Golf, as we know it, originated in 15th century Scotland, but it gained the most popularity in the United States of America, where more than 25 million citizens play it. However, the debate of whether golf is actually a sport never ends. People who are against calling golf a sport say that it doesn’t have enough speed. Another argument they use is the age of the players, and they’re also disapproving of the way scores are kept in golf.
Do they have a point? Let’s see.
“Golf Is a Game, Not a Sport”
According to Cambridge English Dictionary, sport is “a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job.”
According to the same dictionary, golf is “a game played outside on the grass in which each player tries to hit a small ball into a series of nine or 18 small holes, using a long, thin stick.”
So, case solved?
If sport is a “game” and golf is also a “game,” we can come to the logical conclusion that golf can be a sport. Especially when we know that it requires skill and that it involves scorekeeping.
“Golf Doesn’t Require Physical Effort”
They say golf isn’t a sport because it doesn’t require physical effort. However, there is no specified level of physical effort required for something to qualify as a sport.
Also, swinging a club demands some strength and skill, while walking 18 holes (five miles) per game can be physically challenging. Even if they are using golf carts, golfers still need to walk at least one mile per game.
“Golfers Are Not Athletes”
Professional golfers come in all shapes and sizes, and people use this as an argument to prove golf is not a sport. But have you seen some of the professional hammer throwers at the Olympic Games?
Not every athletic body is the same, and not every sport requires the same muscle development. Golf requires the know-how and the strength for club swinging, and, in most cases, body fat is not a crucial factor in performing a good swing. Also, there are a lot of professional golfers who are physically impressive, such as Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka.
“Golf Is More about the Equipment and Less about Practice”
Many people view golf as an expensive activity – the more money you have, the better player you’ll be. While there is an initial cost of the equipment, the very training and playing on the course are not as expensive. Also, the clubs, golf gloves, shoes, bag, balls, and tees can last some time. Of course, if you decide on buying a ride, you’ll have to invest in golf cart maintenance from time to time. Nonetheless, the only way to become good at golf, just like in any other sport, is by practicing.
“Golfers Do Not Live a Healthy Life”
In movies and TV shows, golf players are often portrayed as cigar smokers and alcohol drinkers. Some recreational players indeed tend to bring their unhealthy habits on the course, especially if they are there to network. However, the same cannot be said for professionals, who are every bit as committed to their game as any other professional athlete.
“Golf Is Not Competitive”
Golf is frequently played with friends, coworkers, business associates, and clients, just for fun, socializing, or exercising. These games usually exclude keeping scores and celebrating victories. Still, we can’t say golf is entirely free of competition. There are many international and national golf tournaments – and, most importantly, golf is an Olympic sport.
“Anyone Can Be Successful at Golf”
People who advocate that golf is not a sport usually point out the players’ physique, age, and simplicity of the game. However, the training of most professional golfers is very vigorous. They have to be in good shape outside the course to be able to swing that club properly. Precision is also of the utmost importance in this sport, and not to mention the mental strength the game requires. The mind has to work in coherence with the body to get the desired results.
Are you convinced now? Golf is a sport. Take it from the many professional athletes who are training and improving their game each day and the fans who enjoy the beauty of the sport.