Playing golf can definitely help you get fit, but it does depend on how you do it. Playing 18 holes is the equivalent of walking 3.5 to 6 miles depending on the course.
Calorie-wise, walking an 18-hole course burns about:
Add in some hills on the course, then you’ll burn even more calories and get more exercise.
While golfing develops many of the same lower body large muscle groups as waking, namely the quads, calves, and buttocks. Golfing goes further by also developing the abdominal core and upper body.
Because of the twisting/turning action of the torso when swinging a golf club, the muscles running alongside the spine – the external obliques - become stronger as do the chest muscles, latissimus dorsi and the muscles in the forearm.
The external obliques help control your torso as you rotate through your golf swing. They run from the sides of the spine and across the ribs ending just above the hip joint.
The Pectoralis Majors run from your chest bone to the shoulder joint on each side of your body and helps support you when bent over and while rotating your body.
The Latissimus Dorsi run from underneath the armpit around the ribs in the back and connects to the shoulder blade. They help your arm move toward the middle of your body.
The muscles of the forearm are what give you the grip on your golf club. It is also what gives you control of your golf swing. In all, 22 different muscles work in conjunction with each other as you grip the club, rotate back, come forward and down with your swing and follow-through.
Based on a 300,000 participant Swedish study, not only does playing golf tend to get you into better shape, but the death rate for golfers is 40 percent lower. As compared to the similar sex, age and socioeconomic status of people who do not golf. This resulted in an increased life expectancy of 5 years for those who play. Who knew!
Because playing golf is fun, many overlook its health benefits when it comes to being a full-body development workout. Round out your workout with occasional strength-building exercises, such as weight lifting or a kettle-bell routine and you’ll reap even more health benefits.
To live longer and enjoy better health, play more golf!