Mar 07, 2023
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Golf?

Golf isn’t just about perfecting your swing! It may seem like a slow-paced sport compared to football or soccer, but golf is an excellent form of physical exercise - whether you walk the course or ride in a cart. However you choose to play, getting out on the green is an excellent method of keeping fit, healthy, and burning calories. 

The number of calories used at the end of a golfing day depends on various factors. However, a 9-round play could see you burning up to 1500 calories, and an 18-round could go so far as 3000 calories.

Discover what factors help to increase or decrease the calories you burn for your next trip out on the green!

Calories Burned Playing Golf: 9 Holes vs 18 Holes

No game of golf is the same, so the number of calories burned will vary, depending on many physical factors and whether the golf course is a 9-hole or 18-hole round. 

Typically, it takes 2 to 2.5 hours to complete a 9-hole round, meaning you could burn approximately 600-1500 calories depending on your weight, your bag’s weight, and the terrain of the course. For an 18-hole round lasting about 4-4.5 hours, you could expect to use 1,200-3,000 calories.

Other Factors To Consider

The duration of your time on the course doesn't only determine the number of calories you'll burn. There are many other factors to consider, including, but not limited to:

  • - The weight of your golf bag
  • - Whether or not you walk and carry your bag or use a push cart
  • - Whether you walk the course or ride in a golf cart
  • - The terrain of the course; more hills will mean more calories burned

While you can't ignore physical influences in determining the energy used when you play a round, these additional factors will alter the final number of calories used. 

Weight of the Golf Bag

An average golf bag can weigh between 20 to 30 pounds - clubs included! Again, this range depends on the type of clubs a golfer uses for specific rounds on the course. 

Your body weight is also vital to the formula when calculating the total number of calories burned. For example, carrying around an extra 20-30 pounds of weight during an 18-round roughly equates to burning the same energy as doing a 5-mile backpacking hike. 

Riding a Golf Cart

Generally, the less physical activity you do, the fewer calories you expend. So should you choose to ride a golf cart, it doesn’t matter if your bag weighs close to 30 pounds; you’ll spend less energy than if you were walking.

However, that’s not to say you won’t burn any calories! While riding a cart will inevitably dent the final figure, the physical activity of an 18-hole round will still require a lot of energy. When factoring in getting in and out of the cart, walking around the terrain, and completing at least 36 swings, the average-sized person will still burn approximately 800 calories.

Even on a lazier day, golf requires lots of energy. 

Walking With a Push Cart

Walking has enormous health benefits, including improving sleep, decreasing anxiety, and improving memory. So even if you aren’t too worried about how many calories you burn daily, walking remains a healthy option.

Like riding in a golf cart, if you aren’t carrying all the weight of your bag, there’ll be a dent in the number of calories you could've burned on the course. However, unlike riding in a cart, the dent of using a push cart is surprisingly minuscule. 

Indeed, you would need to use almost the same energy with a push cart as walking and carrying your bag on your back. Push carts are an increasingly popular method for golfers looking to burn maximum calories without injuring or placing unnecessary strain on their backs.

Walking While Carrying Your Bag

Walking while carrying your bag on your back will always burn the most energy. You can burn up to 3000 calories on an 18-round course (terrain and physical factors depending), but if you have a bad back or know you’re susceptible to back injuries, you should avoid carrying your bag where possible. 

Back pain is common, and if you experience back pain, it’s best to stay active. However, seeking medical advice is essential if you display symptoms other than light discomfort. Then, in the future, consider riding in a cart or using a push cart.  

Topography of the Course

The golf course's topography, also known as the terrain, is another factor in the final calorie deficit number. If your round of golf has more peaks and troughs, you’re likely to expend more energy than golfing on a flatter course. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing 18 Holes of Golf?

You burn up to 3000 calories when walking and carrying your equipment - but that's an approximation. The number of calories an individual burns playing an 18-round differs depending on their physicality, how they transported their equipment, and the course's topography. 

How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing 9 Holes of Golf With Cart?

For the average male, around 800-1,300 calories. The wide range of energy burned depends on bag weight, movements in and out of the golfing cart, how many swings you take, and how much walking you do. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Apparel — Shop Stitch Golf Today!

Even when riding the cart around the course, getting out on the green is a great way to exercise. While the total number of calories burned will depend on your bag’s weight, your body weight, and your choice of transportation around the course, no day of golf is wasted exercise. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or ready to step onto the green for the first time, check out Stitch Golf today for all your golfing needs!