Golf Is The Most Difficult Sport

Golf Is The Most Difficult Sport

Happy Gilmore is my spirit animal when I miss a putt.

For most sports, like football for example, even if you do not excel at it, being athletic will still make you adequate. That goes for most sports, as long as you are fast and quick you will usually keep up with the studs. Golf on the other hand is not like that at all. Golf is one of the few sports where you can't muscle your way to greatness, and because of this reason it is the hardest sport ever.

Now, many people will begin to disagree and say rugby or boxing or one of those physically challenging sports that take endurance, is by far the hardest sport. While you are right, those sports are extremely difficult, they are also ones where you can muscle your way through half the time.

The reason I pick golf over any other sport as most difficult is because what the concept of the game is. Golf is where you take a four foot metal rod with a head at the end, and hit a ball that is one inch in diameter, at a hole in the ground. Not only that, but the hole is hundreds of yards away and the only way to detect where the target is, is by a big flag sticking out of the hole that should say, "you will never hit me."

When you see professional golfers on television they drive the ball at least 300 yards easily, so like many of you who have never played, I, too, thought all you do is Babe Ruth your way to this flag. But, like you, I was wrong. If you try to swing the club as hard as you can thinking you're Happy Gilmore, your club will most likely go farther than the ball. Hitting the ball far is not about a powerful swing like in baseball, it is about properly swinging.

It mainly starts with your first approach or your drive. The reason golf is the only sport where it's rude to cheer and has it's own 'clap' is because it takes more concentration than studying. Everything has to be lined up just right and your hands just so. Even if you get that down you can still mess up. Lean too far back and you're slicing it right and are going to have to Sandlot it out of someone's back yard. Too far over the ball and who knows where it will go.

The main reason it's so hard to hit a golf ball correctly is that it's not even close to baseball. Like I said, it's not a power game, it's all about precision. It can take years to get your swing down properly until it's muscle memory.

Now, lets say you have your swing down enough so it's decent and you don't look like you just started. The next thing you have to worry about is everything else. Once that ball is in the air you pray it lands on the fairway. If it lands in the sand bunker its the opposite of a beach paradise and you may as well give yourself three strokes on your score card automatically because, there is no way you're getting out of there in one swing.

Again, for the sake of assumption, you hit it on the fairway, you now have to deal with the type of club you are going to use. Which then brings up the very first problem: the swing. Hitting the ball with an iron requires a completely new swing. Now you really have to make sure you know what you're doing. Maybe you can get away with punching the ball from the box, but now that you're close your early-years-Tiger Woods has to come out. Your back swing may have to be less and even if it doesn't you still have the chance of not getting underneath the ball enough and it not even going in the air and just looking like a really aggressive putt. Again it's all about precision. Hitting the ball at the perfect angle requires the right amount of back swing, club angle and how far under the ball you get. It's like a really majestic upper cut.

Lastly, is putting; the part of golf where it feels the most intense. The worst part of putting is that it looks so simple but it's very deceiving. If you make it to the green without pulling your hair out then don't get too excited. Reading greens is like another reading level not even the advanced readers in elementary school got to. It's difficult. This is when you need to know how the green moves, where the bumps are and how hard to hit the ball. If you are an amateur and do not play often then putting is all luck because hitting the ball in on the first try seems to never happen. After finally scoring just remember, you have 17 more holes of fun left.

If you are someone with very low patience or thinks golf is something you can master in a day than this is not the sport for you. It's not easy to pick up and just because you're a business man does not mean you are going to be excellent; don't let the movies fool you. Golf takes the right technique from the grip of the club to where your feet line up. Nothing about golf is easy, and it takes years to master. Hell, even the professionals mess up and they're paid to make it look easy. Golf is the hardest sport there is, and anyone who says different has never played before.

In dedication to my grandpa Don Swanson, who just turned 81 and has been playing golf most his life

Cover Image Credit: PlayBuzz

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What Female Athletes Must Do To Earn Equality In Their Sports

Athletics Beyond Title IV

If I were to ask who Aaron Judge is, odds are you would be able to tell me without any hesitation. However, if I asked you who Kelly Kretschman is, you would probably scratch your head, rack your memory, and conclude you have no idea. Then you would probably proceed to tell me more about how many homeruns Aaron Judge hit -- and forget to tell me how many times he struck out!

You would not be able to tell me how Kelly Kretschman has been an Olympic gold and silver medalist in softball, or that she was a four-time NCAA Division 1 All-American at the University of Alabama. You wouldn’t know that she has been the National Pro Fastpitch Most Valuable Player… three years in a row…. the last one awarded at the age of 38.

But it’s not your fault that you cannot identify one of the most phenomenal female athletes on this planet. Just as it’s not Kelly Kretschman’s fault that she will never make the amount of money or earn the same recognition as Aaron Judge, regardless that she hit .488 for the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch League as opposed to Judge’s .284 average for the Yankees in Major League Baseball.The blame lies with the dynamic of a male-dominated sports world.

This is a problem cause it allows for little opportunity for women to have any type of substantial career or notable recognition in athletics. It is not right that female athletes do not have these opportunities to reach the highest level of recognition and reward. Something has to change.

We as women can put this disparity, this inequality, this lack of attention on the shoulders of the culture of the world. We can sit here and complain about how the world is dominated by this male sports world, that oppresses women. We can argue that if only we got more television coverage, if only we were paid more, then people would watch, then people would care.

Or, we can make an active movement towards equality for women in sports through EARNING television coverage, working hard to maintain this coverage, and using the resources that we already have to create attention and recognition for the female athletic world.

Earning attention is the first step to earning equality. Nothing was ever accomplished by complaining. And surely nothing was accomplished by sulking and feeling sorry for oneself.

So if female athletes want coverage, they have to earn it. It is not fair and it is not right, but it is the harsh reality is that Susan B. Anthony did not fight for the right to vote by complaining and sitting around. She fought through rallies, conventions, and activist work, proved herself worthy to vote, and eventually with the help of the other dynamic women earned it.

So how are female athletes going to earn this attention, this coverage, and most importantly this equality? The answer lies in a few factors, but what really must be taken advantage of is the fact that we have social media.

If television stations are not going to give equal coverage, female athletes can create equal coverage. There is Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook. There is Periscope. Women can create their own videos, their own highlight reals, their own stories.

They can now devise their own platforms and use them to broadcast their voices, successes, and athletic accomplishments. Social media is going to be the key to earning initial attention that is crucial if female athletes aspire to anything more than what we have now.

It is also necessary that those female figures and highly recognized female athletes really utilize their social media platforms and their voices to promote females in sports. They figured out how to break through the male sports world to gain some recognition. They have the attention, so they need to help other female athletes boost their following in their respective sports.

For example, Billie Jean King has built up a profile with both men and women by her amazing feats in tennis. She now heads the Women in Sports Foundation and hosts conferences and galas to specifically recognize the amazing accomplishments of women in sports. This is not saying that other female athletes have to start their own foundations; but, they can promote each other. For example, players in the WNBA can start conversations on social media about the NPF and vice versa.

Now, female athletics has begun to gain more attention, and ultimately more coverage. This year, every single NCAA Division 1 Softball Tournament was broadcast by ESPN. However, it is crucial for equality that once we have the coverage that we make the absolute most of it.

We must demonstrate to the broadcasting stations, the advertisers, and the audience of both males and females, that women’s sports can be entertaining and can make money. In the most simplest of terms, female athletics needs to make the most of every single opportunity that is given to them; and, in the past five years, they have been doing just that.

The number of viewers of the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament has drastically increased by almost 20% every year over a three-year period, meaning that the amount of people who are watching the Women’s NCAA tournament is increasing by 20% every time the tournament is broadcast.

In addition, the week of the NCAA Division 1 Women’s College World Series had 9% better ratings than the programs that ESPN broadcast the previous week. In addition, the ratings from the week of the Women’s College World Series in 2017 had an 8% better rating than the week of the Women’s College World Series in 2016.

The viewership is increasing with every opportunity. The coverage increased in the World Series and the ratings increased. To further this point, I also examined the comparison between the men’s NCAA Divison 1 Baseball World Series. In the past three years, each game broadcast on ESPN averaged 1,476,111 viewers.

In comparison, each women’s game broadcast averaged 1,627,950. The coverage was equal. Both were championship series. Both were college athletics. Both were sports of a similar type of entertainment. And, in the midst of this equality… women win. If we continue to make the most of these opportunities, we will start to gain more and more recognition. Like the rookie beginning in the minor leagues, with each stolen base, each diving play, we have the possibility of getting called up.

Female athletics has a chance to positively impact the way that people view sports and females in general. No, the coverage is not there yet. Yes, there are still battles of money, viewership, and advertising that are still not won. However, if females continue to persist and make the most they can with all of the resources they can, then maybe one day Kelly Kretschman will be just as famous as Aaron Judge and female athletes can earn the same amount of money through the same amount of coverage as male sports.

Cover Image Credit: bigstock

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13 Things Only Runners Can Understand, Most People Just Think We're Crazy

Shin splints, tan lines, and chaffing, just a few things we all know too well.

As crazy as it may sound, I have always loved to run. In my opinion, it is a great stress release and an even better way to stay in shape. I know there are many other people out there who feel the same way about running too. So for my fellow runners out there, this one is for you!

1. When your phone dies during a run

2. The awful pain of shin splints

3. Your legs are almost always covered with KT Tape

4. You have a love-hate relationship with running

5. Runner's high is all too real

6. When it's race day and you have to hydrate

See also: Running Is Just As Mental As It Is Physical, That's Just A Fact

7. Getting a free t-shirt somehow justifies a race entry fee of $50+

8. It feels like Christmas day when you get a new pair of running shoes

9. When you finish a race and are about to eat everything in sight

10. People always think you're crazy because you like to run

11. You have your personal route you always run

12. You know how to run through an injury

13. There is no better feeling of success than finishing a race

So yeah we may be crazy for loving running, and sometimes we may question why we run because it can be very painful and exhausting, but in the end, it is always very rewarding.

Cover Image Credit: Steven Panicko

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