I have often been told that golf is not really a sport because it is not active enough……says a person who has never swung a golf club. Regardless of your skill level, walking the golf course is great exercise and should not be discounted out of hand. Most courses I play are measured at an average of 6300 yards. That is a minimum of 6300 steps if I walk in a complete straight line. Of course, we know that never happens, so I walk a great deal more during every round. How about your?
Before we start heading down the path of discussion, I think it is important to post the follow abstract from the Mayo Clinic:
To quantify the number of steps adults take during an 18-hole round of golf, we recruited 42 healthy volunteers (12 men and 30 women aged 30-80 years) with established United States Golf Association handicaps to complete an 18-hole round of golf on each of 3 municipal golf courses. Subjects walked each course while wearing a pedometer to record step data. Analysis revealed that each golfer took a mean ± SD 11,948 ± 1781 steps per 18-hole round of golf. Regardless of handicap level, sex, or course played, most subjects exceeded 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf. Consequently, in most cases, walking 18 holes of golf will meet the recommendation to accumulate 10,000 steps per day as part of a general physical activity plan.https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)61205-6/fulltext
I can attest to those numbers because when I play golf, I am not only walking (and pushing or carrying my clubs) to my ball, I help others find their ball as well. The zig zag pattern we often walk continues to rack up the mileage and that is before we hit the green.
On the green I will take about 30 to 40 steps depending on the length of my putt. Lining things up, fixing ball marks, moving out of the sight line for other players, etc. greatly adds to the overall total number of steps I take during a round of golf.
Not to mention other movements such as lifting, bending, hoisting, turning, twisting, etc. that often happens regardless of skill level. Golf is a total sport that requires technical skill, athletic ability and mental focus in order to play it well. Being successful at golf has to be developed through training, practice, and constant effort. Sounds pretty sportish to me.
Can golf be considered exercise, absolutely! After 10,000+ plus steps, I am fatigued. Just because it does not have the explosive movements of basketball or volleyball, the steady effort to walk the golf course can tax most athletes. I would agree that using a power cart does diminish my argument, but walking the course carrying 25 pounds of steel is more exercise than most get on a daily basis.
Golf is exercise in my opinion. It fulfills (as the Mayo Clinic states) a daily requirement of activity. Is it the only exercise one should do regularly, I would suggest not. Staying healthy and fit through a variety of activities is very important to an active lifestyle in the twilight years of our lives. Stan Cox, 89 years young, still plays golf and shoots very well. He rides now, but when I am that age I hope to still be playing. To accomplish this amazing goal, I need to continue to walk the course and fulfill my daily activity requirement.
Do you think golf is exercise?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!