Energy expenditure compared to mental focus & score in three modes of golf transport/play


Neil Ernest Wolkodoff 1, Gerald Martin Haase 2 and Ben Nathaniel Pennymon 3

1 Colorado Center for Health & Sport Science, Denver, Colorado.
2 University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.
3 Common Ground Golf Course, Aurora, Colorado.


Golf has surged over the last ten years as a recreational sport activity. Over the two years of the pandemic, golf growth spurted upward as it allowed participants time outside in a recreational environment with a robust set of perceived health and social benefits [1, 2]. However, do the perceived benefits match reality regarding health or fitness contribution?

There has been continuing debate about whether golf is a sport or an activity and what is the level of physical benefit. Limited studies have attempted to ascertain how golf contributes to health. Prior investigations have used metrics such as steps, distance, heart rate, movement patterns, and in rare cases, actual energy expenditure via expired gases to view health or fitness benefit [3, 4, 5]. While not conclusive, as golf is a complex activity with many dimensions of play, the investigations have strongly indicated that golf contributes to health as a moderate-exertion physical activity [4, 5, 6]. It is better than just walking, in large part due to the increased metabolic demands of the terrain, and total energy expended and the golf swing itself.

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