Golf in the United States is an entire industry with an annual turnover of $76 billion and 25.7 million players. 38% of Americans call themselves golf fans.

The debate about whether or not golf is a sport rages on the internet, in bars, in sportscaster booths, and even on golf courses.

Proponents argue that golf meets the definition of “sport” found in the dictionary.

It requires physical effort and coordination and is recognized by both sports goods manufacturers and sports associations, fans, media, etc. The fact that golf has been included in the competition program of the Olympic Games since 2016 is another evidence of its qualification as a sport.

Opponents say that golf satisfies the concept of “game” more than “sport”, does not require high physical activity, it can be played professionally by people with overweight and injuries.

Opponents also argue that golf is a game or a pastime, and the 112-year absence of golf from the Olympic Games program once again confirms that golf is not a sport.

Golf fits the definition of “sport” found in many dictionaries.

Merriam-Webster defines sport as “physical activity done for pleasure”. defines sports as “a sporting activity requiring skill or physical strength that is often competitive” (volleyball, horse racing, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.).
Like all sports, golf requires physical effort. Golfers playing 9 holes on a course (3.2 – 4 km) without a golf cart, carrying a bag with clubs, burn 721 calories (613 calories if caddies help carry a golf bag weighing 13.5 – 22.5 kg ).

Professional tournaments in 4 rounds of 18 holes burn 4,904 calories in 4 days. Playing without a golf cart burns an average of 360 calories per hour (306 calories with a caddy), comparable to curling (364 calories per hour), gymnastics (345 calories per hour), bowling (273 calories per hour) ).

Sports require the coordinated use of muscles. Thus, according to research in the British Medical Journal, the golf swing involves at least 17 muscle groups in a coordinated interaction of the hands, wrists, abdomen and legs.

Playing golf at a professional level requires the sporting readiness to go long distances (6.5-8 km is the average length of an 18-hole golf course) and make long shots, taking into account the firmness and accuracy of the drive.