This study compared the intensity and energy cost of playing 9 holes of golf with 40 min of lawn mowing in older men and determined whether both met the current recommendations for health benefits. Eighteen men (age 71.2 +/- 4.4 yr, BMI 27.3 +/- 2.3; M +/- SD) completed a graded treadmill test. During golfing and lawn-mowing field tests, oxygen consumption and walking velocity and distance were measured using a portable metabolic system and global positioning system receiver. The net energy costs of golfing and lawn mowing were 310 and 246 kcal, respectively. The average intensities in metabolic equivalents of golfing and lawn mowing were 2.8 +/- 0.5 and 5.5 +/- 0.9, respectively. Both lawn mowing and golfing met the original intensity and energy expenditure requirements for health benefits specified by the American College of Sports Medicine in 1998, but only lawn mowing met the 2007 intensity recommendations.