Is Golf a Sport? – by Eric Langley

Many of you think golf is a just a game played on the weekends by your old man, but golf is more and takes more than what it seems. I’ve been on the Manchester Memorial High School Golf Team for two years now, and I can tell you it’s much more than just a game, it’s a sport. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of a sport is “a physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” Golf also has many more attributes to make it more of a sport, rather than a game.

Golf has been included in the summer  olympics in  1904 ,1906 and most recently 2016. The second most popular sport in the world, cricket, has not been in the Olympics since 1900. Also, baseball, has only been in the Olympics once. Golf on the other hand, has been in the Olympics three times now  which is two more than America’s greatest pastime. With three Olympic appearances and Olympic seniority over both baseball and cricket, golf easily qualifies as a sport.

Golf also has a huge fan base. In the United States, golf is a 76 billion dollar industry with more than 25 million players. With numbers in the millions it is clear that golf has more of a following as a sport than a game. Each weekend there is a tournament in different parts of the country. At this year’s Phoenix Open, there was just less than 190,000 in attendance. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl was held the same week in Phoenix, and only 82,000 were in attendance. Golf also has a women’s tour, which many other sports do not offer. Clearly, with a revenue of 76 billion dollars, having over 25 million players in the United States, and a women’s tour, golf can qualify as more of a sport than just a game.

Although it may not seem like it, golf is physically demanding. The golf swing alone uses 17 muscles in the body. When playing 18 holes you walk up to four to five miles. Although burning 1,442 calories doesn’t seem like a lot, it may just be enough to save you room for that cookie you were thinking about eating in the club house later on. The new generation of golfers lift weights daily. The PGA, or Professional Golfer’s Association, has a fitness trailer strictly for the players to work out during tournaments. Although golf doesn’t seem as physically demanding as other sports, it does require weightlifting to improve and hit the ball farther.

Lastly, achievement in golf feels just as good as in any other sport. For example, when I got my first birdie in golf, which is one stroke under the par of the hole, I felt just as excited as when I hit my first homerun in baseball. As Yogi Berra once said, “The game is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”  Many people think that golfers go on the course and dilly-dally when they take shots, when in fact it’s the complete opposite. When most professional golfers are asked what their “success” to the round was, over 50% say that taking their time and visualizing the shot helped them score.

Golf fits the definition of a sport perfectly. With major factors including the physical/mental requirements, Olympic appearances, and an immense fan base, golf overall demands to be considered a sport with the evidence provided, and should be considered NOTHING less.

 

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