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Golf - A Real Sport

A sport is defined as being an organized, competitive, entertaining and skillful activity. This seems to be an accurate description for football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, track, swimming... The list goes on. But for whatever reason, some people don't consider golf to be a sport.

Why is this?

Many contend that golf isn't a sport because there isn't much athleticism involved. To swing a club at a ball while standing in one spot then later walking to your next hole hardly requires much, if any energy. In addition, though not a requirement, many believe that a sport has some physical interaction--whether tackling someone or throwing a ball at another teammate, golf doesn't really have this. But those who deem golf as an unworthy sport are disregarding many things. Golf is, in fact, a sport and here's why: To be exact, golf is a precision club-and-ball sport. The game has competing players and a clear objective. Golf requires immense talent to actually succeed in being a competitive player. There are rules and regulations, there are spectators, and with any other sport, it also has quite the colorful language if frustration is getting the best of its player. If still not convinced, let's go in a little more detail as to why golf is a real sport.

Neil Wolkodoff, the director of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, believes that golf is a sport and he has science on his side.

He elaborates, "The study shows there's a significant energy expenditure in golf, more than bowling and some other sports it's been compared to." Golfers walking and carrying their heavy bag of clubs burned about 720 calories per round (that's nine holes). That's more than an hour of billiards (216 calories), fishing (302 calories) and a casual canoe trip (345 calories).

And what about the golf players that are little overweight? Surely their presence in the game reaffirms that golf isn't a sport. Well, not so fast. First of all, there are many athletes in all sorts of sports that aren't quite the preferred physique. Second, Wolkdoff's study showed that being fit cuts strokes. So to be a golfer that plays well, one must be in well enough shape. Imagine an unfit person walking up a steep hill. At the top, without any rests periods, he would have to execute a delicate chip. The more out of shape you are, the harder the task. But the better physical shape you're in, the better you'll perform the task.

In addition, a golf swing uses almost every single muscle group in the body and the stroke uses quite a bit of energy expenditure. Not to mention that a significant measure of a sport is if physical training improves your ability to perform the task at hand. And as we've seen from above, it's definitely the case in golf and other sports.

Those who don't consider golf as a sport seem to have a narrow definition of the term sport, usually using their favorite pastime as a measurement of the term. The game of golf has all of the factors any other sport has, it just may not be identical or to the same degree - which certainly is not a defining factor of what is and what is not a sport.

About the Author:

Michelle Brown is a freelance writer working with Radical Golf Carts, specializing in EZ GO golf cart parts in addition to parts for Yamaha and Club Car golf carts.

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