What makes a sport? For over a hundred years people have been playing golf and because it’s so established it is classed as a sport. If you think about it, all the players do is swing a club at a ball. Is that really a sport though? We’re looking at why golf is and isn’t a sport.
It burns calories
Most sports require some sort of physical exertion, but you don’t see many golfers sweating when they’re out on the course. Sure they play in hot conditions so they might have a few beads of sweat, but they aren’t sweating profusely like some athletes.
Golfers can burn 360 calories per hour which is more than gymnasts, who burn 345 in the same amount of time. Ask a golfer if their sport counts as exercise and they will tell you that of course it does and they can be pretty tired carrying those clubs around.
Golf is a game
Okay, so there is a little bit of physical exertion, but that only comes from walking. We’ve all walked before and know it’s not that strenuous. Some who believe that golf isn’t a sport claim it’s more of a game than anything.
Yes, you can make it into a competition but it isn’t really all that different from pool or darts, apart from the fact it’s played outside. By definition, a game is something that requires skill, played between two or more people while following a set of rules. That sounds a lot like golf to us!
Colleges and universities say so
Students who do golf at college or university fall under the athletic departments. In America, it is subject to the NCAA, National Collegiate Athletic Association, so it has to be a sport, right? Athletic scholarships are given to men and women so in the eyes of the school system golfers are proper sportspeople.
Practice makes perfect
Just because golf takes a lot of practice, and uses some parts of your body doesn’t make it a sport. Activities like chess, computer programing, and brain surgery also require a lot of practice but are definitely not considered a sport. It also has competition and scorekeeping, but again, that doesn’t make it a sport. Even spelling bees keep a score so golf can’t be using this as a reason why it’s a sport.
Physical training means better results
Elite golf used to be played by anybody, but now most of the top stars have to be athletes in their own rights. With the margins so fine, the stronger and fitter the players are the better their chances of success. Isn’t that also true of athletic sports like track and field, or football? One of golf’s most iconic stars of all-time, Tiger Woods, can reportedly bench press up to 315 pounds.
It’s still up for debate, but we reckon golf is justifiably considered a sport. It does require physical exertion, and if it’s good enough for the Olympics committee to include in their games, then it’s good enough for us.