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Water cooler chat: Is golf truly a 'good walk spoiled?'

Water cooler chat: Is golf truly a 'good walk spoiled?'

Studies have found significant health benefits to playing a round of golf - even if you catch yourself snapping your six-iron or pitching your putter into the drink.

A study of 300,000 Swedish golfers found that a golfer who walks a 9-hole course and carries his own bag burns 721 calories. Even nine holes in a cart burns an average of 411 calories, according to the study.

In fact, walking an 18-hole course is equivalent to a 5-mile walk or a 3.5- to 4-mile run, and requires over 10,000 steps - exceeding the recommended daily guidelines for exercise.

The health benefits don't stop at the walk, however. Soaking up sunshine on the golf course, provided you wear adequate sunscreen, delivers a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Aging golfers also tend to have better static and dynamic balance control.

Can't make it to the course today? Stop at the driving range: a 190-pound golfer burns 259 calories per hour simply hitting balls.