Is Golf a Sport?
Before anyone accepts, I would like for them to know that this debate is about if Golf is a sport in general or not. There are many categories of Sports such as Electronic, Mind, Board, Ball, Precision, Equestrian, etc., and has a very amorphous general definition which is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment"; but however, there are sports that doesn't strongly follow one or more than one of the requirements of the definition of the word, "sport" that people commonly use, but still are officially classified as a sport. Ex: Archery, Marching Band, Gaming, and of course, Golf.
The definition that I will use to define "Sport" will be: An activity that has a set of rules, requires skill (whether it's physical, MENTAL, or both), and has a form of competition. The physical principle that everyone use to define sport should be the "skill" aspect, not a requirement of its own.
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 4: Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusive Arguments/Criticisms/Goodbyes
So, anybody willing to debate this topic are welcome to.
Thank you, Con for accepting. Now, let us begin.
Golf is a PRECISION sport, which means that the key aspect of what makes golf a sport is that it requires focus and accuracy. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of physical exertion, but having lots and lots physical exertion doesn't make an activity a sport. That definition of the word is oversimplified and vague. Archery is pretty much the same thing. It requires a lot of focus and accuracy just like Golf.
("Golf is a precision club and ball SPORT in which competing players (or golfers) use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course using the fewest number of strokes. Golf is defined, in the rules of golf, as `playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules.')
Argument #1: It follows the more firm definition of "sport."
As I've affirmed earlier, a sport is "An activity that has a set of rules, requires skill (whether it's physical, mental, or both), and has a form of competition."
"A Set of Rules"
Golf, obviously, has a set of rules and has an objective. The sources below will list common rules that a game of golf will often be governed by. The objective is to, simply, get your ball to the hole with as few "strokes" as possible.
A stroke is each hit that you put on a ball. The more strokes you make, the less points you have.
Obviously, Golf requires you to be more precise. You need to be patient. It's also not just about hitting a ball and hoping it will make it into the hole. You have to take other factors into account such as wind direction, wind speed, slope of the ground, the golf club you're using, the power of your hits, the angle in which you hit the ball, and posture. You have to hit the ball as straight as possible in order for you to have it go where you want the ball to land. Of course, there are other factors in skill that revolve around Golf.
Of course, you will be competing against your opponent to get to their hole first. I really don’t need to go full into detail on this point.
Argument #2: Golf, actually, does require Physical Exertion.
Using the common definition of the word, “sport,” Golf actually requires Physical Exertion. It’s just not comparable to activities like Soccer or Football. But, just because it’s not comparable to athletic sports, doesn’t mean it’s not a sport in general. According to what I found in, “While the physical exertion required for golf may not compare to sports such as football or hockey, golfers walk upwards of 5 miles each 18-hole round. Also, the complex motor skills and dexterity required to play proficiently justifies the athleticism necessary for golf. Since golf is based on finesse rather than brute force, it is hard for many people to grasp the muscle memory and hand eye coordination required. In addition, golf is one of the only sports where individuals compete against themselves, the skill and athleticism required is easy to overlook.”
According to what I just quoted, players walk 5 miles in each 18-hole round. So, mathematically, that’s a total of 90 MILES. While walking those 90 miles, you’re going to be tired. Just try to walk 90 miles while maintaining focus and accuracy in a Golf match, and come back not even breaking a sweat. No, you can’t use a Golf cart. It’s regulations.
You see, what people usually say, who are against that Golf is a sport, “Golf doesn’t require Physical Exertion.” Actually, it does. It’s just that people use “physical exertion” as a synonym to ATHLETICISM or ATHLETICS; however, physical exertion and athleticism are not entirely the same. Athleticism is defined as being “physically active and strong; good at athletics or sports.” There are activities that involve exerting your general muscles, but they are not athletic such as, again, Archery, Bowling, Auto Racing, Hunting, COMPETITIVE EATING, etc.
Just because an activity doesn't have much physical activity, that doesn't really mean it's not a sport. Just because an activity doesn't require lots of physical exertion, doesn't mean that the physical exercise taking place is not there at all.
Argument #3: Golf is officially classified as a professional sport
Also, GOLF IS SCHEDULED TO BE AN OLYMPIC SPORT AT THE 2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
That’s definite evidence that Golf is an actual, professional sport. No more, “Golf used to be a Sport in the Olympics; therefore, it’s not a sport.” No more, “Golf is not a sport because it stopped being an Olympic sport.” Those assertions that people have been using are obsolete and outdated.
Argument #4: Golf is considered a sport in sources of media and there have been studies that supports that Golf is a Sport.
Nike, the world’s largest supplier for sportswear and gear, classifies Golf as a sport.
According to a list I found in Wikipedia, a list of “Athlete of the Year” winners (Years: 1931 – 2013) is provided. A golfer has been chosen as Athlete of the Year 9 TIMES.
A study has been performed by Neil Wolkodoff, director of the Center for Health and Sport Science at the Rose Medical Center in Denver. I quote the following statements:
"One of the surprise realizations was that just swinging a golf club about 100 times uses up a significant amount of energy," Wolkodoff said."
"Each of the golfers went through rigorous testing before the study to establish their aerobic endurance and anaerobic threshold levels — the point when lactic acid buildup generally begins to impair coordination and concentration. This became important because Wolkodoff could watch readouts from six pounds of sensors strapped to the golfers and identify when they had gone beyond their fitness level. What Wolkodoff discovered was that exceeding one's anaerobic threshold usually went hand in hand with ineffective golf. Think, for example, of someone walking up a steep hill and then having to execute a delicate chip without the two-minute recovery period needed to restore heart and respiratory rates to normal."
"If you're out of shape, exceeding your threshold could happen a few times every round, even while riding in a cart, because tee boxes and green complexes are often elevated," Wolkodoff said. "Your golf game will suffer. Somebody with the yips might just be a little winded after walking up to the green. At the same time, being in better physical condition would make you better mechanically and mentally."
Finally, is golf a sport rather than a game?
"There are a lot of ways to define a sport," Wolkodoff said. "But we know that the golf swing uses almost every muscle group in the body. We know it uses a pretty significant amount of energy — not as much as running a 10K but more than people think. And one significant measure of a sport is whether physical training improves your ability to perform, and I think that's been proven in golf.
"So in my estimation, it's absolutely a sport."
Of course, you see Golf being played on TV in sports channels. Yes, hardly, anybody watches them because it's not as "action-packed" I guess I would say. But, still, that doesn't make it NOT be a sport.
I also have a video where a group discusses if Golf is a sport. They clearly explain that Golf is a sport.
Sport: a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other. (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Now that the proper definition of a sport has been stated, I will use it in my arguments to prove why golf indeed is not a sport.
Golf is not a sport because it does not adhere to the definition of a "sport". Yes, it is a contest or game, however people do not do physical activities, or at least do enough physical activity for it to be considered a sport. Let's look at the calories burnt in golf to measure the physical intensity of it. According to http://golftips.golfsmith.com..., a 130-pound will burn ~207 calories while riding in a cart, and a 155-pound golfer, a more average weight, will burn 246 calories an hour. The average golfer plays nine holes and rides in a cart. So how many calories will an average 55-pound golfer burn in nine holes? Since 9 holes takes two hours, we multiply 246 by 2 to get a grand total of 492 calories. Now let's look at how many calories are burned standing. For a 155-pound 40 year-old male, 138 calories are burned by simply standing there for two hours. (http://www.healthstatus.com...) Finally, let's compare the golf calories burned to a real sport, say basketball. For every two hours of basketball played by our same 155-pound 40 year-old male, he burns 1,543 calories, more than three times the amount of golf. Therefore, golf is not a sport because it does not have enough physical activity to qualify as one and meet the correct definition.
Golf is not a sport because not everything that adheres to either my definition and my opponent's definition is truly a sport. For example, computer programming isn't a sport, however that requires the mental skill in my opponent's definition. Also, just because something is competitive as seen in both of our definitions does not make it a sport also; there are plenty of competitions that aren't sports such as art competitions, debates, and chess, but they are not sports, just like golf. Golf is simply recreation; it is not a sport.
I will most likely add on a new argument in the next round, but don't expect anything spectacular from me in this debate. This week is finals week, so I may not have time to effectively build refutations and arguments, and we might possibly see a forfeit from me; time will tell. Also, I would just like to say that I am a golfer who regularly shoots even par or slightly over it, so this is a rather hard debate for me. I believe both my opponent and I have had great arguments in the second round, and I wish the best of luck to my opponent, but more importantly, myself, because I'm going to need it!
"According to what I just quoted, players walk 5 miles in each 18-hole round. So, mathematically, that’s a total of 90 MILES."
I just now realized that actually it meant that players walk up to 5 miles IN THAT ENTIRE ROUND. But, still, 5 miles is a lot to walk through.
(“Before I present my arguments, I would like to point out that my opponent has simply made up a definition of sport and linked it with no source. He has knitted his definition around what golf is, to make this debate easier for him. So, I would like to present what the real definition of a sport is from the most reliable dictionary out there"Merriam Webster.”)
Con has asserted that I made up a definition and linked it with “no source.” First of all, when I make a definition to strengthen another definition that’s vague and oversimplified, I don’t need a source for that. I’ve already said that the dictionary definition of the word, “sport” is a little vague and I’m using a more firm definition to be more specific as there are sports that don’t fully follow this definition. Second of all, my definition is nearly equivalent with the common definition. It’s just more specific as I put the physical aspect in conjunction with the skill aspect. He also says that I “knitted” a definition to my favor when, in fact, I used both the colloquial definition and my definition accordingly to prove that Golf is a sport in my arguments.
("Golf is not a sport because it does not adhere to the definition of a "sport". Yes, it is a contest or game, however people do not do physical activities, or at least do enough physical activity for it to be considered a sport. Let's look at the calories burnt in golf to measure the physical intensity of it. According to http://golftips.golfsmith.com......, a 130-pound will burn ~207 calories while riding in a cart, and a 155-pound golfer, a more average weight, will burn 246 calories an hour. The average golfer plays nine holes and rides in a cart. So how many calories will an average 55-pound golfer burn in nine holes? Since 9 holes takes two hours, we multiply 246 by 2 to get a grand total of 492 calories. Now let's look at how many calories are burned standing. For a 155-pound 40 year-old male, 138 calories are burned by simply standing there for two hours. (http://www.healthstatus.com......) Finally, let's compare the golf calories burned to a real sport, say basketball. For every two hours of basketball played by our same 155-pound 40 year-old male, he burns 1,543 calories, more than three times the amount of golf. Therefore, golf is not a sport because it does not have enough physical activity to qualify as one and meet the correct definition.")
Con affirms that Golf does not require “enough physical activity” when he doesn’t give any justification of what “enough” is. According to the definition that Con has provided (Sport: a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.), it says that physical activity must be present. It doesn’t say that physical activity must be extreme or show an X amount of physical activity. The definition doesn’t give any sort of verification of how much vigor an activity is required to show in order to label it a sport. Con is trying to put the word “ATHLETICISM” in the definition in which I've proven that athletics and physical activity are not entirely the same. Con is comparing Golf to a more vigorous activity like Basketball which doesn’t necessarily disprove Golf being a sport at all. According to this chart, walking and carrying clubs is a MODERATE physical activity, not a vigorous activity. Con has also said that golfers ride in carts when the uses of carts are not allowed in the professional division. Carts are allowed in the casual setting of a Golf game. According to the USGA (United States Golf Association), golf carts are not allowed in competitions unless if the player has some sort of disability.
Looking at my opponent’s arguments and his sources, Golfers are burning calories by just WALKING; however, walking is not the only physical activity taking place in Golf. According to this study, a swing produces energy and exerts the upper muscles of your body.
“(Golf is not a sport because not everything that adheres to either my definition and my opponent's definition is truly a sport. For example, computer programming isn't a sport, however that requires the mental skill in my opponent's definition. Also, just because something is competitive as seen in both of our definitions does not make it a sport also; there are plenty of competitions that aren't sports such as art competitions, debates, and chess, but they are not sports, just like golf. Golf is simply recreation; it is not a sport.”)
Con asserts that Golf is not a sport because none of our definitions “TRULY” defines what a sport is. This affirmation is completely incorrect because, first of all, computer programming doesn’t have any form of competition whatsoever; therefore it discards it being a sport. I don’t really need a source for that as everyone should know that. Second of all, my definition basically matches every sport there is. My definition: “An activity that has a set of rules, requires skill (whether it's physical, MENTAL, or both), and has a form of competition.” Physical activity should be the “skill” part of the definition as there are sports that have little to no physical activity present, but yet, they are still classified as a sport. Ex: mind sports (Chess/Checkers), competitive video games, auto racing, archery, golf, and competitive eating.
I’ve also noticed that Con is basically saying that Golf is not a “REAL” sport. Saying that is basically saying that Golf is a sport, but it’s not this and that; also, Con’s example of what a real sport is basketball. (“Finally, let's compare the golf calories burned to a real sport, say basketball.”) Again, Con is trying to put athleticism in the definition of “sport.” Every sport is different. Every sport has a certain category of which they fit into. According to Wikipedia, a sport is:
“Sports can be described as all of the following:
Following that quote is a list of the types of sports.
Pokemonzr forfeited this round.
Con has forfeited Round 3; therefore, I have nothing to rebut over. Extend all of my arguments and rebuttals to this Round.
Con has claimed forfeiture and a gracious concession.
Now that we are in the final round, I will kindly present my conclusive arguments in a summarized format, give out a positive and negative criticism, and state my farewells.
The definition of the word, "sport" is oversimplified because not all sports fully follow the definition that it is most commonly used. ("
an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.")
I used a stronger definition to describe the word and it states, "An activity that has a set of rules, requires skill (whether it's physical, MENTAL, or both), and has a form of competition. The physical principle that everyone use to define sport should be the "skill" aspect, not a requirement of its own. " This definition is more specific and all sports follow this definition.
Like I said before, Golf is a PRECISION sport. Golf follows the definition that I used and the common definition of the word, "sport." There have been studies conducted that proves that Golf is a sport. Golf is recognized as a sport by the public and many associations and brands. Golf is going to be in the Olympics in 2016 at Rio, Brazil.
There are not many things that I can praise Con for as he didn't present a lot in this debate; but, there was one thing that surprised me. I didn't expect an individual with a slightly higher elo ranking than me to oppose me. I don't commit acts of what are called "noob-sniping" or anything, but I most commonly see debaters who are new to this site nowadays. Also, your arguments were sound and they looked like they were greatly conducted.
There weren't that many things that I could pick at Con for because, again, he didn't do much in the debate. I guess the only thing that I would give you negative criticism for is that you didn't present enough validity to your arguments as they weren't not true. But, that's okay since you said that there is not enough evidence to support that Golf is not a sport.
Well, farewell Con and I thank you for participating in this debate. Vote for Pro.
But Pro, I believed that you had outstanding arguments and are a great debater. This was simply a difficult topic for me; once again I apologize for the forfeit. Good luck in future debates.
Vote Con! ;)
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