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19th Hole

Golf 101: Is golf a sport?

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Is golf a sport? The question of whether golf is or isn’t a sport is about as divisive as you can get and the debate will likely rumble on and on. For a balanced take, here at GolfWRX, we will present both sides of the argument and ultimately allow you to make up your own mind.

Let’s start with the reasons why golf should be considered a sport.

Is golf a sport?

Golf is a sport because

1. The dictionary says so.

Sport defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

“A contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.”

Golf certainly fits the bill here as it engages several key muscle groups. The golf swing is an athletic movement, golfers compete against one another, and as for the rules, I think it’s fair to say there are a “specific set of rules”, don’t you?

2. The skill level required is insane.

Golf is impossible to master. The skill level and precision required is out of this world. To call any competitive psychical exertion not a sport when it requires so much mastery is disrespectful.

3. The competition surpasses other sports.

In what other sport could the best player of his generation win approximately just 23% of the events he has entered in his career and that number to be lauded as insanely good? Golf is the hardest sport to pick up victories. 

Roger Federer has to beat seven guys to win the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods has to beat 140+ guys to win the U.S. Open. Enough said.

4. Fitness is required.

It takes athleticism to hit a golf ball far. Tiger Woods in the noughties was head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in part thanks to his athletic build. Now look at the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, all fit as a fiddle and all able to crack it 350-yards down the fairway. 

Yeah, there are some out of shape players too, just like in bonafide sports such as football, baseball etc. The best players in any sport will always be in top shape.

5. The mental capacity needed is significant.

Concentration, focus and the ability to hold your nerve is required far more in golf than other sports.

A soccer player is much more likely to choke a penalty than a great chance in open play. Why? Because the player has time to think over a penalty while the majority of opportunities he’d get during a match he would go on instinct. Golfers have time to think before EVERY single shot.

Now let’s look at the counter argument.

Golf is not a sport because

1. No running is involved.

Yeah walking the course with your clubs might burn over 500 calories, but an actual sport leaves you exhausted by the end. The physical exertion in golf is minimal.

2. Old guys can win big events.

Tom Watson nearly won the Open Championship at 59. In what other sport would that be possible, and how can you consider golf a sport if that can happen?

To put it into perspective, that would be the equivalent of John McEnroe finishing runner-up at Wimbledon in 2018..

3. Overweight guys win.

Stamina does not equal athleticism. There’s been several out of shape golfers that have won multiple majors throughout the game’s history. You don’t get out of shape quarterbacks, who regularly drink and smoke, picking up the Vince Lombardi trophy.

4. Skill doesn’t really mean sport.

The majority of people wouldn’t consider pool, snooker, chess or darts a sport, so why should golf receive an exemption? If they don’t qualify as a sport, then why should golf?

5. The dictionary also says it’s a game.

Game defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

“A physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other.”

Whether you adamantly believe golf is a sport or merely a game or past-time, I think we can all agree that it is one of the greatest sport/game/past-times about.

But what side of the fence are you on and why?

 

 

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Joey5Picks

    Jul 27, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Golf is absolutely a sport. Cheerleading is not.

  2. Frankie

    Jul 25, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Compare the athleticism of the top 100 golfers in the world against the top 100 tennis players in the world and it’s no contest, golf is still in the baby stage of athleticism. There are bound to be golfers in the top 100 who you’d pick last out of a lineup for an athletic contest compared to tennis players.

  3. A. Commoner

    Jul 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Golf, a sport? Debate with roots in antiquity. Ho hum.

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19th Hole

Charlie Woods gives first interview after firing 68 at Notah Begay qualifying event

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Over the weekend, Charlie Woods participated in the Notah Begay III Junior National Golf Championship at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

With his dad on his bag, Charlie did not disappoint.

Charlie finished tied for fourth in the Boys 12-13 division thanks to a career low four-under 68.

After his round, Charlie gave an interview and in the process gave a lot of credit to the fifteen-time major champion helping him out throughout the event.

“Dad told me to stay patient. I just played steady golf,” Charlie said.

I’m sure we will hear a lot more of the name “Charlie Woods” in the coming years.

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19th Hole

‘He didn’t look right’ – Tiger’s mobility issues reportedly continue as he caddies for son Charlie

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Over the weekend, 13-year-old Charlie Woods played in a junior golf tournament and shot a career low 68 on his way to a second-place finish.

As great as the performance was for Charlie, a big part of the story was who he had on his bag. That’s right, his dad.

Tiger Woods caddied for Charlie during the event, and according to those in attendance, he “didn’t look right.”

According to @TWLegion on Twitter, the man who took a picture of Tiger Woods said he was in a cart all day and didn’t look completely healthy.

This adds further speculation to the health concerns of Tiger Woods. Many speculated that his lack of presence at the Presidents Cup was odd, considering he could have used a cart like the other captains of the American team. He was on the phone with Davis Love III during the match, but it was reported that he wasn’t in attendance due to “physical limitations.”

The last time we saw Tiger on the golf course — a missed cut at The Open in July — he didn’t look like he was ready to play professional golf competitively. Although his caddie Joe LaCava has speculated that we could see Woods tee it up a few times prior to the Masters in 2023, the recent developments don’t seem promising.

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19th Hole

‘I was pretty p****d off’ – Justin Thomas on Si-Woo Kim’s shush celebration during feisty Sunday clash

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With the Internationals down four points heading into Sunday singles in the Presidents Cup, The United States threw out their de-facto leader Justin Thomas in the first match of the day. In a match where it was crucial to set the tone, International Team captain Trevor Immelmann surprisingly chose Si Woo Kim to counter Thomas.

The South Korean did not disappoint, and although the United States went on to win pretty comfortably, Kim did his job in defeating Thomas by 1-up.

Tensions ran high throughout the day, with Thomas seemingly upset over Kim’s unwillingness to concede a few short putts early in the match.

It was a bit surprising to see Thomas take exception with Kim’s insistence that he finish out some short putts, considering that the Internationals needed to make up quite a large deficit. Additionally, Thomas had been a stickler all week about giving his opponents anything that bordered on “a gimme”.

After a big par putt on the 15th, a clearly emotional “JT” gave a big fist pump in celebration. Usually quite reserved, Si Woo Kim took notice and quieted the crowd after a big par save to match Thomas.

Once again, Thomas took exception to Si Woo, admitting after the match that he was “p***** off “at Kim’s theatrics.

“Honestly, at the time, I was pretty p***** off,” said Thomas afterwards. “I think when you’re in the moment, when you’re on the other side of it, it’s something that gets you motivated, gets you pumped up a little bit.”

When asked about his reaction to the made putt, Kim said he saw Patrick Reed do the celebration at the 2014 Ryder Cup and wanted to do something to match Thomas’ energy.

“I saw that Patrick [Reed] did it before, and yeah, JT give me fist pump, and then I had to do it. And I had to make it, and I made it. Then, like, yeah, I had to do something. I think that give me more energy.”

After all was said and done, Thomas admitted that Kim had the right to celebrate his victory.

“He hit the shots and made the putts better than I did the last three holes or, really, the last nine holes when he needed to,” said Thomas. “So, I can say whatever I want about it, but he beat me. So he has the upper hand on me. But we won the Cup so that’s all that matters.”

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