Golf: A Sport or Pastime?
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Golf: A Sport or Pastime?

Is golf truly a sport?

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Golf: A Sport or Pastime?
Sarah Donley

“Golf isn’t a sport. I could hit a ball with a stick in my sleep. You’re not a true athlete.”

Throughout my high school golf career, I was often belittled by the “athletes” from football, volleyball, and basketball teams. I get it, golf is pretty boring if you don’t understand the concept of the game; but it’s like that with every sport.

When I started high school, I was determined to follow in my cousins path and play golf. My freshman year, it was just the 2 of us. It was a long road of failures, tears, and almost giving up. I realize, golf is not as trying as football or basketball, but it is a physical sport.

In professional golf, the player has a caddie to attend to their requests. As a high school student, it is your job to lug your bag of clubs up and down the hills (an average course being 4 miles if you walk a straight line), find your own water, and decide what clubs to use. An average golf bag, with just the essentials, is about 30 pounds. This is not including snacks, water, phones, and any other odds and ins you feel the need to carry. Now, most people will scoff at this, saying it is not that hard; however, golf is more than a physical sport.

Golf is a mental sport. One of the biggest challenges is refusing to let a single bad shot ruin the entire round. This is more difficult than it sounds. When I was playing at sectionals my senior year, I was so nervous my first hole was a 10! For those unaware, that is a horrendous score. The rest of my round was awful because I let one bad hole affect my attitude. Golf is not just for old men, CEOs, and the rich.

Golf is not a team sport. Football, volleyball, and basketball give you teammates to rely on; golf does not. There is a team aspect, but that doesn’t happen until the meet is completely over. Players are completely on their own. You have to encourage yourself, compliment yourself, and find your mistakes on your own. You have no support system throughout the 2-4 hour meet. Golf is a sport.

Sports are supposed to teach your sportsmanship, respect, time-management, and relationship building. Golf does this just like any other sport. At each meet, you golf with 3 other players you do not know starting out. While walking you learn about them, encourage them, and make lifelong friends. You will most likely golf with the same individuals at another meet, which helps you form connections. While on the course, you learn patience and respect of other players shots, rituals, and habits. It is essential to be quiet when another player is hitting the ball, never stand in front of their vision, and do not walk on their putting line. You learn to get your homework done on the ride to and from a meet, in study halls, and whenever you have free time. Golf teaches you just as much as other sports.

Golf may not be the most attended, watched, or liked sport, but it is a sport. This activity teaches life lessons, self confidence, and helps keep you in shape. I am not downgrading other sports. I am fully aware of the hard work, time commitment, and stress other sports require, but golf is the same way. Golf is a sport, a tough one at that, and should be recognized as such.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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