Another apology is in the offing although it is officially still Thursday for most of us. The bowling leagues will be back on the lanes in a few weeks and our golf courses will be thinning out as our northern visitors return to their roosts. For years I have contemplated whether there is an exercise benefit to either sport. What we do know is that there is some movement of the body in both, There are small balls and big balls to contend with and their opposing weights of light and heavy. The heavy ones roll along while the small ones fly. This is going to be difficult to find the proper measuring stick.
It's not very often that you hear people say that he or she has a golfer's body or a bowler's body. Theoretically, their bodies are in the exact image that the food they consume and activity level has derived for them. The one stat I really liked reading was that 31% of bowlers are also golfers. I have not yet found the reverse correlation made.
The game in terms of equipment barely changed for 60 years. Then accelerated with the dramatic ball technology in the late '90s the game changed radically. After reading that statement would you know which sport of the two mentioned here was being described? I couldn't. The Golfing vs. Bowling debate lingers on and here is my educated breakdown of which is better for your physicality and health.
The comparison should be among the Pro athletes for some sense of their amount of effort and time spent to master the craft. Ratings matter but here are some facts, twice as many people than golfed last year. In fact it was about 45,000,000 bowlers to 23,000,000 golfers. The average age of a bowler is nearly half that of the average golfer. Bowling is almost equally split with males edging out females by only a few percentage points. Golf on the other hand remains dominated by the male gender closer to 3 to 1.
Lets talk calories burned! Both sports will consume about 2.5 hours of your day. Golf will include 4 miles of walking on the average 6,000 to 6,500 yard course (sans cart). I must add it is amazing when you think about that poor little golf ball. It's three quarters of an ounce that gets whacked off the tee and whizzes along at almost 180 mph and with any luck be able to fly 300 yards. Bowling on the other hand (right or left also) has a minimum of steps although it does involve lifting, carrying and rolling a 14 to 16 pound ball up to speeds of 22 mph down a 42 inch wide 60 foot alley from foul line to head pin. This is repeated about 20 times per game with 3 to 4 games per outing. Pros might roll 70 to 80 games per week.
There's a general rule of thumb for the amount of calories burned per mile while walking. A 180 pound man uses up about a 100 and a 120 pound woman averages about 65 per mile. So we'll say somewhere between 260 and 400 calories are burned during a round of golf with the caveat that the pulse rate barely noticed. Rule of thumb: 100 calories per walked mile.
When using the same amount of time and the same weights of the bowlers the calorie burn rate ranges from roughly 470 calories during 6 games and up to 710 for a 180 pounder. The pulse rates at this pace will also be 10 to 15% higher than while at rest giving the health and cardiovascular edge to the bowler.
Now that that's been settled can we please go to the alley
for some pizza and beer!