Golf means different things to many people. It all depends on the point of view. For some, it is a pastime they are passionate about. For others, it can be an activity they engage in with friends to unwind from daily life stress, and for many, it can be a way of life.
What can be blurry is the label we put golf under. Is it a recreational activity? Is it a discipline? Is it a sport? In this article, we are going to tell you the five reasons why we think that golf is a sport through and through.
What is a Sport?
As per the Cambridge Dictionary’s definition: “A game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job.” If you closely inspect the definition itself, you can easily come to the conclusion that golf meets the criterion for the word “sport.”
We need to emphasize the fact that it is played by rules. We can find many rules that define the guidelines under which the game is played. The creation of rules for this recreational activity stems from the notion of making the game as even as possible for everybody, without favoring anybody. This also means that it makes the experience more delightful for the parts involved. Ergo, another reason for considering golf a sport.
Triumphant Return of Golf to the Olympic Games
Having been out of the picture for 112 years, making its last appearance at the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games, golf made its long-awaited comeback at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Since it became a massive draw for fans and intrigued spectators worldwide, it proved itself once again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as a source for undisputed entertainment.
Given the scope of the event, we think that it is a no-brainer that this also enforces the idea that golf is a sport.
You can also notice that golf also meets many of the requirements that other more established counterparts such as fencing, and archery have, like aerobic endurance, finesse, hand-eye coordination, and strategy, among others. Plus, general physical fitness is a must as well.
If this still doesn’t convince you, we recommend you to watch the fellow mentioned sports and try to draw comparisons of your own. You will be amazed by how many common points between them you will be able to gather.
Physical Aptitude is of the Essence
This aspect goes frequently unnoticed, as there is a prevailing stereotype that golf players are either absolutely out of shape, or that they are old and feeble. While it may hold true in a scarce number of cases, elite players are undergoing intense workouts that would make you second-guess this statement in the blink of an eye.
You can easily note that there is an increase in the number of players that decide to turn their golfing capabilities up a notch through the use of strength training regimens to upgrade physical traits like mobility, explosiveness, resistance, and coordination, to name a few. It is a science-backed trend that has been affecting diverse sports throughout varied areas, and golf is not the exception.
You can see golf exponents like Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson, who are known for following strength and conditioning programs. You can observe female golf players including Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Jessica Korda, and Brooke Henderson too. The list goes on and on.
Strength training is a vital part of sports, mainly at elite levels, and as you can tell golf is part of this too.
Precision in Golf is Second-to-None
Amid the broad plethora of existent activities, there are very few that demand as much precision and concentration as golf does. If you get to think about it, the first thing you need to do when you enter a course is drive a tiny ball hundreds of yards away from its original starting point to put it inside a hole slightly wider than four inches. Not only that, but you need to do it with the least amount of shots possible, disregarding that it can positively go out of bounds, or fall into sand traps.
It is such a precise sport, that any little factor counts, from hand positioning to stance width, temperature, slopes, and tolerance to pressure, among others.
From the outside, it can seem to be a piece of cake. But, once you get into the sport and discover all of the minuscule intricacies that surround golf, you will be amazed by how much traits like marksmanship and stress-coping can make or break the players’ performances. This adds to the long list of arguments that support golf as a sport.
On a side note, here you can find a video of one of the most memorable moments in the history of golf, when Jack Nicklaus shoots a jaw-dropping putt from an astonishing distance to the disbelief of Johnny Miller.
Golf is Difficult
This is what makes golf one of the most deceiving sports ever. If you look at it from the outside in very simplistic terms, you will only think that the sport is about putting a ball inside a hole using a club. Yet, we can all agree upon the fact that it involves so much more than that. It demands thriving in the presence of obstacles and continuing despite perceived failures.
Learning the basics can take a few lessons, but mastering them to the degree that many worldwide-known players have, can take years on end. This is one of the elements that makes it so exciting for all of us! This sport teaches the importance of consistency and commitment as means for personal progress. With an adequate amount of perseverance, you can certainly thrive! This is another trait that fits golf into the category of sports.
Why is Golf a Sport?
Because of the five reasons that we listed above, we can all come to the conclusion that golf is a sport. From the very definition of it to its mainstream media presence, the necessary principles like physical fitness, precision, and a high threshold of tolerance to failure are what makes us love it for what it is.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to call it , as long as you do it with passion. Here at back2basics.golf, we can provide you with all of the training items that you need to keep that golfing flame as alive as ever.