How Many Calories Does Golf Burn?

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Golf is a well-known activity to get in some extra movement. It certainly offers a fun way to work out but how many calories does golf burn?

While many people don’t see it like that, golf is a way to increase your movement intensity to levels considered to be exercise. Golf allows you to get in a workout in a generally considered fun way.

While the exact number of calories burned with golf varies from individual to individual, the average person can expect to burn around 66-114 calories per 15 minutes of general golf.

This article will also show you a more detailed chart that takes multiple factors into account, calories burned with different aspects of golf, and ways to increase the number of calories burned when golfing.

Biggest factors in calories burned with golf

A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like golf is hard to predict correctly. This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game.

Even so, good estimations can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.

Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn with golf include:

  • Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy you need to fuel movement.
  • Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
  • Intensity: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of golf this can vary a lot by for example walking at a fast vs slow speed.
  • How do you golf: You can approach your golf sessions from a few different angles. Some people drive around using a power cart, others will carry their golf clubs around while walking. This makes a big difference in calories burned.

Hidden calorie burning from golf

There are many other aspects that make it even harder to put how many calories you burn with golf into an exact number. This includes the fact that the calorie-burning effects of golf are not limited to during the workout.

As mentioned, how much you weigh plays a relatively big role in how many calories you burn. This doesn’t just apply to your workout, this is also the case during everyday activities.

Chances are that by golfing you also build some muscle mass. Even though it won’t be as much as for example weight lifting, this extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out. It is however extremely hard to put this amount into a number.

Doing a workout at high intensity can also cause something called “afterburn”. This is basically having an increased metabolism for a while after you stop doing the exercise. It may be a bit harder to get at this point with golf but possible anyway.

Estimations for calories burned with golf usually don’t take into account these long-term effects.

Charts of golfing calorie-burning estimations

The centers for disease control and prevention simplifies the number of calories burned with golf into between 3.5-7 calories per minute (1). In reality there are tools to make more precise estimations.

To calculate calories burned during certain exercises more specifically you can use a formula with MET values. A MET value is an exercise-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of workout is.

You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Estimations for METs while golfing depend a lot on what part of the golf experience and what type of golf you are talking about but vary from 3 at miniature golf to 5.5 at carrying golf clubs (2).

You can look at the number of calories burned with golf from different perspectives. Below you can find charts about calories burned with golf in general per time interval and the difference in calories burned between different aspects of golfing.

Again keep in mind that these are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain factors that do influence calories burned with golf. Also keep in mind that these are rounded numbers.

To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (3).

Calories burned with golf per time interval

One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while golfing is by looking at how much time you spent doing it.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)4 calories66 calories133 calories199 calories266 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)5 calories82 calories165 calories247 calories330 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)7 calories98 calories197 calories295 calories393 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)8 calories114 calories229 calories343 calories457 calories
Chart of calories burned with golf in general

Calories burned with different aspects of golf

Next there is the chart for calories burned with different aspects of golf like carrying clubs, hitting golf balls at the driving range, using a power cart, etc. These numbers are when doing the activity for 30 minutes.

Golf Aspect
Weight Person
Miniature Golf
/Driving Range
Using Power CartPulling ClubsCarrying Clubs
125 Pounds (56 kg)89 calories103 calories148 calories162 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)110 calories128 calories183 calories201 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)131 calories153 calories219 calories240 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)152 calories178 calories254 calories279 calories
Chart of calories burned per 30 minutes with different aspects of golf

Ways to burn more calories with golf

The number of calories burned with golf is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.

The challenge for most people is fitting in workouts in their busy schedule. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of golf.

If you do have more time, spending more time golfing will generally burn more calories than sitting still.

A more obvious way to burn more calories while golfing is choosing to walk over using an electric cart.

A second way to burn more calories with golf is by making the weight you have to carry around heavier. You can do this by for example carrying your clubs around or even better building some extra muscle mass.

Man playing golf to burn calories

How long does it take to see results from golf?

One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000). How long it takes to see weight loss results from golf will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.

One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intense to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.

One hour of golf a day could help you burn an extra 3300 calories in 10 days which is about 0.94 pounds of body fat. 30 days 9900 calories and so on…

Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.

Should you do golf for calorie burning?

Golf is not the best workout choice to burn a lot of calories. There are plenty of workouts that can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

One benefit golf does have is that many people consider it to be a fun way to get in some extra movement. Consistency is a big factor when trying to burn a lot of calories. The difference between two or three workouts every week makes a big difference in the long-term.

If calorie burning is your main goal and you do decide to implement more golf, it may also be smart to implement some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle on top of your golf sessions. The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during golf.

Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what exercise routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.