Why Golf is not a Sport

While we’re at, it let’s add stock car racing to the non-sport list. Any ‘activity’ in which a semi-retired [from his main non-physical profession] long-time AARP member can take up and succeed in later in life means that the equipment mattered more than the participant. Anyways, if golf were a sport, the following posting on The Onion would not be funny, and it is very funny:

A man who used several different bent sticks to hit a ball to an area comprised of very short grass surrounding a hole in the ground was praised for his courage Monday after he used a somewhat smaller stick to gently roll the ball into the aforementioned hole in fewer attempts than his competitors. “What guts, what confidence,” ESPN commentator Scott Van Pelt said of the man, who was evidently unable to carry his sticks himself, employing someone else to hold the sticks and manipulate the flag sticking out of the hole in the ground while he rolled the ball into it. “You have to be so brave, so self-assured, so strong mentally to [roll a ball into a hole in the ground]. Amazing.” The man in question apparently hurt his knee during this activity.

A more serious argument is made by Michael Lewis in his commentary on Bloomberg.com – an excerpt below:

Once you see golf for what it is — an activity more like birding than basketball that, for the sake of rich important people, everyone is pretending is more like basketball — you begin to understand a lot of otherwise hard-to-fathom golf- related phenomena.

For instance, the huge sums paid to real athletes, from real sports, to play golf. The appearance fees that any recently retired jock can earn by playing a round of golf with businesspeople is, on the face of it, bizarre.

It’s hard to think of another form of recreation that pays jocks to associate themselves with it. Spelunkers don’t pay ex- jocks to spelunk; tai chi chuan masters don’t pay ex-jocks to contort themselves conspicuously in the local park.

Only golf pays ex-jocks to play it — so that the people who engage in it can feel more jock-like.

About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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