Is Golf a Sport : Why is Golf a Sport?

“Is golf a sport?” -This question has been asked for a very long time. Lets see the definition of sports:

  • an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment [Google].
  • a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other
  • a physical activity (such as hunting, fishing, running, swimming, etc.) that is done for enjoyment [Merriam-Webster]
  • (competitive) game(s), physical recreation, physical activity, physical exercise; [Oxford]

Is Golf an Olympic Sport?

Golf meets the definition of “sport” found in the dictionary, requires physical exertion and coordination, and is recognized as a sport by sporting goods companies, athletic associations, fans, the media, and more. They point to golf’s inclusion in the Olympics starting in 2016 as further evidence of its qualification as a sport.

On the other hand golf better meets the definition of “game” than “sport,” does not require rigorous physical activity, and can be played professionally by people who are overweight, injured, or non-athletic. They argue that golf is a game or leisure activity, and they cite golf’s 112-year absence from the Olympics as proof that it is not a sport.

What is Golf?

Golf is a game played in an open field where the golfer plays his golf ball into a hole by using different types of clubs. In golf, a golfer plays a number of holes in a given order. 18 holes played in an order controlled by the golf course design, normally make up a game.

On a nine-hole course, two nine-hole rounds make up a normal game. Each hole starts from the teeing area. Golfers put the ball on a small stand called a tee and swing a club at it to try and hit it as straight and far as possible.

Why is Golf a Sport?- (Definitive Arguments)

So, using that as a guideline, let’s take a look at golf. “Activity involving physical exertion “ – Yes it does require you to swing a golf club to hit the ball.

“Skill” – Yes, it does require some skill to make the club hit the ball so that it goes in the right direction.

“Compete against another or others” – Yes, you are competing against yourself, playing partners, the golf course itself, and the dreaded bogey.

“For entertainment “ – Yes, golf can be entertaining to play. The ball can take some very odd bounces. If you are paid to play then it is for the entertainment of others.

By definition, golf is a sport. To look at it another way, there is an offense (golfer), a defense (the golf course), a ball, a score is kept, and it requires physical activity to play. That sounds like the description of many other games we play that are called sports.

Is Golf a Sport?- (Pro Arguments)

All sports are games. However, all games are Not sports.

Sport requires competition, a winner and Physical Activity.

Golf has all three. There is physical activity in golf. One needs to be an athlete and perfect certain skills to be a very good, and certainly a professional, golfer.

Whereas electronic video Games will always just be Games, but there can be competition and winners and prize money.

Is Golf a Sport or a Game?- (Arguments)

Lets see the rules for sport:

  1. Physical prowess must aid in success.  There a number of borderline sports out there where this becomes an issue.  Look at table tennis.  I can be really out of shape and still play, but when you look at the top level people they are all ripped.  Clearly stamina and physical conditioning is playing a role.  Also, Tiger Woods raised the bar in golf by doing so much working out, so now most of the top people are in fantastic shape.  Makes one think that the physical prowess plays a role.
  2. Gameday strategy must play a central role in success.  This part leads to some problems with common sports.  The 100 meter dash for instance.  I’m not sure there is a superior strategy that could ever lead to victory.  Just run as fast as you can.  Distance running is a different story.  Where the boundary is, you decide.
  3. Objective scoring.  We felt that it needed to be obvious to the observer who the winner is.  This is a problem for sports like gymnastics and diving that are very difficult physically, but only the “experts” can really tell who the best was on a given day.

We eventually came up with a list of other terms to cover the gamut.  Game, event, activity, exhibition, etc…   People overuse “sport” to mean anything competitive.