What I find amusing about the question of whether golf is a sport is also what I find most disturbing. Seems like the couch potatoes, knuckleheads and drunks have a lot to say defending the game, not the sport, they like to play. At the approximate 15,000 golf courses throughout the nation, there are way too many “outside elements” such as golf carts, pull carts and caddies, to convince me that golf is a sport. Doesn’t playing a “sport” require athleticism? And, aren’t athlete’s people who demonstrate superior skill in the areas of strength, agility and stamina? I do not connect a golfer with the word “athlete.”
So there’s got to be some running involved to call golf a sport, and, it seems to me that the minimum requirement is that walking be involved. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed that question. In a decision involving the PGA Tour v. Martin the Court ruled that the PGA Tour must allow disabled golf Casey Martin to use a golf cart between holes, rather than walk. The Court supported its decision by fi nding that whether a golfer walks between holes, it does not “fundamentally alter the nature” of the game. So how can you call playing golf a sport where being ambulatory is not a basic minimum physical requirement?
Just because golf is difficult doesn’t mean it’s a sport. Brain surgery and computer programming are difficult, but they’re not sports. Just because you compete doesn’t make it a sport either. A spelling bee is a competition, but not a sport. Golf is a hobby or recreation, and usually played to pass time. Playing golf is no more a sport than playing cards, marbles or scratching lottery tickets!
I agree with former professional tennis player John McEnroe who once said, “Golf is not a sport – it’s an artistic exercise like ballet. You can be a fat slob and still play golf.” Every clubhouse I visit, I’m seeing more fat slobs golfi ng. Every spring I’m seeing more middle-aged white males, with huge waist-lines, driving golf carts. And, most of these lazy slugs play cart-golf. That involves no walking at all since they drive the cart as close to the golf ball and green as possible, before hitting their next shot. Nine times out of 10 the carts are loaded up with beer, cigars and other accoutrements that require zero exertion.
For all the kumbaya talk from blowhards like Tim Geary, who claim Tiger Woods is an athlete because he works out; we only have to look in dismay at John Daly, the epitome of a loser’s loser. Have another Twinkie fat boy! In order to settle this feud with Mr. Geary, I wanted to nail down the definition of a sport and see if golf fits the definition. You might think this debate, which started as an argument and has turned into a future fistfight, could be settled by checking the dictionary. My Webster’s version defi nes sport as “physical activity engaged in for pleasure.” Now you tell me, how much pleasure do you get when you splash a ball in a pond; smash a 5-iron deep into the woods or 3-putt from 12 feet? It’s about the same amount of pleasure as a root canal – right? No help from Webster.
As for my definition of sport? Golf is certainly an athletic activity even though you can smoke and drink beer while playing, but it is not a sport. For me, golf has been an incurable addiction, a vice and obsession, and there is no 12-step program that will help!
Tom Gorman, dislikes motorized golf carts, and falsely believes that he plays better when he walks.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?