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19th Hole

Golf 101: Is golf a sport?



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].

19th Hole

Jason Dufner among well-known names teeing it up in LIV Golf Promotions event



The field for the LIV Golf Promotions event has been released.

Some notable players in the field include Jason Dufner, who has five PGA Tour wins including a major championship, Kevin Chappell (one Tour win and Arnold Palmer Award winner in college), Martin Trainer (one Tour win), former Ryder Cup players Victor Dubuisson and Jeff Overton, as well as Lucas Bjerregard, who famously took down Tiger Woods in the 2019 Dell Matchplay.

The event will take place from December 8-10 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club with the top three finishers earning a spot with LIV for the 2024 season.



Players who are eligible to participate in round one include: Players who ranked #6-#32 on the Asian Tour’s International Series’ Order of Merit, the U.S. Amateur Champion, the British Amateur Champion, the Latin-American Amateur Champion, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion, the European Amateur Champion, the Top-200 from the OWGR and the Top-20 from the WAGR.

In round two, the top 20 and ties from round one will advance, as well as the relegated LIV Golf players from 2023, the DPWT and PGA Tour 2023 winners, any major champion since 2018, any Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup participants, and #1-#5 of the Asian Tour International Series Order of Merit.

The top 16 players remaining on the leaderboard will advance to the 36-hole shootout on Sunday, with the top 3 earning a spot-on LIV in 2024.

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19th Hole

Caddie opens up on surprise firing following multiple-win season



Kip Henley, who’s been caddying for Grayson Murray since May, took to X this week to reveal that Murray “decided to ‘go another direction'” for the upcoming season.

The news is a bit surprising, considering Murray won twice (May and September) on the Korn Ferry Tour in a short span with Henley on his bag.

Murray’s career has been a bit of a rollercoaster. He was a highly decorated youth player and rose to the professional ranks quickly but has ran into multiple controversies over the years.

Most recently, he told Rory McIlroy to “f*** off” during a players-only meeting at the RBC Canadian Open. He also got into an altercation with Kevin Na at the driving range prior to the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

Henley added he’s not upset at Grayson following the split, but “disappointed and sad it worked out this way.”

Murray will be back on the PGA Tour in 2024 after earning his card back following a strong season on the Korn Ferry Tour.

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19th Hole

Golf analyst tears into ‘disgraceful’ U.S. Ryder Cup side



While appearing on Claude Harmon’s Son of a Butch podcast, former PGA Tour player Andrew Coltart ripped the United States Ryder Cup team for the 16.5-11.5 drubbing they received at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

During the event, reports emerged that there were players on the U.S. team, specifically Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, that wanted compensation for their Ryder Cup efforts. Coltart argued that in order to win, the players needed to want to play for the “red, white and blue” and found it “disgraceful”.

“Before we talk about the captains, you’ve got to take 12 players who want to play for your red, white and blue.”

“Because what I see is that’s not the case. There might be 10 of them, that might’ve been the case this year, there might be nine.

“I’m not seeing 12 players that want to play – you guys had a team two years ago at Whistling Straits that was meant to dominate for 10 years.”

“I know you were arguably more depleted because of LIV than the DP World Tour, but the DP World Tour this year had guys in form.

“At Whistling Straits, we didn’t. But you need to get 12 players who want to play.

“I can’t stand listening to some of these multi-millionaires bitching – pitching up to a Ryder Cup and – ‘Somebody’s not paying me any money for it’.

“There’s something wrong with your psyche and personally, I wouldn’t have anybody in my team, even if they qualified, that didn’t want to play for the red, white and blue.

“I find it disgraceful. You go to the DP World Tour – every single man will bleed for that team.”

“They will pay to play a Ryder Cup, not the other way around. Until you sort that out, you’re always going to be up against it.”

Coltart also referenced the fact that the vast majority of the United States team took a month or more off in the lead up to the Ryder Cup, whereas the entire European team played at Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship the week before.

“Where’s the respect for Zach Johnson and that task force that you can’t be bothered playing for five weeks prior to a Ryder Cup?

“It’s not just you you’re letting down, what about the American fans?

“What about the people who paid for the trip to get over there to Rome to support you? And you’re only going to give it a half-baked opportunity?

“And it was no surprise that guess what, you started to play more like you could play at the end of the week when it was basically all but lost? I just don’t understand.

“There is no sport I know that any professional athlete would conceivably take that much time off before what is the Olympics – and expect to perform anywhere near their optimum level? I thought it was really, really poor.”

With Luke Donald having just been named the captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup, the United States will need to rethink their strategy as we get closer to Bethpage Black in 2025.

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