In lieu of my last blog, I would like to discuss the idea of what a sport really is. I have always been under the idea that golf is not a sport, perhaps a fun recreational activity, but not a sport. One of my best friends from home, however, is incredible at golf and is adamant that it is a sport. She is getting a scholarship to play golf at a college, and is quite the competitor. So, my question is, what defines a sport?
According to dictionary.com, a sport is, “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a sport is, “a particular activity (an an athletic game) engaged in for pleasure”. And, according to Google’s dictionary, a sport is, “an activity requiring physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others”.
For me, a sport has always been something that requires exertion and physical prowess and fitness. However, I have come to second guess that. I don’t want to short change the people who involve themselves in such activities as golf that often get discounted. I often find this argument in my head, as golf may require more skill and precision than many other sports do.
According to a study performed by Neil Wolkodoff, golf requires enough energy to be considered a sport, especially when walking the course. If the person is walking the course and carrying their bags, they can burn about 720 calories. (http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/scientist_determines_golf_a_sport). In fact, when there are large hills are the course some players may even reach their anaerobic threshold.
Even with the above facts, I find it difficult to consider golfers “players” and even to consider golf a sport. I do acknowledge that golf requires large amounts of skill and ability both physically and mentally; however, I do not see how it can require very much exertion, and be grouped with such demanding sports as basketball and rugby. So, it appears, I still reach an impasse in my mind. Is golf really a sport?