Why Golf is Much More of an Active Sport Than You Think

Why Golf is Much More of an Active Sport Than You Think

Let’s face it; most don’t consider golf to be an extreme sport. Simply stated, you jump in a golf cart with a few friends, beverage, and metal sticks and head out in the fresh air for a few hours. Although this can be the way a round of golf looks for some players, the world of golf has changed. More and more golfers are learning that golf is a very active sport. We know that golf is one of the most challenging games out there, and the better physically prepared you are, the easier it will be to perform. It sounds quite a bit like the other active sports out there! Here are a few interesting factors that may change your mind about how active a sport golf is. 

Distance Walked

Golf courses are long. To get from the first tee to the eighteenth green, you will walk on average about five miles. If you are a great player and never hit the ball off the fairway, then you may walk about four miles. Regardless this is quite a bit of distance. 

Golfers that wear pedometers when they play will see well over 10,000 steps for the day. Even before your round of golf, you will likely walk around the clubhouse, head to the driving range, and maybe even do some stretching. These all add to the steps and the movement that you get when you play a round of golf. 

Golfers that take a cart will still get a few miles in but certainly not the same as those who walk. If you are serious about playing golf as an active game, walking is the way to go. Golfers should know that when you walk and play golf, you will have to walk quickly to keep up the pace of play. This raises your heart rate a bit. You will also burn a few extra calories by carrying your golf clubs on your back. 


Duration of Activity 

Most sports take about an hour or so to play. Golf is an entirely different animal. To play nine holes of golf, you will be on the course for a little over two hours. For an 18 hole round, you will be looking at more like 4.5 hours. 

Not many sports will keep you active for this length of time. Although golf does not have quite the same intensity, the duration makes it a very active sport. Playing a quick basketball game with friends and then sitting on your couch the rest of the day may not keep you as active as you would like. 

However, if you take that time and go to the driving range, play a round of golf, and then head back to the driving range, you could spend a solid six or more hours being quite active. 

Training for Golf

Golf was not always thought of as the active sport that it is today. The PGA Tour players are proving to us that the better physical conditioning you are in, the better your scores can be. Physical training for golf helps players hit the ball longer, and it helps them to gain more stamina as well. 

As we mentioned walking the golf course will require you to take over 10,000 steps. If you are not in decent physical condition, you will have a hard time walking up that 18th green with energy and strength. 

When you get tired of golf, you start to make mistakes. Your swing will have issues, you will make sloppy entrances to the impact position, and your overall golf game will start to struggle. If you are in good physical condition and have done some golf-specific training, you will notice an immediate difference in capabilities. 

Training for golf can include cardio workouts, strength training, and golf-specific stretching and rotation exercises. The golfers on the PGA Tour spend quite a bit of time in the gym, which directly impacts their abilities on the course. The better physical condition you can get your body in, the easier time you will have on the golf course. 

Muscle Movement and Rotation 

When you swing a golf club, there are many muscles involved in the process. The golf swing does not focus on one small area or muscle group; instead, it is a full-body motion. Of course, the fact that your entire body is involved will increase the athletic ability needed to be able to hit a ball well. 

Golfers that take time to work on their pectoral muscles, their core, and even their forearms are going to notice an incredible difference in both distance and consistency. Players that are not quite as strong tend to have a hard time repeating a golf swing. With the club’s weight and the difficulty of timing and balance, repetition in golf is hard. 

When you play golf, you will establish better muscle strength and control. Golf clubs have weight to them, and then they are swung well over 75 mph. Some faster swinging players can swing driver over 115 mph. The weight combined with the speed makes golf much more active than you may think. 

What About Speed Golf? 

One of the things that can make golf even more active is when you can play fast. Playing on a golf course that is filled with people can be a bit annoying. You will be waiting to hit most of your shots, and it can be very hard to get any kind of momentum going. 


However, if you can find a golf course with fewer golfers or a time of day when the course is empty, speed golf is a real option. You may be able to play an eighteen-hole round of golf in 3 hours as opposed to 4.5 hours. 

When you play at a rate of play that is fast like this, you will be burning calories quite a bit faster as well. There will be hardly any standing around between shots, and you can simply walk from one shot to the next.

Having the right equipment, like a lightweight golf bag and a golf bag with only the necessities, will help you move around the golf course even faster. Speed golf is a  situation that most players dream of. However, if you are serious about active golf, talk to the local courses and see if they can accommodate your requests on their tee sheet. 

Golf- A Very Active Game 

If you are an accomplished athlete or somebody looking into taking up a sport, you will quickly learn that golf is more active than you may think. Many new golfers will be sore and tired after a round on the golf course. This is a surprising fact to those that don’t know the game all that well. However, for the golfers that have been around a while, it comes as no surprise. Part of what makes golf so appealing is the fact that you need both mind and body control to be able to succeed in this game. Until you have both in place, your scores will waiver considerably between rounds.

Sean Lockwood

Sean is a programmer with a passion for extreme sports. Favourite extreme sports discipline is biathlon. Started this blog because of the great love for nature and adrenaline which results in something extreme like Extreme Sports Lab (ESL).

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