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Pro & Con Quotes: Is Golf a Sport?

PRO (yes)

Pro 1

Jentry Barton, National Director of Fitness at US Sports Camps, stated:

“In the golf swing, your body twists, torques, and turns to create a violent energy. While using the ground as force, it spirally connects your legs, core, and spine to create impact into a tiny white ball…

Now, don’t be fooled. Golf is hard. Even the professionals have days where they can’t get it to go straight. The hardest working athletes still fall, and especially in golf. Golf is not just a challenge of the body, but also of the mind. But do not be mistaken, golf is a sport. The golf swing is a learned, yet athletic move.”


Jentry Barton, “Believe It or Not Golf Is a Sport,”, Jan. 23, 2019

Pro 2

Jake Woolf, style writer at GQ, stated:

“The fact that these guys consider themselves athletes at all is evidence of a seismic shift in the landscape. Ultimately, these young guns took a page out of Tiger’s book and literally beat him at his own game, putting as much effort into their core as they do into their chip shots. Though golf may still be considered a leisure sport, the sheer power Rory McIlroy exhibits when driving a ball 350 yards off the tee looks like anything but a walk in the park. (Or, you know, 436 yards.) With the results to prove that fitness leads to wins, this new generation of planking, squatting, deadlifting golfers have finally erased the stigma that golf is just for fat old men.”


Jake Woolf, “In Praise of Swole Golfers,”, Aug. 17, 2015

Pro 3

Mario Santos-Davidson, college golfer at Whitman College, stated:

“Golf may seem simple from the outside, but it’s one of the most complicated sports to date. So many factors go into every single shot, that no matter how long you play the sport, no two shots will ever be exactly the same…

Golfers must walk about 5 miles during a typical round, while carrying a 30-pound bag along for the 4 or 5 hour trek. This is not to mention the violence of the swing–twisting and turning your spine 40 times in a day requires some serious agility and athleticism. Hitting a golf ball requires an unbelievable amount of coordination.”


Mario Santos-Davidson, “6 Reasons That Prove Golf Is a Sport,” Odyssey website, Sep. 20, 2015

Pro 4

Mark Willard, ESPN radio host and columnist for Fore Magazine, stated:

“There is athleticism in trying to hit out of a bunker, plain and simple. Hooking a ball around a tree to get back in the fairway takes athleticism…

Maybe the best evidence is the fact that so many athletes from other sports play golf. In other words, what does a big time athlete do to challenge themselves outside their normal game? They play golf… What is the anatomy of an athlete? An athlete uses his or her body to get competitive juices flowing, release stress and energy, express themselves and have fun. So, that makes golfers athletes. And it makes athletes want to golf.”


Mark Willard, “Range Tokens: If Golfers Aren’t Athletes, Then Why Do So Many Athletes Play Golf?,” Fore Magazine, Summer 2014

CON (no)

Con 1

Cameron Fox, high school student and sports contributor for The Herd, stated:

“Golf is definitely not a sport. Even some sports experts agree that golf lacks the athletic rigor needed for it to be a real sport. How could a sport be something you can do while drinking and smoking? Some people argue that golf is a sport because you compete, keep score, and declare a winner. However, you would do the same while playing board games and chess.”


Cameron Fox, “Golf Is Definitely Not a Sport: Fact,”, June 17, 2019

Con 2

Douglas Marr, regular contributor to The Herald, stated:

“Of course there is a very good reason why golf hasn’t been in the Olympics since 1904. It’s not a sport. How can something that includes an umbrella as part of its essential equipment be taken seriously, let alone be dignified as a sport?

At best golf is a game, a gentle pastime to while away the time as one becomes too old for genuine sport. I readily accept to play it well requires a modicum of skill. But again, so does darts and ludo [a board game], and I don’t detect a clamour for their inclusion in the Olympics…

Even the old cliché about golf being a good walk spoiled no longer holds good. Passing the local golf course I noticed lines of strange vehicles resembling the issue of an unnatural congress between a milk float and an invalid carriage. I am reliably informed that these are golf buggies that save golfers the inconvenience of walking between swipes.”

July 15, 2016 -

Douglas Marr, “Golf Should Not Be an Olympic Sport,” The Herald Scotland website, July 15, 2016

Con 3

Conor McGregor, Professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, stated:

“Golf isn’t a sport, it’s a game. I’m not saying it’s not a difficult game, with lots of mental stuff. But it’s not a sport like mine. Where is the combat, the intensity of what we do?”


Alastair Campbell, “Conor McGregor: I Am Going for Multi-Multi-Millions,”, Dec. 14, 2015

Con 4

Mike Gold, a retired entrepreneur, stated:

“Golf is not a sport… Now why don’t I consider it a sport?

1. Golfers don’t all look like they are in shape. Is the name Jon Daly familiar to you? He’s reported as being 5’11” tall weighing 215 lbs. He does not look like he’s ever stopped at the salad bar. However, he can drive a ball well over 300 yards. This pisses me off.

2. You are on the honor system. Any real sport does not let you get away with this.

3. If you watch any United States President play golf, the secret service agents who hide out in the woods will kick an errant shot back out onto the fairway. What’s sporty about that?”


Mike Gold, “Left Coast / Right Coast: Tennis vs. Golf,” News of Mill Creek website, June 24, 2016