Okay, athletes. I’m going to say something that will probably make you hate me. I don’t think golf is a real sport. Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of sports in general, and I’ve only played golf once, but all the men in my life enjoy the sport, and so do some of the women. Don’t worry, they’ll hate me too.
The almighty Google defines sport at “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or other for entertainment.” Golf meets nearly all those requirements, but still shouldn’t be categorized as a sport.
Golf isn’t about athletic ability. It’s more about positioning and angles. It’s like an easier, slower version of baseball. It’s like a mobile version of pool. The most physical part of competitive golf is walking from one hole to the next. So, golf is only a sport if you want to consider pool a sport. And I doubt you do.
I went golfing with my parents last weekend, and while it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, it could have been better. The best part about it was driving the golf cart around. The golfing itself — whacking little balls — just felt like playing a board game. I actually feel bad for professional golfers. Not only is it hot and they walk everywhere, but they have to wear stupid preppy clothes, which, according to golfers themselves, do not keep them cool. It seems like the point of golf may as well be to see how many times you can whack a ball in the hot sun before you get heat stroke.
This so-called “sport” is also bad for the environment. Golf courses span over 100 acres. That’s 100 acres of straight up grass. The maintenance of the course is environmentally costly, due to the massive quantities of water required and chemicals used to keep the grass green. And the gas from the amount of mowing to keep the grass short enough to resemble a pool table is just absurd. There’s an entire documentary about the negative environmental impact of golf courses from 2015 called “A Dangerous Game.” Check it out if you’re interested.
It’s also just an expensive activity in general. Sports are supposed to encourage competition and physical exercise, and it’s hard to encourage something that not everyone can afford to do. With basketball, football, and soccer, all you need is a ball and a yard or park. It costs almost nothing to play a friendly game of basketball at the nearby court, or to go to your local high school or church and use their gymnasium. But if you want to play a round of golf, you have to spend unreasonable amounts of money at a golf course, not to mention the golf cart and club rentals.
Now, I may not like sports, but my favorite part about watching basketball is cheering and screaming. You can do that at every sporting event except golf tournaments. You have to do the stupid “Dumbledore silent clap.” You can’t even chat above your indoor voice, and you’re outside. You have to be quiet because the golfer has to be able to concentrate. You know what that sounds like? Chess. Is chess a sport? No.
Golf is useless, harmful, boring and there’s nothing physically benefiting to it, which is the whole point of a sport. So let’s just go ahead and bench this activity for life.
photo credits: U of U student Derrick Ho, Taken in Bountiful Ridge GC, Summer of 2017, Taken by Jennifer Nguyen