Calories Burned Playing Golf: The Perfect Exercise

woman golfer

The calories burned playing golf will vary considerably depending on whether or not you use a golf cart. Thankfully, golf is a very high-calorie burning exercise.

For the maximum calorie burn, be sure to walk the course and carry your bag. If carrying the golf bag is too demanding, then using a push cart is the next best thing and only slightly lower in calorie burn.

Take a look below at the average calories burned while playing either a 9 hole golf game or an 18 hole golf game. For a powerful workout, golf an 18 hole game on Saturday and a 9 hole game on Sunday. The calorie burn rate is tremendously high compared to other possible weekend activities.

Calories Burned Playing 9 Holes Of Golf

Let’s take a look at the calories that can be burned while playing 9 holes of golf. The number of calories will vary significantly depending on how you play the game.

For the highest rate of calorie burn, you will want to be sure to carry your own clubs or at least use a push cart which is only slightly less in calories burned.

Be careful about using a golf cart if your intentions are to lose weight as this method produces a much lower rate of calorie burn.

Calories Burned Walking a 9 Hole Golf Course While Carrying Your Golf Clubs

Make sure you are wearing your fitness tracker or smartwatch such as my favorite, the Fitbit Alta if you have one so that your steps and calories burned will be correctly calculated.

If you are physically able to walk the entire golf course, you will achieve a strong calorie burning exercise session while enjoying the game. Walking the entire 9 hole golf course will burn an average of 700 calories. This assumes that you will also be carrying your own clubs.

woman golfing

Calories Burned Walking a 9 Hole Golf Course While Using a Push Cart

If you intend to use a push cart for your clubs, you will still burn close to 700 calories while playing the 9 holes. You will burn just a few calories less than if you carry your clubs.

This is a really good alternative if carrying your clubs is too difficult or if your arm strength is not yet strong enough to carry the load. Over time, your arm strength will increase as you push or carry your clubs.

Calories Burned Walking a 9 Hole Golf Course While Using a Caddie

Now if you use a caddie while walking the golf course to play these same 9 holes, you can expect to burn a much lower amount of calories. Expect to burn roughly 600 calories when using a caddie.

While using a caddie is a perfectly fine thing to do, if your intention is to lose weight, you will burn far more calories and achieve your weight loss goal in a much faster amount of time if you either carry or push your own golf bag.

Calories Burned Playing a 9 Hole Golf Course While Riding a Golf Cart

Unfortunately riding a golf cart will significantly lower the number of calories that you burn while golfing. You can expect to burn roughly 400 calories playing this way.

Now if you are just starting out in your golfing, you may want to begin by using a riding cart until you become stronger physically. This will happen quickly the more golf that you play.

Be sure to keep at it regularly while the weather is advantageous for golfing. If you live in an area like I do that receives a lot of snow in the winter you learn to take advantage of every warm day.

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Calories Burned Playing 18 Holes Of Golf

Now let’s take a look at how many calories can be burned on average by playing 18 holes of golf. If you are physically able to do so, this is the ideal amount of golf to play. As you will see in the sections below there is an incredible amount of calorie burn that is possible when playing 18 holes of golf.

The big difference in calorie burn will come from how you play the game. Walking the course while carrying your clubs will burn an incredible amount of calories. Pushing your own golf cart will burn just slightly fewer calories. Using a caddie will limit your calorie burn slightly, but you will still burn a considerable amount of calories. Riding a golf cart will significantly lower your rate of calorie burn and if possible should be avoided if your intentions are to lose weight and reduce body fat.

Calories Burned Walking an 18 Hole Golf Course While Carrying Your Golf Clubs

Always wear your fitness tracker or smartwatch when playing golf in order to get the most accurate calorie burn count. Everyone’s total calories burned will vary somewhat based on their current age, height, and weight.

Walking the entire golf course while carrying your own golf clubs will burn an average of 1400 calories for 18 holes. This is one of the highest exercises for calorie burn rate and thankfully can be enjoyed by almost anyone interested in the game.

If you are new to golfing and don’t feel like you are good enough to play with your friends, I want to encourage you to play anyway. You will lose more weight while you gain more experience.

calories burned playing golf

Calories Burned Walking an 18 Hole Golf Course While Using a Push Cart

When using a pushcart instead of carrying your own clubs you can expect to burn just under 1400 calories for an 18 hole golf course. While this is slightly fewer calories than you can burn by carrying your own golf clubs, it is still a very high amount of calorie burn, much higher than many other forms of exercise.

Calories Burned Walking an 18 Hole Golf Course While Using a Caddie

Using a caddie while golfing an 18 hole golf course will burn slightly fewer calories at roughly 1200 calories. If you have the arm strength, you are much better off carrying your own clubs or using a cart. Not only will using a pushcart burn approximately 200 more calories, but it will also increase your arm strength which will lead to an increase in lean muscle resulting in a higher degree of fat burn.

Calories Burned Playing an 18 Hole Golf Course While Riding a Golf Cart

Riding a golf cart will significantly lower the number of calories that you will burn while playing an 18 hole golf course. On average you can expect to burn 800 calories. Although this is much fewer calories than you could burn by carrying your own clubs and walking the entire course, it is still a very high-calorie burn rate when compared to other forms of exercise.

bucket of golf balls

Hitting a Bucket Of Balls At The Driving Range

Hitting a bucket of golf balls at the driving range before your golf game will not only help you to warm up before playing the game but it will also burn approximately 200 calories for one hour of exercise.

This is a great way to warm up before you hit the greens to begin your golf game and the extra 200 calories will really help to produce an incredibly powerful calorie burn rate for a few hours of fun at the golf course.

A Weekend Of Golf

Now imagine what would happen if you played 18 holes of golf on Saturday and 9 holes of golf on Sunday. Suppose that before each game you hit a bucket of practice balls. Let’s take a look at what your total weekend of golf could burn in calories.

Saturday

200 Calories – Practice Bucket Of Balls
1400 Calories – 18 Holes Of Golf

Sunday

200 Calories – Practice Bucket Of Balls
700 Calories – 9 Holes Of Golf

Total Calories

2500 Calories – Total Calories Burned Playing Golf Over One Weekend

Burning Off Unwanted Calories and Fat

When you consider that burning off 3500 calories will burn off one pound of fat, you can see how powerful playing golf can be towards your weight loss goal.

Enjoy a successful weight loss season of golf this summer. You will be very glad that you did.

Remember to always wear your fitness tracker or smartwatch as calories burned will vary based on a person’s current height, weight, and age.

If you don’t yet have a fitness tracker, let me encourage you to check out the Fitbit Alta. This is the one that has helped me lose weight and keep it off and I know that it will help you too.

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6 Replies to “Calories Burned Playing Golf: The Perfect Exercise”

  1. Hi there Linda,

    I am ever so surprised at the amount, sorry – high amount of calories burned playing golf whether playing a full round or at the driving range.

    These figures refer to women but what about the rest of the family like children and men?

    I ask as an occasional weekend round of golf could be a nice activity for the family.

    1. The calories burned playing golf will vary somewhat depending on the age, gender, and current weight of the golfer. Men typically will burn more calories than women and children will burn a lower amount of calories. For completely accurate results it is important to wear an activity tracker such as one of the Fitbit line of activity trackers.

  2. Wow! For a non-golfer it makes one wonder if they should take up golf. Have you considered comparing it to other comparable activities for able bodied women? Otherwise, your post was very good in covering the benefits of calories burned playing golf.

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