Golf and Health

When I was in college studying to be a world-renown journalist I had a roommate whose family owned a professional golf course. We would head out of town to the course and sneak around back to the clubhouse. There we would enjoy a drink or two on the house. I never felt guilty, after all her family owned the place.

Being a people watcher I felt obliged to determine exactly what kind of people golfed. Most of the people I saw come and go were of retirement age. This seemed to fit in well with my initial perceptions of the game.

“A great stress relief” I would often hear them say about the game.

While I am sure there is certain stress relieving benefits to Golf, I wonder if those “good old boys” at the local course realize just how healthy of exercise Golf is for them.

Recent statistics show that the sport of Golf, while not an aerobic sport, has many health benefits from extended play. With over 14,000 golf courses nationwide and 24 million people using them, Golf has really become a popular past-time.

With a reputation of being a lazy sport that is extremely low impact and just an easy going hobby, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) fully recognizes it as a legitimate sport for fitness. Peak cardiovascular shape may not be required, but a good golfer needs coordination, flexibility, stamina, and strength to play the game well.

Caloric counts on average golfers show numbers that seem surprising. Golf is one of a few sports and healthy forms of exercise that can actually give you control over the amount of calories you burn every hour.

The exact calories burned vary determined upon what the golfer does. If just on the driving range a 140 pound golfer will burn 191 calories and hour. While a 195 pound golfer will burn 266.

If using a cart to move from hole to hole a golfer of 140 pounds can expect to burn 222 calories an hour and a 195 pound golfer will burn 310.

Should a golfer forgo a cart and carry his or her clubs the numbers jump. A 140 pound golfer burns 350 calories an hour while carrying clubs and a 195 pound golfer burns 487 calories.

So while you shouldn’t expect to lose weight quickly while golfing it does help to give the spouse some hard scientific facts as to why you need to slip away for a few hours on the green.

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