment in a push cart is great if your goal is to enjoy the game and walk.  It takes the pressure off of your shoulders and your back, but still allows you to walk and enjoy the round of golf.

One of our goals is to play golf late into life. Those that I have witnessed experience success with this walk a decent percentage of their rounds of golf or have a decent physical activity routine away from the course.

Stay in shape while enjoying the game we all love!

Your Current Weight and Physical Activity Level

If you are somewhat overweight the calorie burn can be even higher.  The numbers above are based on an average size person at around 185 pounds. If you are carrying extra weight around the calorie burn can be higher as a result of your body taking more effort to move around the 6,500 yards or close to 4 to 5 miles that are walked during a round of golf. 

We would recommend walking, but using a push cart to take some of the pressure off. Of course, you always want to make sure and check with your doctor before starting any physical activity, even golf.

Power Cart and Calories Burned

If you are using a power cart, you can still burn a decent number of calories, but you will not hit the  1,440 to 1,920 range, but instead will be in the 600-850 range.

This is going to depend on how many steps you actually get in.  Are you the person that drives your cart right up next to your ball or right next to the green to really limit your walking distance?  If so, your calorie burn will be less than the person that drops their cart partner off at their ball and is willing to walk across the fairway or meet the person on the next tee. 

If you are someone looking to burn additional calories during a round of golf, look for opportunities to get those extra steps in during your round of golf. Here are some recommendations:

Extra Steps During Your Round of Golf in A Power Cart:

  • When you finish up a hole, tell your partner you will meet them at the next tee box and walk that distance.
  • When you arrive at your shot in the fairway, drop your partner off, grab a couple of potential clubs and walk to your ball.
  • After you hit a shot from 100 yards or less, walk the remaining portion of the hole and meet your partner at the green.

These minor adjustments will help you get an extra mile or two in during your round and maximize your calorie burn during the round of golf.  While we realize that not everyone golfs to burn calories, you might come to find out that the game is more enjoyable and you get to see more of the course other than the cart path.

Golf is a beautiful game!


Tracking Your Steps and Calorie Burned

The tool I use to track my rounds of golf is my Garmin Vivoactive 3

This watch not only provides the distances you have around the course with each shot (provides distance to front, middle and back of green), but can track your score and your data over time.  Another wonderful benefit is that it measures your steps, distances, and calories burned during activities.

It also has a heart rate monitor, which factors into the calories burned. This amazing device not only helps me shoot better scores, but it also keeps track of all my daily activities.  I enjoy running, biking and golfing and the watch is versatile enough to monitor my activities in all three sports.  

I have been 100% satisfied and have now owned two Garmin Vivoactive models.  This most recent one has an excellent display system and is easy to use.

The touch features work seamlessly and provides an overall excellent experience whether you are golfing, running, lifting weights or biking.  They also look sleek and fashionable.

Tip – Get a Good Carry Bag or Push Cart

If you are someone that is going to walk and wants to extra exercise make sure you invest in a quality carry bag or a quality push cart.  Too many people are logging around too heavy of bags or have an inferior push cart. There are many great options on the market today. Here are the top two recommendations we have for a bag and then a push cart.

We love this Callaway Zero Lite Bag

We think this CaddyTek Push Cart has a great stability and easily folds up for your ride home:

What Calories are Burned in Other Sports

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities

ActivityCalories Burn Per Hour (Based on 185 Pound Person)
Weight Lifting266
Bicycling622
Rowing622
Bowling266
Volleyball Competitive356
Golf: carrying clubs488
Dancing532
Basketball710
Running: 6 mph888
Mowing Lawn: push, power400

Benefits of Golf as an Exercise

The great thing about golf is that it is easier to do for four hours then let’s say running 6 miles per hour.  Could you imagine doing that for 4 hours? Either can we!

The greatest benefit for golf is that it is easier to sustain over a period of time and to do frequently.  Unless you are completely out of shape, you could stand to walk a round of golf 5-7 days per week and your body could stay somewhat fresh.

It wouldn’t hurt to mix a power cart in every now and then, but overall, most people will be able to handle a daily round of golf.  Burning close to 500 calories per hour for a round of golf is great news and now I need to get out and play more golf!

Related Questions:

How can I build a golf simulator?

We talked about a golf simulator at the beginning of the post.  We love our golf simulator, I have played over 500 rounds of golf on my simulator and have had great success with the SkyTrak package I purchased from Rain or Shine Golf.  They provide great customer support and can help answer many of the questions you may have. We have also created over 20 posts to answer many of the frequently asked questions about golf simulators.  Check out our many posts, here.

If I am going to walk frequently, what shoes would you recommend?

We would make sure you spend some money on the purchase of your golf shoes.  Not all golf shoes are created equally. There are definitely better quality shoes, the more money you typically spend.  We have provided our top 3 high end recommendations and our top 3 middle of the road recommendations. Check out our post, here.

Would you recommend walking if I play as a single?

We highly recommend walking if you are playing as a single. . We believe there are many stress relief benefits of golfing, walking and playing alone.  Talk about a great time to get away from the pressure of life and enjoy the outdoors! We have created an entire post on playing alone and we get into some of the exercise benefits towards the end.  Check it out, here.

What if I want to play better golf?

We have a wide range of posts for those looking to get better at golf.  We would recommend starting by reading about our top 5 online golf instructors.  The great thing about the internet world we all live in is the access to some of the best golf instructors throughout the world.  We have extensively studies these instructors and have put together our top 5 lists with great detail. Check it out, here.

What if I am seeking an alternative swing?

We have just the perfect instructor for you. His name is Jim Venetos. He is truly one of a kind and has a genuine passion for helping golfers finally hitting the draw shot and the clean contact they have been seeking for years. Check out our complete review, here.

Take Action…

Golf can be a wonderful game for so many reasons.  We love golf and look to play often. We also love the challenge of trying to get better.  Golf can be frustrating, but we view it as a journey.

Much like life, we get out of it what we are willing to put in.  We have studied the many different teaching styles of the instructors out there and the many different approaches. Golf is ultimately a personalized game and you too can find the instructor that best matches up with you.  Here is a list of golf instructors we have provided reviews on:

Our last piece of advice is to find a way to increase your swing.  Swing speed is vital in today’s game and we have followed the analytics and it is crease.  We could all benefit from more distance. While short game is vital, additional speed can be trained for and picked up with the right routine. 

Check out two great options here:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

SuperSpeed Golf – Read our Full Review

Gain 30-40 yards in 30 Days – Swing Man Golf

If you are looking to finally break through and get to the next level, check out our series on breaking 100, 90, 80 or even 70:

Check out our Recommended Products page on Golf Swing/Training Aids, Golf Balls, Golf Shoes and more.

At the end of the day, find a way to get better. There are so many options and golf is a great way to get exercise and stay in shape or even get into shape!

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