Take A Swing At This: Golf Is Exercise, Cart Or No Cart

By  //  June 17, 2015


EDITOR’S NOTE: Golf, which is dear to the hearts of millions, gets the bad rap as a sport that doesn’t measure up to other recreational activities in terms of physical exercise. However, according to this NPR report you can go ahead, use that golf cart. You’ll still get a pretty good workout on the links.

— Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief

The World Golf Foundation estimates that golfers who walk an 18-hole course clock about 5 miles and burn up to 2,000 calories, but even golfers using a motorized cart can burn about 1,300 calories and walk 2 miles when playing 18 holes.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO — When we asked adults who play sports which one they play the most, golf topped the list. That’s right: Our poll finds that a day on the links beat out soccer, softball and tennis.

My first reaction was: Whaaat? Golf is played by people riding around in motorized carts; how much exercise could you possibly get?

So, with a fair amount of skepticism, I ventured out to Sligo Creek Golf Course, a municipal course in Silver Spring, Md., to try to answer this question.

The first golfer I met came striding off the 9th hole, pushing her clubs with a pushcart. Sweat covered her brow. “No cart?” I asked.

Nope, Kelly James told me. “I’ve gotten well over 10,000 steps playing golf,” she said. And that’s not all. The game’s full of athletic moves.

“You’re swinging — big swings — to drive the ball,” James says. That uses lots of muscles. “There’s even a little yoga,” she says, if you consider the balancing, and the turning and twisting of the torso — and the overall meditative aspect of being on the course.

CLICK HERE to read the whole story about the physical and stress-relieving benefits of golf on NPR.org