Health Benefits of Golf

key to good health

Playing golf, as we have mentioned in our previous post, has many positive aspects. In this post, we will share the health benefits of golf based on what we have experienced and what the results studies have shown.


insomniaOne of my challenges is falling asleep fast and staying asleep all night. Usually, I do a lot of tossing and turning until I finally fall into a restless sleep. Drinking camomile tea or organic herbal tea helps relax me enough some days, however, when I play golf I have no problem falling into a deep sleep fast.

Does exercise improve sleep? We all know that exercise can improve our sleep patterns.  With golf, you simply sleep better because you are tired after an 18 hole round. All the fresh air, sunlight, walking, swinging clubs and mentally being engaged for 4-5 hours results in a deeper sleep.

Studies show that deeper sleep helps the body regenerate cells and gives muscles and tissues time to repair.

So if you want a good night’s sleep, get out on the golf course!





heart healthPlaying golf regularly helps increase your heart rate which in turn reduces risks for heart diseases and lower bad cholesterol levels.

Research conducted by Neil Wolkodoff of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences (Denver, Colo.), which was quoted in the American Society of Golf Course Architects Site, noted that burning 2,500 calories per week can “greatly reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

So for those who ask me “why do you play so much golf”…my heart says “to keep me healthy”.


For those of us playing in the hot and humid summers in Florida, it sure feels like we burn a whole lot of calories playing golf.  The research by Neil Wolkodoff mentioned above was used to show roughly how many calories a person burns playing an average 9-hole golf course.

scaleAccording to the article, the amount of calories you burn depends on whether you walk & carry, walk do not carry, or if you ride a golf cart.

  • walk and carry – burn 721 calories
  • walk and do not carry – burn 613 calories
  • ride the golf cart – burn 411 calories

During the months when we can play until 8 pm we play 18 holes 5 times per week and we drive our golf cart. (Did I mention its way too hot to walk in the summer here in Florida?)

That equates to a lot of calories per week.

You can see how those can add up to benefit your health.



Increase in life expectancy

There are many studies and statistics about life expectancy (the average period that a person may expect to live) based on lifestyles, age, sex, socioeconomic status and much more. Insurance companies look at mortality tables to determine the risk they take in insuring applicants.  “Mortality tables show the rate of deaths occurring in a defined population during a selected time interval, or survival from birth to any given age. Statistics included in the mortality table show the probability of a person’s death before their next birthday, based on their age.”

When we look at this most of us expect to live a healthy long life.

We are not saying that golf will guarantee you will live longer, however, it is just one more way to stay active which in turn helps us stay healthier.


A study by The Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports compiled data from 300,000 Swedish golfers. Here are their results:

  • death for golfers was 40% lower than people of the same sex, age, and socioeconomic status.
  • they showed a 5-year increase in life expectancy for regular golfers.

Stress Reduction

When you are out on the golf course playing an 18 hole round, it is you, that little white ball and the beauty of nature that surrounds you. The stressful job, the kids giving you a hard time, the bills waiting to be paid, chores to be done and anything else is forgotten if only for those 3-4 hours that your mind is totally engaged in the game.

The exercise you get through golf will have a positive impact on you and boost overall mood. Getting away from the daily routine helps us clear our minds of those cares and return to them with refocus.

The beauty of nature combined with good friends to golf puts you in a good mood and feelings of happiness and relaxation.

happy golfer

In the process of personal competition, you gain confidence and self-esteem increases with the support and encouragement of like-minded fellow golfers who have made the same journey as you and hung in there through the ups and downs of learning the game.

We would love to hear whether you have experienced any of the benefits we mentioned or if there are other benefits of golf that you have experienced and want to share.


  1. It is surprising how far one walks even when using a cart. In 18 holes my wife and I walk 1.5 to 1.7 miles, according to her FitBit. Of course the distance walked would be less if it didn’t take us so many strokes…lol

    • I need a fitbit! You are correct that it does add up. You just gave “extra strokes” a positive slant – more steps! I will not look at those extra shots the same again, but rather welcome the extra exercise opportunity.

  2. My hubby goes away once a year for 5-7 days on his golfing trip with the boys and he always comes back with no golf balls and a worse handicap than when he started. He does love it though and I think it is his time to unwind and relax with the boys. He has even tried to get me to play but I tend to come at golf like I am playing cricket, and leave the course with too many holes. It is great exercise though and an even better outing, especially for the laughs.

    • Tracy, first of all thank you for visiting our website. Many guys make the yearly trip to Myrtle Beach, the golfing Mecca, and I think they do it more for the time away with the boys then they do for the actual golfing. Although, I think they also get out there and get competitive trying to out drive each other or shoot better scores. God forbid you end up being the one having to buy everyone several rounds at the bar afterwards! Regarding balls, if there is any water hazard around I usually see at least 1 of the guys in each group go into the water. In Myrtle as here you do not want to fish for balls and encounter a gator although the encounters in MB would be less frequent than in Florida. I started out leaving many bald spots on the course but over the years I have gotten better and always fill the divots I do take. I agree that the exercise is great, as well as the laughs. There is always laughter when I play with the ladies. The jokes and stories and funny shot moments we share make for some memorable golf outings.

    • Helen. thank you for visiting our website. It’s never too late! I see many retirees of all ages giving it go. Here in our community what you find is that newer golfers play in our weekly scrambles which allows even a newer golfer the chance to be a part of the social aspect of golf, having fun and making friends. If you live in Florida you definitely have the opportunity!

  3. My brother in law plays golf almost every day. He has for years. His son was champion in high school and his plaque is still in the case in the school. They both are good. My husband used to play occasionally but never any more. I used to like miniature gold but that’s about it. Anyway, very good website packed with tons of information. You did your research that’s for sure. Good luck with WA. Wishing you tons of success.

    • Thank you for visiting our website. I love seeing young people excel in any sport they chose to participate in. We love baseball, hockey and golf and enjoy seeing the younger players coming up the ranks. I know that life sometimes gets in the way and interests change as well. Not everyone continues to play golf throughout life but if they do I know that it is a great sport that you can enjoy well into your 80’s. Heck, we have a 90 plus year old in our community that hits the shots and jumps on his cart and zips along as if he was 40 yrs old. Amazing! I sure that is me when I get there.

  4. It sure was nice to know that if the person ever decides to walk around the golf course while carrying their stuff, they can burn 721 calories. Though I am not sure if that is by the hour or that is the entire duration of the game. Either way, a burnt calorie is a burnt calorie regardless of how long it took. Since I intend to lose weight, I might consider golf. After all, I have been interested in it for some time now.

    • The number of calories you burn really depends primarily on your weight. The heavier you are the more calories you burn. I would say that the 721 is an average for an 18 hole round but I have read other articles that say that you can burn up to more than 1,000 calories for a 4 hour, 18 hole round. I imagine that if you play on a course that requires lots of uphill climbing and is a long par 72 course vs a flat terrain course the amount would vary due to the intensity levels being different. Thank you for posting a comment on our website and we welcome suggestions, ideas and feedback!

  5. I’ve never actually been golfing so I amazed the amount of calories you can burn doing that. I guess I didn’t realize how much walking you would do while playing. It certainly makes me rethink the way I view the sport.

    Luckily for me my country isn’t that hot so I think I would add walking rather that driving.

    Great post.

    • Candy,
      When we lived in Canada, we always walked the 18 holes. Here in Florida, with very hot and humid temps, not such a good idea. I too never thought about these things until I learned to golf and read up on all of the benefits the sport offers well into old age. Thanks for commenting.

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