Is Mini Golf Exercise? How Many Calories Does It Burn?

Doesn’t it sound weird that you can get some exercise while playing a round of mini-golf?

It’s true though, mini-golf can certainly be classified as light exercise. However, don’t think that it’s going to be some of the best exercise around (as it’s far from it).

Let’s talk more about this so that you can get a better understanding of mini-golf and exercise.

Mini-Golf Exercise: A Closer Look At The Details

is mini golf exercise

The first thing I want to mention is that if you’re looking to play mini-golf just for the exercise, there are going to be much better options.

Mini-golf is usually played for fun and enjoyment, and then you get the added benefit of burning a few calories here and there.

In fact, walking outside around the block would be a better exercise because you’re continuously walking. Whereas with mini-golf, you move around a lot but often have to stop to putt, pick up your ball, and so on and so forth.

How Many Calories Does Mini-Golf Burn?

A good rule of thumb is that you can expect to burn anywhere from 100-200 calories for your mini-golf outing. Sometimes less, and sometimes more.

Keep in mind that there are going to be many variables when it comes to how many calories you end up burning. A few examples include:

  • The length of the mini-golf holes themselves.
  • Walking from the parking lot to the mini-golf course (hey, every step counts).
  • The distance that you have to travel from hole to hole (some are spaced far apart).
  • The number of holes that you end up playing (some courses offer an unlimited amount).

There are plenty more factors that are going to affect how many calories you burn too. A few very minor examples include walking uphill more often, hitting bad shots where you have to go back to the beginning and hit again, and so on and so forth.

I want to talk a little bit more about another reason that you might not be aware of, and then compare mini-golf as a sport to other very similar activities.

Exercise Differences: Mini-Golf And Putt-Putt

This is a topic that I love bringing up because I never realized the differences between the two. In case you were curious, mini-golf and putt-putt aren’t the exact same thing.

While there are a lot of similarities, there are a few different rules with putt-putt and their courses tend to be much simpler and smaller. I bring up this fact because it’s going to be another factor when it comes to burning calories.

  • Putt-putt: You can expect to be on the lower side of burning 100-200 calories per game.
  • Mini-golf: You can expect to be on the middle or higher side of burning 100-200 calories.

To further explain, putt-putt courses usually don’t have any type of wild courses of themes. This means that the holes are much shorter and there’s overall a lot less walking that you’ll need to do. Less walking means less exercise and fewer calories burned.

There’s no denying it though, both activities offer a ton of fun (you can read about that here).

Exercise Differences: Mini-Golf And Regular Golf

golf course walking

This is yet another topic that I love discussing, simply for the fact that both miniature golf and real golf have plenty of similarities and differences.

Let’s take a look at the differences when it comes to how many calories you can expect to burn:

  • Mini-golf: Anywhere from 100-200 calories (as previously mentioned).
  • Real golf: You’re looking at around 800 calories (just for walking 9 holes).

Once again, there are going to be plenty of other variables that can affect the number of calories that you end up burning when playing real golf. Here are a few of the main ones:

  • If you play 9 or 18 holes (big difference).
  • If you walk or take a golf cart (absolutely huge difference).
  • The length of the course (as well as the distance between holes).

Heck, when it comes to regular golf and even mini-golf, the more skill that you have, the less you’ll probably walk. This is for the fact that you’ll have to do much more walking when you don’t hit the ball where you want it to go.

So it’s easy to see that there are going to be plenty of variables for any type of golf activity when it comes to how many calories you end up burning. Overall, the more you pay to play more (and the overall cost), the more you’re going to end up walking and burning calories.

One of the best ways to see how many calories you burn is by using a pedometer. These are great for not only tracking how many steps you take, but they can also calculate how many calories you ended up burning in the process.

Closing Words About Mini-Golf And Exercise

So can you consider mini-golf (and various other golf activities) as light exercise? Absolutely. However, I always recommend playing mini-golf mostly for the fact that it’s fun and enjoyable.

In fact, mini-golf has quite a lot of other benefits such as being great for dates, large groups, and don’t forget about being highly competitive.

Aside from the fact that mini-golf has gotten crazy popular, people also love it because:

  • Your age doesn’t matter (kids and grandparents even play).
  • Your experience definitely doesn’t matter (it’s easy to play for the first time).
  • Don’t forget about many of the great memories that you can create from playing mini-golf.

The fact that you can also get some light exercise from mini-golf is yet another nice benefit, but it shouldn’t be the main benefit. If you’re looking to get in more steps and burn more calories, a simple brisk walk around the block would simply do the job.

Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about one of my favorite pastimes: mini-golf. If you’re interested in reading more about how you can get better and improve mini-golfing skills, be sure to check out the popular article that I linked down below.

More Reading: How To Always Win Mini-Golf.