The answer: Sort of?
Golf is a GREAT form of exercise and activity.
It gets you outside for 5+ hours.
It's a physically impactful and powerful movement.
You're bound to take a bunch of steps whether you're in a cart of walking the course.
And, I think most golfers would agree with me that, by the middle of the back 9, fatigue normally sets in.
But, can you get "in shape" from it?
It's a tough question because "in shape" is a very relative term.
If you currently are a sedentary individual, then YES golf will be a beneficial outlet for physical activity.
However, golf ALONE will not get you to the fitness level that you want to be in.
Step 1: The Dreaded Golf Cart
Created in the 1950s, the golf cart has taken away many of the health benefits associated with the game of golf.
If you truly want to maximize health benefits through the game of golf, walking is a must!
In general, looking outside of the game of golf, walking is probably one of the best forms of physical activity.
The health benefits obtained from it are nearly endless!
I will qualify it by saying that golf with a cart is better than no activity... but consider walking the course next time!
When walking the course, you probably will take 10,000+ steps, depending on your skill level and the course.
With a cart, you'll still probably take ~3,000 steps... which is not bad! But it's also not as good as 10,000.
So, if you aren't already, consider walking next time... it may be more fatiguing now, but it won't be a year from now if you keep at it!
Step 2: Strength Training
A critical part of any fitness lifestyle is strength training.
And, in this case, I am using "strength training" as a more general term for holistic fitness routine.
All of these items fall into this category, with strength training being the most important.
In order to grow muscle, and build resilience we need to apply an overload stimulus to the body via dumbbells, barbells, bands, etc.
Here is a simple 5 Exercise Strength Day for ya...
DB Goblet Squats... 4x6
High Plank Row... 4x6 each arm
DB SL RDL... 4x6 each side
Downdog Push Ups... 4x6
Cossack Squats... 4x5e
If strength training is the next step on your golf fitness journey, be sure to join our community here at scratchgolftraining.com
Step 3: Holistic Health
If your goal is to "get in shape" don't think for a second you can ignore the MANY health habits that exist outside of physical fitness.
Sleep and Recovery.
Social, emotional and mental health.
There are many different components that contribute to you achieving the golf fitness level that you want!
Start prioritizing some of these surrounding habits... If physical fitness is too difficult or you don't feel you have the time (cough, cough... you do!) start your journey by choosing one of these health habits and making it a priority.
Then pick another one.
WRAP IT UP DUDE
Let's bring it all full circle here.
Can you get into better shape by playing golf? YES.
Will it take more than just golf to reach the fitness level that you want? ALSO YES!
The FIRST and easiest step for golfers is to pick up a push cart and start walking.
Here's the one I use... Amazon, Golf Push Cart
NEXT, let's start adding a physical strength training regiment to our lifestyle.
30 minutes, 3 days per week.
Slowly progress the intensity and volume of your training.
If you need a place to start, our SCRATCH 101 program is GREAT for those with little experience training or those beginning training after an extended break.
LASTLY, let's look holistically at the various health habits that contribute to your fitness levels!
Nutrition. Hydration. Sleep. Etc.
Let's dial them in.
Your golf fitness potential is waiting for you.
Let's get to work.
Founder and Head Coach - SCRATCHGolfTraining.com
Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.
Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.
Become a SCRATCH Athlete today, and start training like the ATHLETE you are!