7 Top Health Benefits of Playing Golf

golfingcoupleHealth experts from the US to Australia are insisting that golf can be good for your health. There are so many factors that make playing a round a healthy way to stay fit and keep your heart pumping strong. For players of all ages, as a competitive activity or a casual pastime, golf can help you improve endurance and lose weight.

What the Experts Say about Your Health and Playing Golf

The American Society of Golf Course Architects stands by a Tallahassee.com article by Becky Sauers on the subject. In it, she tells of Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences researcher, Neil Wolkodoff’s report which shows that walking the 9-hole course actually helps you burn calories:

  • Golf players who carry their bags while walking the course burn 721 calories on average.
  • Players who travel the course using pull-carts actually burn 718 calories on average.
  • Golfers who walk the course, but have caddies carry their bags burn 613 calories on average.
  • Those who ride in golf carts throughout the game still burn an average of 411 calories.

The State Government of Victoria (Australia) has made similar claims. On their website, Better Health Channel, they remind us that by walking throughout your round of golf on an average course, you’re trekking about 4-kilometers. That converts to just under three miles, which is a good workout for just about anyone.

Currently, playing golf is Victoria’s third most popular activity for those seeking leisure workouts. Walking an 18-hole course, 3-5 times weekly, gives golfers an ideal amount exercise for the heart. Carrying your own golf clubs, or at least pulling them yourself, is even more beneficial to your health. According to Better Health Channel, the three main health benefits of playing golf are:

  1. Helps you stay fit
  2. Improves your endurance and muscle tome
  3. Assists with losing body fat and unwanted calories

7 Benefits of Golfing, According to Players

Golf has quickly become a popular sport all over the globe. Players of all ages, walks of life, social standings and geographic locations find solace in a good game of golf. Here are seven health benefits of playing golf, as told by various golfers:
1. Reduces Stress – It’s been said that playing a round of golf releases endorphins. These are all-natural, powerful, mood-enhancing “drugs” within our brains. Basically, golfing helps you relax, reducing stress, which can effect health drastically.
2. Stimulates Blood Circulation – Some suggest that playing golf may actually stimulate blood circulation with your brain. This helps to improve nerve cell connections, and may actually delay dementia onset.
3. Improves Mortality Rate – A Swedish Study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports concluded that golf just may affect life expectancy. According to the publication, of those who play golf regularly, there was a 40% decrease in mortality rates. That’s an increase of a 5-year life expectancy.
4. Helps You Get a Better Night’s Sleep – It’s during sleep when our bodies heal most. Therefore, any activity that causes us to sleep well, naturally, is good for our health. Between walking the course, lugging your bag, prepping and swinging, you’ll get enough of a physical workout to fall asleep fast and stay sleep all night long.
5. Improves Vision – It takes pretty good vision to zoom in on that round, little white ball. Each time you take a swing at it, you get the opportunity to evaluate the keenness of your vision. This is especially true when you’re trying to figure out where your ball has landed.
6. Gets Your Bladder Trained – This one was a bit surprising to hear from golfers. But, it deserves noting. Those frequent visits from your friendly course beer-cart girl can give your bladder a run for its time. The longer you learn to hold it, the more you strengthen the capacity of your bladder. And, as noted by some women golfers, it’s also an effective way to strengthen leg muscles, especially in the thighs. Those crouching maneuvers used by those who can’t “hold it” are a unique way of doing leg exercises.
7. Stimulates the Heart – Remember that any form of physical exercise helps to get your adrenaline going. This, in turn, gets the blood pumping to your heart, strengthening it naturally. Exercising for just 30 minutes each day can help you lower your blood pressure by up to 5-7 points. Workouts also help you improve your cholesterol, lose weight and lower risks of getting heart disease.

Are you happier playing golf? Have you lost weight? Slept better? Add your comments below.

  27 comments for “7 Top Health Benefits of Playing Golf

  1. Alec Burns says:

    It’s good that you point out that golfing is a great way to reduce stress. I’ve been looking for ways to eliminate stress in my life, and I’m considering taking up golf as a hobby. I’m going to look for a good golf course in my area to visit.

  2. David Johnson says:

    My eyes have been slightly declining in ability since I turned forty last year. Thanks for explaining that you need good vision to locate the small white golf ball. I’ll have to look for a local golf course and use golf to help keep my vision strong.

  3. Derek McDoogle says:

    I did not know the fact that golf players who carry their bags while walking the course burn 721 calories on average. My dad told me that he would like to start practicing a sport since he just retired. I will let him know to check if golf can be an option so that he can stay fit.

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Golf is a great way to stay healthy. Outdoors, walking, being with friends… even for a beginner, it’s all positive!

  4. Junna Hunter says:

    My husband and I really want to try and play more golf, especially on Saturdays so that we can spend more time together. It would be really nice for us to get some instructions on how to play golf better. I liked what you said about how it can delay dementia because it improves nerve connections by helping the blood flow through it.

  5. Nethan Paul says:

    I think it’s really interesting that golf can improve vision. I have a friend who loves to play golf and invited me to play golf with him. I just wanted to know the benefit of playing golf. Playing golf also to reduce a lot of stress, makes for a powerful social experience. I really liked your article, got the reason to play golf.

  6. Rosie Beckett says:

    My husband recently retired and he is thinking about learning to play golf and I am glad that I found this article because I did not know that there are so many benefits. You make a great point that playing golf actually helps you relax because it releases endorphins that help to reduce stress and this would be a great benefit for my husband! Also, the fact that golfing helps you to improve and work on your vision because you have to look for the small white ball after you putt is also great so that my husband can maintain his good vision.

  7. Elsa Anderson says:

    My husband and I are getting close to retirement and are thinking about starting to play golf because we love sports! I am glad that I found this article because I had no idea that golfing can improve your vision because you often have to figure out where your ball has landed! Also, I like that you say that it reduces stress and helps you relax because my husband is always trying to find ways to relax!

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Golf is a great way to not only get exercise but if you join a club or league, it becomes a great social event. There are golfers in my club that are playing into their late 80s.

  8. Errma says:

    Golf is a very exciting outdoor sport. Performed on a wide field with beautiful panoramic views, characterizing this sport. golf can be a very fun thing, you can momentarily forget the various problems that can make you stress. there is information that I share with you, a hotel that has the best facilities. they have a very nice golf course. you can check here http://www.zuiddrenthe.nl

  9. Persephone de Vito says:

    I guess the thing that appealed to me the most was how you pointed out that playing golf will help improve the keenness of one’s vision considering that they have to constantly look for the tiny, white ball. That’s good to know because I have been interested in the sport for quite a while now. Mom said that I won’t succeed in playing golf because I have bad vision. Seeing this article encouraged me a lot because I know that doing so will help increase my vision. Thanks! I’ll join a golf camp and learn how to play the sport. Thank you!

  10. Kylie Dotts says:

    It’s really interesting that golf has actually been seen to potentially add 5 years to your life. I’m sure that doing things like using golf markers and walking instead of driving help that because of the opportunity it gives to walk around and do some exercise. It seems like a hard sport to play, but one that would be really fun once you got the hang of it.

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Golf is a great way to stay in shape… both physically and socially. You meet the nicest people on a golf course! And yes, it is a hard game to master… but even while you learn the sport, you can benefit. Find a local golf course and ask about lessons or joining a beginner’s league. Let us know how you do.

  11. LNWeaver says:

    I didn’t know 30 mins of exercise could lower your blood pressure by up to 5-7 points. That must make it important to find a regular activity to do. I used to get excited when I saw Tiger Woods play, so maybe I’ll try golf.

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Great idea. Best exercise is walking the course, pushing or carrying your bag, and keeping your blood pressure under control as you learn the game of golf. 🙂

  12. Lily Hagy says:

    I agree with this article, I have experienced it, golf is not just a sport to hit the ball on the target, but train heart health and endurance, besides golf can lose weight. Very helpful. I often play golf in Hampshire in Drenthe. You can check prices and detailed information at zuiddrenthe.nl/golfbaan-zuid-drenthe/starten-met-golf

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Hi Lily, glad you are finding golf a healthy sport for you. Most of the time I walk the golf course, 18 holes = 5 miles for me… a good exercise especially when pushing 15 pounds of golf cart and equipment. Only time I don’t walk is in the high heat months… Our course has a lot of hills, and though I can make it, my golf suffers, so I compromise – walk the front nine, ride the back.

  13. Burt Silver says:

    Thanks for the information about playing golf. My wife and I have been looking for an activity that will help us stay healthy as we age. I didn’t realize that golfing could help stimulate blood circulation. That is really cool. We will have to look into getting some golf gear so we can hit the course!

  14. Trayson Evans says:

    I was always confused when I heard that physical activity would help me be more alert and awake during the day. Working out usually makes me tired, how could it give me more energy? I think I found part of an answer in this article. It says that the physical activity inherent in golf will help you get a better nights sleep.

  15. Tomas Killington says:

    What a great stress relief! I’ve been recently looking for something that my wife and I can do to unwind since we both have grueling occupations. This seems like a great way to leave the cooperate world behind for a few hours. Luckily, we live in an area with great courses.

    • Golf Gurls Admin says:

      You are really lucky, especially if you can play all year ’round. Just remember golf is a game you play! Most of us will never be good enough to play for $$ or as a career… so just get out there and enjoy the game and don’t take it toooo seriously or you’ll end up stressing out! 🙂

  16. Find My Golf Buddy.com says:

    Golf is a excellent game which helps in weight loss and muscles tone up. The health and fitness benefits of playing golf include:
    • Building Strength and muscles tone up: Carrying your golf clubs and golf equipment yourself as a form of weight bearing exercise which further helps in building strength and muscle tone up.

    • Vitamin D supplement: By the sun exposure at the golf course, you are creating vitamin D naturally from the sun s ray.

    • Good Sleep: Sleep is important because it allows time for your muscles to repair themselves and grow stronger. It then follows that you can enjoy your golf game and enjoy your restful sleep as well,

    • Building Social Network: At Golf Course you will have to play with your golfing buddies or even strangers at your golf social club, so you will get plenty of time to bond with your buddies or chat with new friends and get to know new friends even better. New businesses and joint ventures are being struck on golf courses every day.

    Golf nowadays is played more for fun. Findmygolfbuddy.com provides you excellent opportunity to play a round of golf for fun. They provide you with compatible golf partners to play round of golf so that can enjoy the game of golf more.

  17. Raffaella @igolfitaly says:

    Wow, the mortality rate fact is pretty impressive! I think it also improves patience quite a bit 🙂

  18. eva says:

    i love golf …..cant do a simple crunch to save my life but i walk d course 3 times a week with a caddy and after two kids i a still a perfect 10(uksize)

  19. Christina Laurie says:

    Great reasons for playing golf. I love the 7 ways of staying healthy. I’ve forwarded this to two friends who are “sometime” golfers!

    • Pat Mullaly says:

      Playing golf for your health is a really good reason to play. It adds so much quality to my life, i.e. networking with friends, exercise, focus and, of course, FUN! Glad you liked the article.

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