How Far Do You Walk in a Round of Golf?

Brad Carey24 May 2022

How much time do you spend on your feet while playing golf? A lot of variables come into play in this situation. The most obvious one is the overall course length, which is like asking, "How long is a piece of string?" However, in addition to having to walk at least a mile farther than someone running a 5,300-yard course, there are a number of other things to consider.

In theory, it's possible to simply take the yardage on the scorecard and thereafter add a little extra, however when you think about it, the average golfer does far more walking than this. There are a number of things you can engage in before the round, including walking from the parking lot to the pro shop, strolling through the clubhouse, and getting to the practice tee.

Once you've teed off, you're in the thick of the action. However, in addition to the Tee-to-Green scorecard length, there are numerous more distances you might cover: 18 return trips between your buggy and the tee box, and 18 more to/from the greens. As soon as you hit the ground, you'll be on the move again, making your way to the next rake before raking your way out of the bunker. Many golfers will make a circle around the green as they get closer to the hole in order to gauge the break on their next putt. You'll walk further if you miss a putt. In addition, there are things like strolling from the 9th green to the clubhouse for a drink or toilet break. Then there's the big one: what happens if you or one of your group loses a ball mid-game? When searching a 30 meter-long stretch, you may have to go back and forth across it multiple times.

All of these add up. In a typical round, what is the amount of distance actually walked? What are the ways to calculate it? The answer is now within reach, thanks to the rise of smartphone and GPS technologies.

How Far Do You Walk Playing 18 Holes of Golf?

It's possible to walk anywhere from 3 to 6 miles for an 18-hole round of golf, based on the course length, how much pre- and post-golf walking you do, and how many times you have to look for misplaced balls. Calculating how far you'll walk when playing a game of golf is easier when you know how many yards you'll walk.

Distance of the Golf Course

It is recommended that the length of an 18-hole golf course be somewhere in the range of 6,200 to 7,000 yards. Three times 5,280 divided by 5,280 equals how many miles you'll walk from hole one to hole 18 to figure out how far you'll walk. For instance, a 6,500-yard golf course is approximately 19,500 feet or 3.69 miles long.

Things to Consider

The first and last tees aren't the only places you'll walk throughout a round of golf. To determine how far you walk while playing, you should look at the yardage on the course, as well as the walking you do before and after the round, such as from the clubhouse to the practice tee and from your cart to the tee box. Add a few more yards to your yardage calculations to get a more accurate idea of how far you'll travel throughout a round of golf. 

Measuring the Walking Distance

Use a pedometer to track your steps during a round of golf so you know exactly how far you've walked. From the time you get out of your car until you return, you can count the number of steps you take to get an accurate tally. As a general guideline, 1,000 steps equals about a half-mile of walking.

How Far Do You Walk in 9 Holes of Golf?

The average area of a 9-hole golf course is about 3250 yards or a total of 3900 steps. You can keep track of your steps with a wearable like the Apple Watch or FitBit, or a fitness software on your smartphone.

Estimating how long it takes to walk nine holes of golf is a complex task. First and foremost, the course is packed and there may be foursomes ahead of you that are taking longer than anticipated to complete their rounds. Playing without a cart and walking the entire 9-hole course might take an average player about two hours to complete their round. As many as 45 minutes can be shaved off this time by fast players or one-on-one matches. When planning your round, remember to account for the time required to tee off and then return to your position for each shot.

Why Should You Walk During a Round of Golf?

Golf is beneficial to your health. Golfers understand that getting out on the course, striking the club, and particularly walking the golf course is more than a casual stroll around the park. Walking is by far the most basic of all workout routines, so it stands to reason that walking a golf course is good for your health.

Walking an 18-hole golf course equals 40-70 percent of the difficulty of an optimum aerobic workout, according to Swedish researchers. In another research, cardiologist Dr. Edward A. Palank discovered that walking golfers lowered their bad cholesterol whilst maintaining their good cholesterol levels. In addition, as per Golf Science International, a researcher named Gi Magnusson found that four hours of walking golf is equivalent to a 45-minute fitness class. Another study, conducted at the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences, revealed that walking 9 holes on a hilly course is comparable to a 2.5-mile walk. A golfer who walks 36 holes each week burns roughly 3,000 calories.

3 to 6 miles can be expected to be walked on most courses during an 18-hole game of golf. This is due to how far you have to travel to retrieve lost balls as well as the length of the course, and the amount of pre-and post-round walking you undertake. Whether you're playing 9 or 18 holes of golf, you can burn calories and keep your body in shape by walking regularly on the golf course.

Brad Carey

Brad Carey

An avid golfer, brad loves a round of 18 on a Sunday. After getting involved in the technical side of golf, he thought he'd share his insights with others.

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