Is Golf A Sport?

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

Golf has become a multi-billion dollar industry that is continuing to grow in America as well as all over the globe, and it has even made its way to the Olympics. 

In recent polls carried out, 38% of Americans stated they were golf fans, and 25.7 million Americans claim they are golf players. 

is golf a sport

Therefore, there is no question that golf is popular, but whether it is considered a sport is a debate that has been ongoing. 

Many claim that it is a sport, especially as it has been included in the Olympics, whereas others do not agree with this and state that it is more of a pastime than a sport. 

This article will be looking at both sides of the argument and will outline some reasons as to why it is, and why it isn’t considered a sport. 

Why It Can Be Considered A Sport?

As mentioned above, there are many who state that golf is a sport as it involves certain muscle work and follows certain guidelines in line with other sports. Below are some reasons why it can be considered a sport. 

It Fulfills The Definition Of A Sport

A sport is classified as a game or contest where physical activity is used in accordance with a set of rules, and people compete with one another. 

There are many rules in golf, and physical activity is used, as well as competing with one another. Because of this, it can be considered a sport. 

Training For Pro-Golfers Is Intense

For those who wish to excel at golf, the training is more intense than you would have thought. 

This is to prevent injury and improve precision during the game. Some of this training will include strength training, using weights, and body weight, core training, cardio, mobility and flexibility, and recovery. 

It Returned To The Olympics 

In 2016, the Olympics welcomed the return of the Olympics. As this is the greatest sporting event on the globe, many see the inclusion of golf as enough reason for it to be considered a sport. 

It Is A Very Difficult Game 

Anyone who has played a game of golf will be able to tell you how difficult it actually is. It requires a lot of precision, knowledge, and patience, all aspects which many believe are true to other sports, earning its place as a sport. 

Lots Of Walking

In professional golf, the participants are required to walk to each location. This can sometimes mean walking around 6 miles or more for each round. This will lead to calories being burned, and heart rates increase, which is what happens in other regular sports. 

Therefore, this physical exertion has many to believe that golf should be considered a sport. 

Why It Shouldn’t Be Considered A Sport?

Despite the above reasons for golf being considered a sport, there are several aspects that discard the above, with many continuing to believe that it shouldn’t be classified as a sport. 

You Can Still Play If You Are Injured

In highly regarded sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball, you could not play with injuries such as a broken leg. 

In golf, however, they are still able to compete in tournaments with injuries. This fact alone makes it strange to believe that it can be considered a sport. 

Keeping Score Does Not Make It A Sport

Although there is an element of competition and scores are tallied up against each other to identify a winner, many believe that this is not reason enough to classify golf as a sport. 

As an example, poker, spelling bees, and other regular games also use score keeping, and they are not considered sports. 

is golf a sport 1

No Speed Or Tempo

Everyone can agree that sports such as football, soccer, and basketball have an element of speed and tempo to them that make them exhilarating to watch. 

Golf has none of this. Players will shoot their shots, make their way to their next one, and then repeat. The tempo never really changes, and it is far less exciting and exhilarating to watch when compared with other popular sports. 

The Age Of The Players

In most sports, there is relatively early retirement age. This is due to the physical exertion that these sportsmen and women experience. 

However, golfers do not appear to have the same kind of expiry date when it comes to playing. When it comes to soccer, most players will retire at around 35 years of age. The oldest soccer player was 52, whereas the oldest golfer was 79 years old. 

This begs whether it should be considered a sport if someone at the age of 79 can still play. 

Skill Does Not Equal Sport

There’s no denying that golf requires an incredible amount of skill and expertise that is not easy to muster. 

However, there are other games, such as chess that also require a lot of skill, but it is not considered a sport. Therefore, many believe it should be considered a game, rather than a sport. 

The Physical Element Is Walking

While the arguments that state it should be considered a sport refer to the walking element of the sport, many do not see this as enough physical activity to consider it a sport. 

Many refer to the number of calories burned. An hour of golf without using a cart burns around 360 calories. However, an hour of a basketball game burns 727 calories. 

Therefore, there is not too much physical activity in a game of golf when compared to other sports. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, whether golf can be considered a sport is an ongoing debate. 

While many claim that the skill, precision, and expertise utilized are good enough reasons to classify it as a sport, others state there is not enough physical activity to consider it a sport. 

When compared with other sports such as basketball and soccer, there is much less physical exertion used and much less variety in the game which makes it less exciting to watch. 

Whether you consider it a sport, is down to what you believe an actual sport should be. 

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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