Is Golf a Sport? – First Tee – Greater Seattle

Foreward Lucia Morelli, who now has 12 years of age under her belt, became a participant in The First Tee in 2013 when she signed up for a Girls’ Golf class held at Jefferson Park. In addition to the weekly classes she is required to take, she is an avid golfer, serves as a volunteer, is a member of the Junior Advisory Board, and she plays golf in the PGA Junior League. This essay was written by Lucia for her English class in the seventh grade, and she gave her permission for it to be published here. It is in its unaltered and unrevised form and has not been edited or revised in any way.

Is Golf Considered a Sport?

contributed by Lucia Morelli

Did you know that the activity that requires physical exertion and skill and in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment purposes is considered to be a sport? The term “sport” can be found in a variety of dictionaries, and in accordance with this definition, golf is an ideal example of what is meant to be a “sport.” The ancient sport of golf evolved from a Scottish game in which players hit pebbles with sticks. Golf has been played for centuries. Golf has been around for a longer period of time than other popular sports, such as basketball, football, and soccer. The fact that these sports are grueling endurance competitions contributes to their widespread popularity. Even though it does not require a ton of brute strength, golf is still considered a sport. Golf is a legitimate sport due to the fact that it is extremely competitive, requires mental capacity, and requires both physical exertion and the use of muscle. Being competitive is a significant component of any sport, but especially golf. Golf is seen as just a game, but golfers are highly competitive. In any sport you just have to play one day, but in golf a tournament may be up to four days that you have to play. One piece to show how competitive golfers are is they get injured often. For instance, in “2008, when Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open despite playing with his left knee missing an ACL and two stress fractures in his left tibia.” (Harmer). This shows that golfers will stop at nothing to win. Golfers, like other sport players, have to deal with injuries. Some athletes sit out and rest, but golfers only have certain chances for tournaments. Golf also is an individual sport, no one else can ensure the win. Independent sports also require the ability to count on yourself and no one else. I, too, have dealt with injuries in golf; I hurt my wrist and was in brace for two month and I still played in four competitions. Golfers have “no quit”, that is why the competitiveness of golfers show that golf is a sport. One of the most essential part of any sport is the mental game. Mental game is almost as important as being physically strong. In football and soccer, the mental part is knowing the play, but in golf, it is knowing how to do the shot, doing what lays ahead, and blocking out what others have done. Famous golfer, Jack Nicklaus, once said, “You can win tournaments when you’re mechanical, but golf is a game of emotion and adjustment. If you’re not aware of what’s happening to your mind and your body when you’re playing, you’ll never be able to be the very best you can be.” (Evers). This quote is showing if you are the slightest bit off, you will not be able to play your best game. In golf, you have to be so precise because, if you miss the ball slightly, it will throw off your whole shot. In other sports, if you miss slightly you have someone to help, but not in golf. Golf is not only a physical sport but it is also a sport of the mind, and without that aspect you would not be able to play. The mental part of golf shows that it is a sport. Some people will say that golf is not a sport because, “An hour of golf without a cart or caddie burns, on average, 360 calories. By comparison, an hour of basketball burns 727 calories, soccer over 900.” (Is Golf a Sport?). This has some fact behind, it but not all. Basketball and soccer are both anaerobic sports, but you do not play the whole game. Basketball and soccer games are on average 90 to 150 minutes, compared to golf which is on average 270 minutes. Also, a round of 9 holes when you carry your bag, burns, “721 calories burned for nine holes.” If you do the math, that would be about 1500 calories in a round of 18 holes. Not only that, but an hour of golf is a better workout then gymnastics. Golfing without a cart burns an average of 360 calories per hour, compared to about 345 calories doing gymnastics. Golf also requires high muscle coordination because, “The golf swing uses at least 17 muscle groups in the coordinated movement of the hands, wrists, arms, abdomen, and legs.” (Is Golf a Sport?). When it is compared to basketball which uses only about 4 different muscles. In golf you have to build up strength in lots of different muscles but in other sports there only a few you have to build up. The amount of physical extortion and muscle uses shows that golf really is a sport. Golf is a sport because it has been accredited by the International Olympic Committee. This shows that world knows that golf is a sport, that high level athletes want to represent their country with this sport. For a sport to be recognized by the Olympics, “a sport must be widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents.” (Britannica). This shows that golf is widely played across the world, and the International Olympic Committee sees golf as a sport that can, and should, be played in the Olympics. Since golf passes the player rule and the other credentials, it shows that if the Olympics sees it as a sport, then golf is definitely a legitimate sport. To be a sport, a sport must include physical extortion, skill, entertain, and be somewhat competitive. Golf is a sport because it fits the definition. Golf is competitive, has a mental part and requires physical extortion. Not only does it fit this definition found in many dictionaries, but golf is in the Olympics. To be in the Olympics the sport has to be recognized and fits the credentials. Golf fits the credentials of the Olympics which shows that golf is a sport. If you still do not believe that golf is a sport, I will leave you with this. In soccer you kick a ball into a goal, and pretty much anyone can do that. In golf, you have to select the right club, and accurately hit the ball using a coordinated swing. Soccer is using your legs where golf is full body. Yet soccer is considered more a sport than golf. You try swinging a club and hit the ball perfectly. It may make you rethink, because golf is 100 percent a sport.

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