Calories Burned Golfing: Here’s How Many Calories You Burn In A Round Of Golf

Golf is often considered an enjoyable pastime that requires little physical effort. Besides, there isn’t much running involved in golf, and breaks are frequently taken. Golfers also typically dress well.

However, don’t let appearances deceive you because golf can be intense despite its seemingly relaxed nature. 

You might be surprised to learn the amount of calories burned golfing. Ultimately, the true measure of a workout lies in the number of calories burned.

So, does golf burn calories? Absolutely! When you hit the golf course, you’re not just enjoying a leisurely activity but also burning calories. So, how many calories burned playing golf?

Of course, the amount of calories burned golfing depends on various factors, but the bottom line remains: golfing contributes to calorie expenditure. In fact, playing golf can help you shed up to 600 calories per hour.

In this article, we will cover:

  • The Role Of MET Values In Burning Calories Golfing
  • Calculate Your Calories Burned Golfing Using Our Calculator
  • Calories Burned Golfing 9-Holes vs. 18-Holes
  • 8 Factors Affecting Calories Burned Golfing
  • Calories Burned Golfing: Final Thoughts

Let’s dive in!

A man and a woman walk on the grass holding a golfing bag with the words calories burned while golfing in the foreground.

The Role Of MET Values In Burning Calories Golfing 

No specific formula uses MET values and body weight to calculate the calories burned golfing. 

However, MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) values can be used as a reference to estimate energy expenditure during physical activities, including golf. 

MET values represent the ratio of the metabolic rate during a specific activity to the resting metabolic rate.

To estimate how many calories burned playing golf, you can use the following formula:

Calories burned = MET value × weight in kilograms × duration in hours

For example, let’s say we have a person weighing 70 kilograms (154 pounds) who walks the golf course for 3 hours:

Calories burned = 4.3 METs × 70 kg × 3 hours = 903 calories

Keep in mind that the figures above are just ballpark. Other factors impacting calories burned playing golf include age, body type, and fitness level.

Additionally, whether you play 9 or 18 holes, your pace of play, and if you use a golf caddy or cart- all impact the number of calories you burn.

Four golfers walk along a golf course with the sun light on their backs.

Calculate Your Calories Burned Golfing Using Our Calculator

Our calorie burn golf Calculator is a valuable tool for anyone looking to track their fitness goals during a round of golf. 

Enter your weight, height, age, time spent playing, and type of golf activity to calculate the calories burned during a round. 

To use our calorie burn golf Calculator, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the following link: Golf Calories Burned Calculator
  1. Enter your weight in kilograms or pounds
  1. Input your height in centimeters
  1. Specify the duration of your golfing session in hours, minutes, and seconds
  1. Select your type of golfing session
  1. Click on the “Calculate” button
An aerial view of a large golf course with trees and hills.

Calories Burned Golfing 9-Holes vs. 18-Holes

Several factors, including the number of holes played, affect how many calories you burn when playing golf.

Although the number of calories burned golfing varies based on other factors, we’ll discuss below. Generally speaking, it’s possible to burn up to 600 calories per hour.

On average, it takes about two and a half hours to finish playing 9-holes of golf. 

So, considering the upper range of calorie estimation, a golfer would burn around 1,500 calories during a 9-hole round.

If we extend this to an 18-hole round, it becomes clear that the calories burned in golfing would double. 

Following the same calorie and time range, this would amount to roughly 3,000 calories (at the upper end) over the 5 hours needed to complete all 18 holes.

A man wearing a white top and a white cap swings a golf club.

8 Factors Affecting Calories Burned Golfing 

The number of calories you burn and various factors influence the athleticism you experience in golf.

When it comes to estimating calories burned while golfing, it’s important to consider eight key elements:

#1: Body Weight 

Heavier people tend to burn calories at a slightly faster rate

Calories measure the energy or effort required, so individuals with more weight technically have to exert more effort to complete a full 18 holes of golf. 

If you own a fitness watch, you can often monitor how your current weight affects the number of calories burned golfing. 

#2: Golf Bag Weight

Carrying your golf clubs across your back or shoulders burns extra calories due to the extra weight and resistance.

An 18-hole walk is about 6.44 km (4 miles) long, and considering the bag’s weight, a round could burn between 1,500 and 2,000 calories. 

Have you ever been backpack hiking? Consider the effort needed to backpack on a hike; it’s similar when carrying your golf bag around the course. 

Both activities require similar effort, allowing you to enjoy the journey without feeling overly burdened.

If you play a 9-hole game, you can still burn 750 to 1,000 calories.

  • Carrying golf bag while walking: Approximately 4.8 METs

For example, if a person weighing 75 kilograms carries their golf bay while walking around the golf course for 4 hours:

Calories burned = 4.8 METs × 75 kg × 4 hours = 1440 calories

Four golfers walk across a golf course with golf bags hanging on their shoulders.

#3: Push Cart

You can still burn about 600 calories if you use a pushcart for moving around the course without the weight of your golf bag. 

Even though you’re not carrying your golf clubs, you will still use energy to push the cart.

On the bright side, with a pushcart, you won’t need to carry your golf bag physically from hole to hole to burn more calories.

#4: Number Of Holes 

When you play a 9-hole game of golf, you’ll burn approximately half the number of calories compared to a full 18-hole game. 

So, for 9-holes, you can expect to burn around 1500 calories, while playing all 18-holes will likely result in burning closer to 3000 calories.

#5: Walking

If your goal is to burn 600 calories, moving between holes and shots during a game of golf through walking is the most effective method for burning calories.

Although swinging the club does contribute to calorie burning, it is the consistent walking that primarily helps in shedding calories.

  • Flat terrain: Approximately 4.3 METs

To calculate the calories burned while walking, you can use the formula:

For example, if a person weighing 70 kilograms walks on a flat terrain golf course for 2 hours:

Calories burned = 4.3 METs × 70 kg × 2 hours = 602 calories

Two golfers talk and laugh while walking across a golf course.

#6: Pace

Walking at a faster pace makes it easier to burn calories. Golfers who walk quickly between shots can increase their heart rate and burn more calories. 

Sometimes, it can be tough to maintain a good pace in golf if the group ahead of you is slowing you down. 

However, try to keep your walking speed a bit brisker.

#7: Golf Cart 

You might be surprised, but even when you use a golf cart on the course, you can still burn many calories. 

Riding in a golf cart doesn’t mean you completely avoid walking. Let’s keep in mind that swinging a golf club also burns calories. 

When you swing, twist, torque, and stay balanced, you burn calories during these movements.

Around 300 calories can be burned per hour using a golf cart to travel between holes instead of carrying your golf bag.

A man and a woman drive down a path in a golf cart.

#8: Course Topography 

It’s worth noting that simply walking the entire course while carrying your bag will only sometimes lead to burning precisely 600 calories. 

The number of calories burned can vary depending on the inclines and declines of the course itself.

If the course has more inclines to climb, you’ll burn more calories than a primarily flat course. 

In other words, the course topography significantly determines the amount of calories burned golfing.

  • Walking (Hilly terrain): Approximately 4.8 METs

For example, if a person weighing 65 kilograms walks on a hilly terrain golf course for 3 hours:

Calories burned = 4.8 METs × 65 kg × 3 hours = 936 calories

Calories Burned Golfing: Final Thoughts

A golfer with a black and white striped polo shirt swings a golf club.

Although we often talk about calories burned by golfing, the game has many more benefits than just that. 

Golf can bring mental clarity by getting you to go outside and be more active, which is hard to find in other activities.

Unlike other sports, golf allows you to start slowly and gradually get more physical. 

Golfers who want to be healthier, burn more calories, and achieve their fitness goals should know how many calories they burn each round. 

You can track your progress and make better-informed decisions about your golfing activities with the help of our Golf Calories Burned Calculator.

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After graduating from the Professional Golf Management program in Palm Springs, CA, I moved back to Toronto, Canada, turned pro and became a Class 'A' member of the PGA of Canada. I then began working at some of the city's most prominent country clubs. While this was exciting, it wasn't as fulfilling as teaching, and I made the change from a pro shop professional to a teaching professional. Within two years, I was the Lead Teaching Professional at one of Toronto's busiest golf instruction facilities. Since then, I've stepped back from the stress of running a successful golf academy to focus on helping golfers in a different way. Knowledge is key so improving a players golf IQ is crucial when choosing things like the right equipment or how to cure a slice. As a writer I can help a wide range of people while still having a little time to golf myself!

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