Are golfer's athletes?

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Author: [General Discussion] Topic: Are golfer's athletes?
RichardA PM RichardA
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Posted: 8/14/2010 7:50:42 PM
Not in my opinion, but but opinions are like fool... 



Walking through the study area of a local college several years ago, one couldn't help overhear a loud conversation between two people.

The subject was whether professional golfers are athletes.

Drawn into the conversation by virtue of where a third student decided to sit down, the question was now directed to the newcomer that simply desired some last minute cramming.

"Hey buddy, we're having a bit of an argument here, can you help us?"

"Sure," came the somewhat guarded reply.

"Do you think golfers are athletes?"

"Sure they are," responded the bookworm.

"Aww, what do you know? They're not," continued the adamant proponent of the opposite viewpoint.

The bookworm decided to go for coffee and found a new place to study.

The debate continues to rage and many express disappointment when a golfer wins an Athlete of the Year award.

The arguments for either side go something like this:

On the "No they're not athletes" side are those who point at a young and tubby Jack Nicklaus or Craig Stadler. Stadler picked up "The Walrus" moniker because of his girth and son Kevin appears cut from the same mold. Does anyone remember 300 pound 1990 U.S. Amateur Champion Chris Patton?

On the ladies' side, it's hard to look at recent U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon and think of her as an athlete.

The naysayers claims that the most exercise a golfer gets is walking down the fairway, as compared to a basketball player that runs all over a court for several hours.

Golf is often called a game or a pastime, rather than a sport, they insist -- another subject that necessitates inclusion here.

Perhaps the pristine nature, fawning fans and commentators, and country club snobbery usually associated with golf also contributes to the "no" camp.

I don't like the idolatry connected with golf (or any sport) and roll my eyes when I see fans think they are on a first name basis with the players while wearing expensive garb.

The "Yes" side points at Tiger Woods and Greg Norman -- obviously very fit individuals.

And let's not forget the athletic and graceful Annika Sorenstam and former PGA Tour pro Mac O'Grady, a veteran of several marathons.

They also speak of walking three or four miles over a sometimes hilly 18 holes while speaking of the need for strong legs, arms, and back.

The "Yes" team also argues that golfers can play for no pay by missing a cut, pay their own expenses, and make their own travel arrangements.

Yet, those arguments hold no water when it comes to athletic ability -- they are necessary evils of life as a touring pro.

Besides, no can convince me that Tiger Woods walks into the local travel agency and books a flight and hotel with the next available agent.

By what standard is a sport and an athlete defined? I always go to a reliable source; in this case the dictionary.

Merriam-Webster defines the noun sport as 1): physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2): a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in.

Merriam-Webster
defines athlete as: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.

It's true that in terms of physically beating up one's body, golf is well down the totem pole and it's difficult to argue the mental side since every sport has its own challenges.

Of course, comparing the grace and athleticism of Craig Stadler to Michael Jordan in his prime is a joke. Yet, both fit the definition of athlete for their respective sport.

Jordan, a fine golfer, once received an exemption into the Western Amateur golf championship over a course he played regularly, and he finished 161st out of 162 in the medal play portion -- not even making it to match play.

Golf does require physical effort -- especially if one walks the course -- and swinging a club involves leg, back, arm, and chest muscles.

Walking 18 holes over hilly terrain does take stamina so on that alone a golfer does qualify as an athlete.

Granted, those who use carts and call it exercise are only fooling themselves.

Maybe our perception of what athletic ability is needs adjusting.

After all, under the dictionary definition, a professional dart player or bowler plays a sport and is an athlete.

Although throwing a projectile at a board or rolling a ball down a waxed piece of wood doesn't build up much of a sweat, it does require dexterity.

Reading about and watching some Olympic sports, one is curious how the tag line of "Faster, Higher, Stronger," came into play.

The 1900 Olympics had live pigeon shooting (the poor birds weren't thrilled either) and in recent times we've had synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics.

I struggle to accept several dictionary -- defined sports as such, yet Webster has me by the book.

Of the major sports, baseball has had its share of roly-poly characters.

There was long ball hitting Cecil Fielder, Fernando Valenzuela, and "Big Tub of Goo" Terry Forster.

Several NFL linemen are well over 300 pounds and one look tells you it isn't all muscle.

Golf has its chubby set or round bellies as Lee Trevino calls them. It also has its flat bellies.

While it looks like David Toms would blow over in a moderate wind, baseball had 5'4" Fred Patek.

Hale Irwin was a two-time All-Big Eight selection as a Colorado defensive back in the 1960s and made the school's All-Century football team.

Also, big Jim Thorpe earned a scholarship to Morgan State as a running back.

It's a thorny issue comparing athletes in different sports and the debate will always rage over who are the best athletes.

Basketball players are often called the fittest, however, could any of them complete the original Ironman Triathlon?

So then, going by what the dictionary says, golf is a sport and golfers are athletes.

By John Berkovich
Published: 7/7/2004



searchwarrant PM searchwarrant
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Posted: 8/14/2010 8:26:17 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by Slovak:

no golf is in the same group with darts, billiards and bowling. it is a recreational activity. I seen a guy golfing the other day with those arm crutch things and he was about 80 years old.

That's a roger.

cacabware PM cacabware
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Posted: 8/14/2010 9:07:51 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by Slovak:

no golf is in the same group with darts, billiards and bowling. it is a recreational activity. I seen a guy golfing the other day with those arm crutch things and he was about 80 years old.

 

what category does nascar fall in....................

NJDevils PM NJDevils
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Posted: 8/14/2010 9:16:22 PM
NO
NJDevils PM NJDevils
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Posted: 8/14/2010 9:17:00 PM
golf is what real athletes do when they are taking a break from playing their real sports
searchwarrant PM searchwarrant
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Posted: 8/14/2010 9:43:06 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by cacabware:

 

what category does nascar fall in....................

 

Ripping fast reflexes and hand eye coordination Caca. Almost close to a fighter pilot. F-1 drivers are the the top alpha dogs.

Love,

Search.

StraightShooter PM StraightShooter
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Posted: 8/14/2010 9:54:28 PM
If its common to do it while drinking booze, its not a sport...IMO.
golfandgamble PM golfandgamble
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:11:25 PM


Those who say NO it isn't clearly have never played OR are casual 20-30 handicaps with no clue.


Crowkillers PM Crowkillers
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:14:13 PM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by StraightShooter:

If its common to do it while drinking booze, its not a sport...IMO.

That's a good analogy.

mattbrot PM mattbrot
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:19:10 PM
I say yea.  Sure it is not what we typically think of in terms of Basketball or football etc...

But it takes some good eye hand coordination, touch / feel, mental toughness (I still argue is part of being a good athlete), and combination between strength / flexibility.

This will be argued for sure but I still think it is the most difficult of all sports (when you consider all aspects of it).

For those that think it is not a sport -- what do you think about baseball?  Is golf any more or less of a sport than baseball?
Sparky10191 PM Sparky10191
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:29:26 PM

No. However...many athletes are golfers.

Sparky10191 PM Sparky10191
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:33:10 PM

Deffinition

 

John Daly is a proffesional golfer. Hence...golfers are not athletes unless they are a proffessional at another sport.

Sparky10191 PM Sparky10191
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:33:36 PM

Opps...got cut out.

Definition

Sparky10191 PM Sparky10191
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Posted: 8/14/2010 10:35:36 PM

What the hell?

Definition:

A person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

dl36 PM dl36
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Posted: 8/15/2010 2:41:37 AM
pool, darts, bowling, all sports...

then golf surely is
ksuwins PM ksuwins
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Posted: 8/15/2010 3:57:40 AM
I once heard a talking head on a PGA broadcast (major network) talking about what a great athlete Tiger is....said he could have started D1 at safety or CB for many college football teams.

How hard can you laugh at a dumbass statement like that?!?!? 

Athletes take up golf more easily than schmucks.  But give me a fuckin' break.  I can hit a baseball better than Tiger, play tennis better than Phil, play hoop better than Bubba, and throw/catch passes better than 90% of them.  But golf...forget about it.
Skipbone PM Skipbone
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Posted: 8/15/2010 9:06:28 AM
It's a game. not a sport.
mmac66 PM mmac66
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:02:26 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by Sparky10191:

What the hell?

Definition:

A person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

 

Doesn't golf require some physical agility?

Golf is athletic in my opinion.....

mmac66 PM mmac66
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:02:59 AM
Bottom line......who gives a garbage, I wish I was good enough at it to make money playing
mmac66 PM mmac66
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:06:02 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by ksuwins:


Athletes take up golf more easily than schmucks.  But give me a fuckin' break.  I can hit a baseball better than Tiger, play tennis better than Phil, play hoop better than Bubba, and throw/catch passes better than 90% of them.  But golf...forget about it.

 

And you know this how? I'm guessing you have no clue how those guys perform in other sports....

CMJohnson1 PM CMJohnson1
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:07:51 AM
Golfers are athletes.

Try walking 18 holes in the middle of summer and let me know how you feel afterwards.
MoneyShot PM MoneyShot
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:25:44 AM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by CMJohnson1:

Golfers are athletes.

Try walking 18 holes in the middle of summer and let me know how you feel afterwards.

True, it can be draining, i dont know a lot about golf but with caddies carrying your bag, it is just walking and walking is not a sport (speed walking is but there isnt a time on walking in golf)..

MoneyShot PM MoneyShot
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:28:17 AM

Plus if 50 year olds can compete well with the 30 year olds then i dont think it should be a sport... (it does help to be athletic to play golf, no argument there) but being athletic is not necessary in golf.

you got some old guys(even 60 year olds) that look very out of shape, not even strong or fast, competing with the young guys.

not a sport... just like i dont consider car racing a sport either..

mmac66 PM mmac66
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Posted: 8/16/2010 1:39:03 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by MoneyShot:

Plus if 50 year olds can compete well with the 30 year olds then i dont think it should be a sport... (it does help to be athletic to play golf, no argument there) but being athletic is not necessary in golf.

you got some old guys(even 60 year olds) that look very out of shape, not even strong or fast, competing with the young guys.

not a sport... just like i dont consider car racing a sport either..

 

Jamie Moyer is 47.......wasn't Julio Franco even older? Is baseball not really a sport or not requiring athleticism?

 

Syddigs PM Syddigs
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Posted: 8/16/2010 2:50:23 AM
QUOTE Originally Posted by ksuwins:

I once heard a talking head on a PGA broadcast (major network) talking about what a great athlete Tiger is....said he could have started D1 at safety or CB for many college football teams.

How hard can you laugh at a dumbass statement like that?!?!? 

Athletes take up golf more easily than schmucks.  But give me a fuckin' break.  I can hit a baseball better than Tiger, play tennis better than Phil, play hoop better than Bubba, and throw/catch passes better than 90% of them.  But golf...forget about it.

You obviously have never seen Tiger's workout regimen. He puts in 12 hour days on course, the driving range and the gym.

P.S I would take all of the players you named to beat your behind in any sport. I laughed harder at your dumbass statement than I did at the talking heads statement re Tiger,


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