Golf…to be a sport, or not?

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, 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.  (  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?

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1 Response to Golf…to be a sport, or not?

  1. Jbreeeezy says:

    I do believe it’s a sport, just not in the traditional sense. Although it doesn’t require it’s athletes to be the fastest or the strongest, it does call for a high degree of skill.

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