Golf vs. Soccer: Distance Covered

As Brazil takes on Germany this afternoon in one semifinal at the World Cup and Netherlands goes up against Argentina tomorrow afternoon in the other semifinal, take a moment to appreciate how far soccer players run in a match. And then compare that distance with how far golfers walk in a round. You’ll be surprised.

As we watch World Cup semifinal action this afternoon (Brazil vs. Germany) and tomorrow afternoon (Netherlands vs. Argentine), it’s impossible not to appreciate how rock-hard fit soccer players are. They should be; they run impressive distances during each match. Well, it’s nice to know that golfers stack up well against soccer players — at least golfers who walk the course.


How Far Soccer Players Run in a Match

Ever wonder how far World Cup soccer players run in a match? Check out this report. A midfielder runs the farthest, covering a field of up to 130 yards. In the U.S. vs. Ghana match, midfielder Michael Bradley covered 7.9 miles. (A few players have run 9.5 miles in a match.) The match lasted 100 minutes and 1 second, so Bradley (with only one real break) averaged 4.75 mph for more than an hour and a half. BTW, even goalkeepers log good mileage; in that game Tim Howard traveling just under 3 miles.

How Far Other Athletes Run

Before getting to golf distances, take a look at how far other athletes run in their games. Reports show that pro athletes cover these distances:
  • Basketball: In the 2012 season, the player that ran the farthest per game was Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, who averaged 2.72 miles per game.
  • Football: Lots of standing around. The players that run the most are typically cornerbacks and wide receivers, who only run about 1.25 miles per game.
  • Tennis: 3 to 5 miles in a five-set match.
  • Baseball: Even an active outfielder who gets a few hits only runs half a mile (maybe) during a game.

How Far Golfers Walk in a Round

And now golf. There are many factors that contribute to distance (which tees are played, the type of course played, how good the golfer is), but the short answer is golfers walk between three and six miles per 18-hole round (see article).

Also, check out this article if you want to know how many calories are burned by walking the course versus riding a cart.

Do you walk or ride, and how much does golf contribute to your general fitness?

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