Golf may not be a strenuous sport, but like all activities, it does burn calories. The amount of calories burned while playing depends on whether you walk or ride on the course.
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If you weigh 155 lbs., playing golf while carrying your clubs uses about 410 calories per hour. Since playing nine holes of golf takes about two hours, playing the half-round should use about 820 calories.
Taking a Cart
There's little data on playing golf while riding in a cart, but by subtracting the calories used just in walking from that of golfing while walking, you can estimate the golf component. Walking at a slow rate burns 180 calories per hour, so using two hours at this rate as an estimate for the walking component, and subtracting those 360 calories from the previous result, you get about 460 calories for nine holes in a cart. In small study performed by the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, eight men burned an average of 411 calories each while golfing with carts for nine holes.
The Effect of Burning the Calories
Since your body has to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb., if you play nine holes every day while walking, that goal is reached within five days. It takes eight or nine days of cart golf to achieve the same result.