One of the biggest and most annoying accusations thrown at golf – and golfers – is that golf isn’t a real sport.
If you are a golfer, then there’s no doubt that you’re of the opinion that it is. Here, we are going to take a look at exactly why golf is 100% a sport.
What is a Sport?
By definition from the Oxford Dictionary, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Well, there’s no doubt that golf is a physical activity – and it requires an immense amount of skill. What’s more, players (and teams) go against each other, and people watch for entertainment.
What’s more, top sports betting sites such as Boylesports even have lots of markets covering golf. So, obviously, it is widely considered by those in the industry to be a sport.
So, why do people still insist that it isn’t a sport? Well, there are lots of misconceptions around the game… and next, we’ll look at those misconceptions and see exactly why they are wrong.
Misconception 1: It’s Not Physical Enough
One of the biggest misconceptions is that golf isn’t as physically demanding as a sport should be – and it doesn’t require the fitness levels that are associated with traditional sports. However, in reality, competitive golf demands a surprisingly high level of physical fitness.
Professional golfers have to undergo rigorous and very intensive training routines as they need to get stronger and improve their flexibility and endurance.
This completely debunks the idea that golfers are not athletes and don’t need to work on their physical fitness.
Misconception 2: Golfers Aren’t Athletes
If you look at the starting lineup of a 100m race, the runners may vary in height, but generally, the physiques are very similar – strong and muscular.
Then, we have golfers. Even at the highest levels of the sport, golfers can come in all shapes and sizes, and they aren’t always looking like gym bunnies.
As such, golfers can’t be athletes – and thus, golf can’t be a sport, right? However, this perception has started to change thanks to players such as Tiger Woods – and the physically very impressive professionals like Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.
Even players such as Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston should be considered athletes… with the skill and strength to hit a 113 mph driver clubhead speed.
But what about average players? Arguably, anyone can play it – so can it be a sport? Well, anyone can try out any sport if they want – it doesn’t mean that they are any good at it.
Misconception 3: It’s Not a Team Sport
Unlike more traditional team sports, where players need to work perfectly with each other, golf is often played individually.
This distinction has led some to question whether it could be classified as a sport.
However, there are lots of sports – including tennis and track and field events, that are individual sports and still celebrated for their competitive nature.
The fact that golf’s emphasis is on individual performance doesn’t make it any less of a sport. So, although it might not be a team sport – it is still a sport!
Misconception 4: Golfers Can Compete When They Are Old
One common argument is that if a 59-year-old like Tom Watson can compete with golfers half his age, golf isn’t as challenging physically as other sports.
However, the extended careers of professional golfers – and the fact that people can enjoy the sport even into their later years does not diminish its status.
Golf’s accessibility to players of all ages is one of the reasons why it is so popular. However, contrary to popular belief, In 2019, the average age of PGA Tour tournament winners was 34, which isn’t too dissimilar to the prime career age in various sports.
So – is golf a sport? Absolutely. This is an activity that requires strength, skill and endurance.
With fans from all over the world watching and betting on players, there is no doubt that it is not only a sport but also one of the most popular sports in the world.