The great debate – Is golf a sport?

I was recently accused on a golf forum of regurgitating already written stories in the news. Guilty as charged. But hey…that’s my shtick. I like presenting articles I read that I think are interesting and stories I think others might never get the chance to read. And then I add my 2 cents to it. So…yup…I’m a regurgitating blogger 🙂

Here’s some more backwash for you. The great debate – Is golf a sport?

That argument has been rehashed over and over, but it never gets resolved because everyone’s biased. There’s really no objectivity. If you love golf, then it’s a sport. If you hate golf, then it’s just a boring game. Funny how you either love it or hate it. I wonder why that is? It’s like beer – I hate beer, but my golfgal loves nothing better than a cold beer after a round of golf. Me?…I’ll stick to Smirnoff.

Anyway…back to the golf/sport debate…I came across this article below in the Economic Times in India from a writer who obviously sits on the “con” side of the argument. I found the article entertaining even though I live on the opposite side of the fence.

Every time someone wants to put down golf, they have to find clever analogies to use to make their point. They actually don’t have any facts to substantiate their claim, so they try to do it with humor. And it is funny – it’s just wrong.

Enter Mr. Lewis…he says golf is more like bird watching than basketball. He also says (in reference to Tiger’s performance at the US Open with a fractured leg) that “you can get hurt playing darts, too. Or hiking. Bowling can be seriously hazardous, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Play with enough passion and you can even injure yourself in a spirited game of Monopoly. (I once cut my finger grabbing Park Place.)”

Haha…yes, Mr. Lewis, you have a way with words. I wonder how you feel about Sumo wrestling…

After reading this piece of humor, I thought I’d browse around the Internet for other arguments about golf NOT being a sport and came across this one from Dave Hollander of The Huffington Post.

“Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s a sport. Computer programming and brain surgery are difficult. They are not sports. Just because you compete doesn’t make it a sport either. Pretzel vendors compete. Art galleries compete. Hell, a spelling bee is a competition. Golf is recreation–something to pass the time. It is no more a sport than marbles or cat’s cradle.”

And then, one of my heros, Ichiro Suzuki told USA Today last year, “Tiger is a great golfer, but … when you say athlete, I think of Carl Lewis. When you talk about (golfers or race-car drivers), I don’t want to see them run. It’s the same if you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling. If she’s an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed.”

LOL…I think there may have some language issues with this quote – but I guess the bottom line is that Ichiro doesn’t think golf qualifies as a sport. I can understand why he says that…I watched him play a hole at my local course a year ago. First, he’s not a very good golfer and second, he drove a cart on a course that is walked by 75 year old women at my club! Yup…he drove a golf cart instead of walking. That was pretty funny. I guess if it’s not a sport, why bother walking the 5 miles.

I wonder what Ichiro would say about the gal in this video…


Sorry, had to share that jaw dropping display of athleticism even though it’s not about golf.

Anyway, it seems like a big part of the golf/sport debate centers around walking versus running. It’s okay to chase down a ball or a puck or a frisbee. But you better do it quickly because if you move too slowly, you’re disqualified from the world of sport.

Of course, the Olympic Committee calls curling a sport and I haven’t seen too many curlers sprint to sweep. Maybe we golfers should run from shot to shot and add the time it takes to play to our scores. Not a bad idea (except for the poor caddies) because pace of play would surely improve and we could huff and puff our way into the hard hearts of “real athletes” and the Olympic Committee.


There’s too much social pressure for golf to assume an honest place in human activities, says Michael Lewis
Economic Times
25 Jun 2008

ONE of the amazing things about golf is how many people have been fooled into believing it is actually a real sport. All over the world people now talk and think about golf as if it’s more like football or basketball than, say, bird-watching. The first…read more…

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  1. A friend of mine says that golf would be a sport if someone was hitting a ball back at you.

  2. What is going to happen when Tiger retires? Right now I am hearing a lot of people tell me that they hate golf and if it was not for Tiger Woods playing in the event they would not even merit even being interested in talking about golf. These are the people who see golf as neither a sport or a game..they see it as something Tiger does. I expect this is something we will hear more of as Tiger ages. We can only hope that those Tiger fans age with him and us.

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