Is Golf Good Exercise? 5 Key Health Benefits Of Playing Golf For Exercise

Have you ever been asked the question “Is golf good exercise?” by someone not yet intiated in the world of golf?

If you watch someone playing Golf from afar, it might not look like they’re doing very much.

Golf is a sport that, when played well, looks seamless. Just watch the pros! This has led a lot of people to the belief that Golf can’t keep you fit and healthy, which is wrong.

Golf is a great sport for anyone looking to spend more time outside and work on their technique, rather than their stamina. 

That being said, anyone who’s played an especially long 18-holes knows that a full round of golf can be exhausting. 

Some golfers even struggle with becoming too tired on the back 9 and their game can suffer!

Is golf good for exercise? Four golfers walk toether down the fairway

In the 1931 Us Open, Billy Burke and George Von Elm played a whopping 144 hole tie-breaker, each playing 36 holes per day! The average player won’t be taking on such a challenge nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that a good round of golf can’t be a great way to exercise.

Sometimes a good session on the driving range can be just as taxing as a full game. It all depends on the way that you play the game. 

In this article, we’re going to go into some of the great health benefits of playing golf for exercise, and for anyone new to the sport, why it’s one of the best you can play.

5 Key Benefits of Playing Golf For Exercise

1. Fresh Air

As anyone will tell you, fresh air is undeniably good for your health. I can’t think of a better way to breathe in that fresh air than a round of golf. 

To properly answer the question of ‘Is golf good for exercise?’ then we may have to slightly re-frame what of think of as exercise. 

two young golfers hit balls at the driving range

Exercise is generally thought of as strenuous physical activity, but in reality, exercise is anything physical that improves your overall fitness and health. 

It should come as no surprise that air quality in cities around the world is declining massively with the increasing problem of air pollution. 

Maybe a round of golf this weekend could be your way of getting away from that smog and treating yourself to a lungful of fresh air. 

The more oxygen you take in, the better your body can function. Therefore, the better your overall health and the better your game of golf!

2. Vitamin D

While it’s not true for some sports, many methods of exercise nowadays take place indoors. 

The importance of actually being outside when you exercise can’t be overstated. We spend all week inside the office, or in the house. Spending the day exercising outside with a round of golf is a great way to get those sunshine hours in. 

Granted, playing golf for exercise can be difficult when the weather isn’t looking good, but there are ways around that. 

two older women golfers smile on the fairway

But when the weather’s great? Why aren’t you already down at your local golf course?

Golf can also be a great way to get the whole family out and enjoy the sunshine while being active. 

3. Walking

While the allure of the golf buggy is undeniable, if you want to play golf for exercise, we suggest you walk the course. 

The average golf course is around 5-8km long. That’s roughly 10,000 steps per game of golf. Surely that speaks for itself. 

Supposedly, walking 10,000 steps a day improves blood pressure, decreases your risk of heart attack, improves your sleep, promotes weight loss and fitness, and can also stabilize your blood glucose levels. 

In short, walking every day is great for your health, and playing golf along the way just makes it a lot more interesting. 

Want to make your game of golf for exercise even more strenuous? Try carrying your club bag rather than pushing it on a trolley!

Some golfers might struggle walking the entire course at first, so why not start play the first 9 holes in the buggy and the second half without? If you want to use golf for exercise, walking the course is surely the best way to start. 

A family of golfers walk together on the fairway

4. Stress Relief

Have you had a long day at work? Car problems? Maybe your dog decided to use your slippers as a toilet. I have two words for you: driving range. 

Nothing feels better after a long day than teeing off at the driving range. With the driver, you can really put some power into a swing just for the sake of doing it. While you’re there, you can also work on your technique, maybe you’re also working on hitting a consistently straight drive?

You’ll find many golfers filling the stalls at the driving range every night of the week. It’s a great way to blow off steam and can help your golf game in a multitude of ways if you practice enough. 

HItting the driving range is also a great workout. Supposedly, you can burn on average 160 calories in a 60-minute session on the range. 

That might not seem like a lot, but the average hour-long gym session burns around 180-250. 

So if you’re feeling stressed, try an hour or so at the driving range. Be careful not to go too far though. Trying to hammer the ball is more likely to make you miss due to your angle of approach being too shallow. 

A number of golfers hit balls on the driving range

That could even lead to injuries or increase the tension in your swing, which is what you’re trying to relieve. 

So take it out on the driving range, but take it easy out there. You don’t want to create another problem to stress about.

5. Low-Impact Exercise

Some people think that it’s only the most intense of exercises that will be beneficial for your health, but that’s just not true. 

Low-impact exercise is a great way to stay active into old age. 

The only impact in your golf game should be the impact your club face makes with the ball. 

What makes low-impact exercise so attractive is the reduced risk of injury. Many high-impact sports can result in injuries that can either mean you have to take time away from the sport or, worse still, can spiral and lead to more damaging injuries or a string of injuries that take away your game time. 

A female golfer smiles at the driving range

It’s one of the main reasons why so many older people take up golf after they retire; you can play for your whole life and the nature of the game won’t stop you. 

Playing golf for exercise is accessible to everyone, you’ve just got to get out there and start playing!

So now when someone asks you “is golf good for exercise?”, you’ll have an answer for them. Not only is golf great for low-impact exercise, but it’s also great for your overall health!

Still Not Convinced? Read Why We Think Golf is the Best Sport!

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Adam is a writer and lifelong golfer who probably spends more time talking about golf than he does playing it nowadays!

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