Mental and Physical Apects of Golf
Fore The Love of the Game
Who would have thought that standing there, holding a golf club, hitting it with as much force as your body would let you could help you win a thousand dollars and a day off from work? A popular law office has been slammed with work, and has been so busy for the past few months working long hours. The office as a whole figured it was time to take a break and have some fun as a group. It has been six months of working long hours Monday through Saturday, since their last office outing. Sitting at their desks without any real physical movement other than typing and adjusting in their desk seats, they figured it was time for the next office outing. So, everyone agreed on a Sunday outing on the green as they say. A day of golf, swinging a golf club, walking the golf course, riding around on the golf carts, drinking alcoholic beverages, and playing a round of golf. The legal office decided that golf would be something that everyone could enjoy and participate in, and would be fair to play for everyone across the board. Golf is a sport that can be played by anyone regardless of their skill or physical fitness level. They even made it more interesting by putting a cash prize together of one thousand dollars, and the boss granted a day off to the winner. Everyone knows that it is important in playing any sport that a person must be able to use all their muscles in a coordinated motion. Playing sports brings people together and builds cohesion amongst groups. Also like all other sports, golf requires someone to be able to be in good enough shape health wise to walk, carry heavy weight loads, and be flexible. Golf is a sport that requires coordinated muscle use, has many more commonalities with other sports, and playing golf burns more calories than doing yoga or gymnastics.
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Playing the game of golf requires a person to be able to use their body, mind, and muscles in a coordinated way to help with succeeding in the sport of golf. Golf requires the ball to be hit at a certain speed in order to make it to its destination, which is to the hole in the ground with the flag. In order to hit the ball, the human body uses 17 muscle groups in a coordinated movement using hands, wrists, arms, legs, and abdomen (ProCon, 2017). When a golfer plays either a 9-hole or 18-hole game of golf, it usually requires them to walk the course from hole to hole. Being able to walk those long distances requires a person to be healthy, hydrated, and in somewhat good enough shape physically to do so. Golf also requires the human body to be able to measure distance and be able to predict the amount of power it will require to hit the ball for the distance required. To hit the ball with enough power to move it a substantial distance requires the human body to be able to hit the ball at a far distance. A golfer has to be coordinated and have enough balance to ensure the most accurate hit is applied to the ball to get it to the hole. This is why golfers train rigorously in weight training and ensure that they are flexible enough to compete. Golf is also considered to be the most expensive sport to play. This is due to the price of the required clothing, shoes, gloves, hats, towels, golf clubs, golf accessories, golf balls, club house memberships, tournament fees, food, drink, licenses, and insurance (Santelmann, 2005). So, if someone wants to play golf, they have to have a good financial standing, or a really good friend who is willing to pay for them.
Golf has many commonalities with other sports. In the world of professional golf, it includes both women and men golfers like most all other sports. Having a professional golf world keeps it in the same rankings as any other professional sport. Golf is also a sport that is played at the Olympics just like many other sports. Golf is such a popular sport that it is played by over 50 million people in the world in over 206 countries alone (Murray et al, 2016). There are many tournaments that are held worldwide and within the country that are sponsored by big-name companies. Many professional golfers have many big-name company sponsors, endorsement deals, and specific products made for them. Tiger Woods a professional golf player was the world’s richest athlete and first to surpass in winnings and prize money of over a billion dollars in his career (ProCon, 2017). There is a large following of fans worldwide in the sport of golf. Golf is highly televised around the world, and golf is listed on tv program listings under the sports section.
Most professional golfers participate in professional golf tournaments that usually are 4 rounds of 18 holes (ProCon.org, 2017). That is a lot of golf to play in an estimated four days. During these four days at this professional tournament, the professional golfers walk from hole to hole, hitting their balls using their muscle coordination, and some may even carry most of their golf gear. Playing golf burns more calories than doing other activities such as yoga or even gymnastics. When playing golf and not using a golf cart and a golf caddie, the walking alone burns an estimated 360 calories an hour compared to an estimated 345 an hour for an average gymnast (Athlometrix, 2019). All the walking, muscle use, and carrying of heavy equipment to play golf burns a lot of calories. Even if the golfer doesn’t carry their own equipment, the golfer is still utilizing their leg muscles for walking, arms muscles to swing the golf club, and mental use to estimate the distance the ball needs to be hit. Professional golfers when walking the golf course often walk many miles each time they play. When playing golf, a golfer is really getting a wide range of physical workouts, such as cardiovascular, flexibility, working on strengthening core, balance, and power.
Some people will say that Golf is not a sport because it does not require rigorous physical activity. Golf is also an activity that does not make a person exert a lot of energy and doesn’t really make a person break a sweat (ProCon.org, 2017). When playing the game of golf, there is no specific defender to have to play defense against. Since there is no defense to keep golfers from winning, it makes golf more of a hobby. Most people that play golf do not have to meet an age requirement or be completely athletic. There are a few professional golfers that are older in age and are more heavy set with their body weight that does not affect their play. The fact that golf can be mentally challenging and requires little to no practice and skill, it is still not classified as a sport. Some people will say that golf is more for enjoyment and leisure as some people drink alcoholic beverages and smoke cigars while engaging in a round of golf. Another reason golf is not a sport is that there are no cheerleaders on the sidelines and putting on half time shows to motivate viewers and get them involved in the game. Golf doesn’t offer the same excitement as sports such as football, baseball, hockey, and basketball.
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Golf may not be considered to be a sport by many, but according to Merriam-Webster, a sport is “a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other” (Bailey, 2017). Golf requires coordinated muscle use and a strong mental mindset to play the game. Golfers have to conduct weight training, ensure flexibility of muscles and endure strength training to help ensure they can swing a golf club to hit the ball 450 yards at 150 mph (Bailey, 2017). Professional golfers, both men, and women get paid very well and are ranked amongst other golfers in the country and the world. They are held to the anti-doping policy in which they are required to participate in random drug testing due to performance-enhancing drugs and using them to better themselves as a player to enhance their gameplay. There are many tournaments that are played around the world and the country that are highly popular amongst professional golfers. Golf is also highly televised and has a group of followers and fans just like in other sports.
When you turn on the television and you watch the sports channel you see football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and golf. Golf is absolutely a sport when it comes to finding the definition in the dictionary. Even in a physical and mental aspect, golf meets all the requirements of what a sport is. If someone wants to do something that is physically demanding, mentally challenging and requires having some fun to do, then golf meets all those requirements as all other sports in this world do. Golf is recognized as an Olympic sport and is played by both men and women of all skill level. Golf is a sport that is recognized as such in the dictionary, requires coordinated muscle use, is like any other the other sports that are recognized in our society today, and golf requires a lot of physical use that burns a lot of calories.
- Athlotmetrix. (2019). Is Golf A Sport? Retrieved from https://athlometrix.com/en/is-golf-a-sport/
- Bailey, M. (2017). Why golf absolutely is a sport: Nine legitimate reasons. Retrieved from https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/why-golf-absolutely-is-a-sport-nine-legitimate-reasons
- Irvin, D. (2004). Why Golf Is Not a Sport; Insurance Conference Planner, 40(4), 144. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/225001706/
- Murray, A., Daines, L., Archibald, D., Hawkes, R., Grant, L., & Mutrie, N. (2016). The relationship and effects of golf on physical and mental health: A scoping review protocol. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(11), 647. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1136/bjsports-2015-095914
- ProCon.org. (2017, March 30). Is Golf a Sport? ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://golf.procon.org/
- Santelmann, N. (2005). The Most Expensive Sports. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/2004/09/01/cx_ns_0901sport.html#db388df66f6d