Health & Wellness

The Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf

Prepared for GOLF 20/20 and World Golf Foundation
Walker Research Group

Key Point

This report by Walker Research Group, LLC for the World Golf Foundation and GOLF 20/20 identifies and reports on the literature pertaining to the health and wellness benefits of golf participation and involvement.

Key Findings - Health Related Benefits
  • A walked 18-hole round, carrying a bag or using a hand/pull cart, is approximately equal to a 5-mile walk.
  • The total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round is approximately 2,000 calories for walking while carrying clubs and 1,300 calories when riding in a cart.
  • Since walking is biomechanically more efficient than running, playing an 18-hole round of golf walking is roughly equivalent to a 3.5 to 4-mile run.
  • When walking 18-holes of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20% for the young, 10% for the middle-aged, and 30% for the elderly players, and body weight is slightly reduced for all groups.
  • Repeated golf practice enhances balance control and confidence among all age ranges.
  • Older golfers tend to have better static and dynamic balance control and confidence than non-golfing older, healthy adults.
  • Regardless of handicap, sex, or course played, golfers exceed 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf - which meets the guideline for exercise recommended by most medical and clinical physicians.
Other ways to burn 1,300 calories:
  • Strength training for 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • Aerobic activity for 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Jogging on a treadmill for 2 hours and 10 minutes