They are not sports. The Court supported its decision by finding that whether a golfer walks between holes does not “fundamentally alter the nature” of the game. Another asks me if I think Tiger Woods will pass Jack Nicklaus’ hallowed record of winning 18 professional majors – after all, Tiger’s halfway there. Golf is recreation–something to pass the time. It is no more a sport than marbles or cat’s cradle.
A “sport” requires athleticism. when you say athlete, I think of Carl Lewis. “Nothing happens.”
That takes me to my final point: Golf is boring. Just because you compete doesn’t make it a sport either. Athletes are people who demonstrate superior physical skill in the areas of strength, agility and stamina. I’d prefer some contact, too. It’s the same if you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling. When you talk about (golfers or race-car drivers), I don’t want to see them run. There’s got to be at least some running to call it a sport. If she’s an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed.” I’ll have to ponder the “ugly bowler” analogy a little longer but I think Ichiro raises a larger question: Is golf a sport?
I’m at birthday party last weekend for my friend’s 5-year old and his buddies find out I’m sports writer. You want to get a nap in on Sunday afternoon? Turn on golf.
Are golfers athletes? Ichiro Suzuki, the fleet Seattle Mariners outfielder, commented on Tiger’s Wood’s athleticism last spring in USA Today: “Tiger is a great golfer, but … So I jiggled the ice in my glass and offered a seasoned perspective: “Seriously guys, do you really consider golfers to be athletes?” I was friendless for the rest of the afternoon.
Not long ago, I listened to a host on talk radio praise Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Pat Sumerall for his ability to call any sport on television — even golf. Do you want to see the least amount of physical prowess combined with the greatest dearth of raw emotion? Turn on golf. So says PGA Tour v. Looking for that TV show to help the kids get some shut-eye? Turn on golf. Pretzel vendors compete.
That, my friends, says it all.
Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s a sport. “Golf’s easy,” said Summerall. Art galleries compete. Think of the mythological gods and heroes who personified the highest physical virtues: Hermes (speed), Hercules (strength), Aphrodite (stamina). Computer programming and brain surgery are difficult. How can you call something a sport where being ambulatory is not a basic minimum physical requirement?. Some nondescript LPGA championship is playing on the TV with no sound and one of the fathers tells to me how Lorena Ochoa ought to get more recognition. But “no walking required”? You call that a sport?
Golf does not even rise to the level of “a good walk spoiled” because the primary action of walking is not required. Hell, a spelling bee is a competition. Martin (2001) where the Supreme Court ordered the PGA to allow disabled golfer Casey Martin to use a golf cart in between holes rather than walk