While driving today, I spent time listing to talk radio, which spends more time on commercials, news, weather, and traffic than actual interesting talk! Anyway, since it’s near to Father’s Day weekend, the commercials are leaning towards things the interest men, one such ad was for some golf thing (I don’t golf and think it’s a silly game, so I wasn’t really paying much attention to the details), and the announcer guy states that you should come out to this event to improve your sport of golf.
What??? When did golf become a sport? A sport needs two things, athleticism and clear scoring, not judges, to determine a winner. This leaves golf in the same category as diving, synchronized swimming, ballroom dancing, all of gynmastics and auto racing! This has been my position for a long time.
Golf meets the second part of being a sport, if you take less strokes, over a certain number of holes, than everyone else, you are the winner … of this game! No some will point out that you must be able to pick the proper club, use the correct swing and be able to read a green to sink a long putt – all of that is true, but none of that is athleticism, it’s all skill. When I make this point, someone invariably tries to make the argument that one of my favorite sports is not a sport because it uses judges. Yes there are directors in the sport of Fencing. They are there to award the touch, to make sure the fencers adhere to the rules, they do not judge who made the touch in the textbook perfect way. They then move on to cycling. At which point I agree that what I do, is an activity, not a sport. However, races like the Tour de France are sport. Unlike auto or motorbike racing, the athlete provides the energy and power to propel the bicycle up the mountain or through a time trial.
Finally, if not shot down at this point, they jump on to my favorite active – trap shooting. I have to laugh, because if they were ever to actually go to a trapshooting event, they would know see the largest group of out of shape guys they ever have! Trap shooting is all about skill. It is an activity, not a sport.