Golf professionals spend hours in the gym training like gymnasts and weight-lifters to combine power with the flexibility and hit drives that go over 450 yards. Still, many people don’t consider them to be athletes. There is still a discussion regarding whether golf is a sport. It can’t be denied that many golfers who barely manage to get the ball off the ground aren’t performing feats of elite athleticism. However, hitting a small white ball with a crooked stick requires some athletic ability and coordination, even if you’re not playing at an elite level.
Anyone who has played golf can attest to the fact that golf presents a certain difficulty. The argument that golf shouldn’t be considered a sport in line with other professional sports, such as football, baseball, basketball, and tennis has run its course. There are hundreds of professional golf events held worldwide, and if you look at the competitors, you will notice that they are not only serious about their fitness but look like athletes as well.
Most golf professionals even document their rigorous training and intense workouts in the gym on social media. Golf’s reputation isn’t helped by the fact that most players who play recreationally tend to drink and smoke as they’re playing the game. However, such actions don’t disprove the fact that you need to be fit and in good shape to complete a round of golf.
5 Reasons that Golf is a Sport
If you’re looking for reasons why golf should be labeled as a sport, you’ve come to the right place. We will share some of the best reasons why golf is a sport, even if it doesn’t require the endurance of a triathlete and the agility of a football player.
1. Golf Meets the Definition of a Sport
If you do a little research, you will find hundreds of definitions that describe what game constitutes a sport. The definition from Merriam-Webster states that a sport is “a game or contest where people take part in physical activities based on a set of rules and compete against one another.” When you look at golf, you will know that it meets all the criteria of a sport.
There are plenty of rules in golf, and people do compete against one another throughout the round of golf. You can say that other sports, such as billiards and darts, don’t have as many rules as there are in golf. Hence, it should be considered a sport in line with other sports.
2. The Olympics Has Welcomed Back Golf as a Sport
Everyone considers the Olympics to be the pinnacle of sporting events and the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet. Golf was welcomed back into the Olympics in 2016, which certainly raises the sport’s profile. You could argue that it merits its place as a sport in the Olympics over other sports such as curling and archery.
Golf requires players to have excellent hand-eye coordination, athleticism, and strategy, and these are the attributes all players competing in elite sports need. Performing in golf and winning the tournament means players must be at the top of their game to win, which is more challenging to do in golf than in other Olympic sports.
3. Golf’s Sporting Status Was Solidified by Tiger Woods
Every elite sport has an athlete that defines the sport and brings it into the limelight. Soccer has Lionel Messi, basketball has Michael Jordan, Formula 1 has Michael Schumacher, and football has Tom Brady. In the same vein, golf has Tiger Woods. Everything that Tiger Woods did on the golf course enhanced the reputation of golf: in the way he celebrated, intimidated opponents, and played the game.
It inspired a new generation of athletic and fearless golfers, who embraced golf as more than just a game but a sport that everyone enjoyed. When you look back at a montage of all the greatest golf shots hit by players, you will find Tiger Woods in that compilation, which goes to show the athleticism, clarity, and precision he had in moments where he has under extreme pressure.
4. You Must Undergo Rigorous Training to Perform Well
Golf professionals train for hours to enhance their athleticism and endurance on the golf course. If you want to play at an elite level and compete for the biggest tournaments, you will need to pit your wits against the best in the world. Golf is a sport that requires rigorous training from athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. Professional golf players will walk for miles on the golf course and then hit precise shots from the fairway to give themselves a chance of winning.
If you want to perform well, you must train hard to compete against golf professionals worldwide. That goes in line with just about any other sport. You can’t slack off in golf and expect to perform to your absolute best. The best players want to be in the best shape possible so that they don’t suffer injuries and can maintain their focus when in the heat of the competition.
5. Golf Is Technically Difficult
You may assume that golf is a simple sport where you only have to hit a small ball with a crooked stick, but you realize how technical it is when you play the game. Golf requires immense focus, athleticism, and power to play. Most professional athletes from other sports who take up golf as a pastime and with a mild interest quickly realize that playing this sport is more challenging than they initially thought.
Golf players have to channel their athleticism on the golf course and be incredibly precise with their shots. They need to have strength in their forearms and shoulders to hit the long 350 yard drives on the golf course. When you play golf, you realize just what kind of effort golf professionals require to compete in golf tournaments.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Golf a Sport? We Think So…
The next time someone tells you that golf is not a sport, you should show them this article or share the reasons mentioned above. Golf gets a bad reputation because most people see it as an older person’s game or leisure activity for retirees. However, there are technical aspects to the game, and athletes playing the game deserve the respect that athletes from other sports get.