How Far Do You Walk in a Round of Golf?
Golf is a fantastic sport for all ages. It gets you outside in the fresh air and exercising. Some non-golfers may claim it’s a pretty lazy sport but anyone who has ever played the game will be able to tell you just how much walking it involves. After all, the ball goes left and then right and then left again and…oh that’s just me, is it?
But golf is walking intensive. The quote “Golf is a Good Walk Spoiled” attributed to Mark Twain is very accurate because that’s pretty much what the game is. And while golfers might not be running here or climbing there, they will tell you that being on your feet and focusing for between three and a half to four hours takes its toll.
If you want to find out how far you walk in a game of golf, how many steps you take and what the difference is if you use a cart rather than walk the course then read on.
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How Far do you Walk Playing 18 Holes of Golf?
Calculating exactly how far you walk when playing 18 holes of golf depends first and foremost on the length of the golf course you’re playing. Let’s say the course is 6,500 yards long. That means from start to finish the course is roughly 3.7 miles long. So, you walk 3.7 miles in 18 holes of golf? Nope, not even close. That’s the distance if you’re playing the game straight down the middle every time from the tee box to the green. But golf isn’t like that. The ball is going to go left and go right when playing golf and you’re going to have to walk a lot more than the scorecard might suggest.
What about helping playing partners look for their lost balls? And the walk between the green and the next tee? And the time spent pacing around the green, lining up putts, and measuring distances. Individually they may not seem like much but combined they form a hugely comprehensive part of the round. On some courses, you might have a long walk back to a tee. Apparently, the 13th tee at the Masters has now been pushed well back into the trees making for an extra stroll for all the players.
Some estimate that when these factors are accounted for, the distance walked on a golf course can increase by anywhere between 50%-75%. This results in the true distance walked by golfers being between 5.6 miles and 6.5 miles which is considerably more than the length of the course.
And as an extra benefit, you are also burning a lot of calories by playing the game. During a round, a golfer is estimated to burn around 1,500 calories, a number that increases if they carry a bag rather than use a trolley. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Make sure you have some comfortable golf shoes too!
How Far Do You Walk Playing 9 Holes of Golf?
Naturally, if a golfer is only playing 9 holes instead of 18, the distance will be roughly half. There are factors that can affect this. For instance, if you are playing a 9-hole course then yes, the distance is going to be around half of 18 holes as you are playing the exact same holes. However, if you are simply playing 9 holes of an 18-hole course there can be slight variations.
Both nines may not be equal. Taking a par 72 as an example, the front nine could be a par 35 while the back nine could be a par 37 or vice versa. In this case, there will be a slight difference in length.
But it is very difficult to take such factors into account and it is simply easier to call it half an 18-hole course. Doing a quick calculation let’s say the nine holes are 3,250 yards long which equates to 1.85 miles. And from what we learned above, the distance walked on a course is actually far greater than the distance of the course itself, by somewhere between 50%-75%. This translates to a walk of 2.8-3.25 miles.
The number of calories burned works out to be around 750 which can increase depending on whether or not a golfer carries their bag.
How Many Steps in 18 Holes of Golf?
‘Getting your steps in’ has become a popular term used nowadays. Health experts state hitting a daily goal of 10,000 steps will lead to a happier and healthier life. 18 holes of golf help people surpass this mark with ease.
On average people walk 2,000-2,500 steps per mile, depending on the length of their stride. Taking 2,250 to be the average and using the guideline of a golfer covering 5.6-6.5 miles per round, then the number of steps golfers walk during a round is between 12,600-14,600. This number though can become bigger or smaller depending on the length of the course.
How Far Do Professionals Walk in a Round of Golf?
When it comes to the professional game, the pros are playing a much longer course. There are certain shorter courses on the PGA Tour that come under 7,000 yards but for the most part, the yardage is somewhere between 7,200 and 7,500.
Taking the average PGA Tour layout as 7,350 yards, we can calculate the amount of distance the players will have to walk. 7,350 yards is 4.2 miles. Increasing the real distance by 50%-75% means the actual distance that the players walk is 6.3-7.4 miles. The longest course on the PGA Tour schedule is Torrey Pines’ South Course which measures up at 7,765 yards. Here a professional golfer walks between 6.6-7.7 miles.
There are other incalculable factors that affect this. The first is that professional golfers are likely to be more accurate and take fewer shots, meaning they will walk less. They do, however, take more steps while preparing to hit the shot.
How Much Walking Do You Do if You Use a Cart?
All these numbers are very impressive, but what happens if you are playing a golf club where using a cart is mandatory, surely that reduces the number of steps you take by a huge amount.
It does, but golfers can be satisfied in the knowledge that even if they use a cart, they are going to get a considerable amount of steps in. Golf Monthly report that cart users can expect to take over 7,000 steps per 18-hole round, a number with a margin for error of +/- 1,400. This is due to all the walking from the cart to your ball.
Pretty good going if you’re driving around all day!
Next time someone tells you golf isn’t a physical sport, just tell them about your step count.
How Far Do You Walk in a Round of Golf: Summary
So you could easily be walking around 6 miles if you play 18 holes on foot. That’s a decent amount of exercise for most people! Better than sitting on the couch watching TV!
Golf can be a great way of keeping active as we age.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
How far does a golfer walk in a round of 18 holes?
That depends primarily on the length of the course but an average golfer walks between 5.5 and 6.5 miles when walking 18 holes. If you use a cart then you can still rack up somewhere in the region of 2-3 miles.
How far does a golfer walk in a 9-hole round?
In a 9-hole round, a typical golfer would walk 2.5-3 miles.