Most of us are at least aware that the recommended walking per day is 10,000 steps in a bid to maintain cardiovascular fitness and effectively control weight. In years gone by we wouldn’t have a clue what this equates to but now our phones and a number of activity trackers will tell us how much or how little we are doing per day.
A round of golf will always have a large differential depending on a number of factors. If you’re tackling a course off the back tees the yardage might be up around 7,000 yards before you’ve even factored in the walks between the tees.
If you’re playing in a fourball then you’re likely to add a few more steps as you’ll be looking for more balls. If you’re playing on your own and finding a lot of fairways and greens then your steps will be a lot fewer than if you’re weaving from one side of the course to the other.
Another aspect is what you do when you’re on or around the greens – do you like to look at all your putts from different angles and, if you do, then you can multiply that by 18 which will all add up.
A good guide is that 15,000 steps makes up about 6.5 miles.
There is also stride length to consider – for a woman with an average stride length (2.2 ft), 15,000 steps are 6.245 miles but, for a man with an average step (2.5 ft), that would equate to 7.102 miles.
The general perception is that you will do around 13,000 steps when playing 18 holes, +/- 1,700 steps depending on the above variables. The good news is that whatever course you’re playing you should comfortably get in your 10,000 steps and 12 holes should get you to your daily target.
The surprising news is that if you take a cart then you can still expect to get in over 7,000 steps, +/- 1,400 steps, with all the parking and walking to your ball. So there is still an element of some decent exercise even if you are riding for the day.
Even on a pitch and putt course you can expect to get close to 4,000 steps which might be more than you would imagine.
In an R&A test at Royal County Down, a course of 6800 yards and approximately 3.9 miles, the average distance walked was 6.6 miles, the shortest distance was 5.7 miles and the longest distance walker was 7.8 miles which is double the scorecard’s yardage so it’s not even close to being an exact science.
The good news is that golf is very good for that cardiovascular fitness and weight control so the more golf that you play, the better.
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Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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