Is Golf a Sport?

By Trinity Pryor

In the world of physical activity, there is a thin line between recreation and sports. Golf, an activity very popular to the world, is in the center of the controversy of if it is a sport or not. Too many signs point to golf as more of a game than a sport. Believers of golf being classified as a sport use the excuse that the media and the olympics consider golf a sport, but the opinions of a few should not dominate the concrete definition of sports requiring rigorous physical activity.

A sport is defined as an activity involving physical exertion and skill that one or a group competes against others. Physical exertion requires a high amount of calorie burning per hour. Golf, without using a cart, burns around 360 calories, while basketball, football, and tennis burns 727 calories per hour. Half the calories burned in golf are from walking the course, but not actually playing the game. If an activity can be played leisurely, like while drinking or smoking, it is not a sport.
Sports are activities where it is hard or impossible to play while injured. In golf, injuries like broken legs or arms do not inhibit players. Therefore, golf is not a sport if it can be played with injuries.
According to the dictionary.com definition, “ a game is “an amusement or pastime; a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators”. Golf more so fits the definition of a game rather than a sport. It does not give justice to actual sports players such as tennis athletes, baseball players, or even competitive swimmers to categorize a leisurely activity like golf as a sport.

By Alyssa Dickerson

Although some may say that Golf does not meet the definition of a sport, many dictionaries define it as a sport. Merriam-Webster defines a sport as a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure: a particular activity (as an athletic game).” Dictionary.com also calls Golf a sport in their definition.”An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature as racing, baseball, tennis, golf…” Not only do dictionaries consider Golf a sport but so does the media, college universities, and the International Olympic Committee.
A big argument against golf being a sport is how it is done leisurely compared to other sports. This is a good argument but many don’t think about how golf requires coordinated muscle skills. One golf swing uses at least 17 muscle groups (hands, wrists, arms, abdomen, and legs). Golfers have to walk about 4-5 miles per 18 hole course. Through all of this they burn a ton of calories. The average golfers burn more calories than the average gymnast.
Golfing is independent just like running and swimming. If swimming and running are considered sports than why can’t golf be considered a sport? Each person has their own independent category that they compete for with all the sports. Golf is so similar to other sports but others still tend to argue that it is not a sport.