SUMMERTIME IS GOLF SEASON. The sun is shining, the grass is cut, the beers are on ice… it’s time to grab three buddies and hit the first tee.
And while there is little question about golf’s popularity, today’s question is this: Would we call it a sport?
Certainly not the way most of us play it. So then is golf just a hobby? Let’s weight some of the game’s finer points against each other in a pseudo-scientific-look-see:
1. BEER-CAR GIRLS
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you can drink a six-pack and still be the winner, you’re not playing a sport. The presence of beer cart girls on golf courses is ubiquitous, like who wants to golf if you can’t drink beer and flirt with hot girls? And beer cart girls are notoriously hot.
As fun as beer drinking and flirting are, they don’t make a sport. And far too often they make for embarrassment once uncle Jimmy has had two too many.
2. PLAYER WIVES
Pro sports and hot wives go together like beers and boobies so a sure test of golf’s status would be the attractiveness of the player’s wives. Athletes marry professional cheerleaders and former hooters girls. So, for example, if golfer’s wives look like this:
It’s safe to say that the men on whose arms these ladies hang off are, indeed, athletes.
3. DATE NIGHT
Taking your lady out for a round of nine before dinner on a Friday night can surely be called a date. For some that’s even considered a thinking-outside-the-box date. And it doesn’t matter if your lady is not the greatest golfer because then you can’t demonstrate proper technique while standing behind her with your arms wrapped around her. But any outing that is a thinly veiled excuse to put your hands on your date doesn’t sound too sporting to me. Would we consider “the yawn” in the movie theatre a sport?
4. COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
Universities love sports. For an institution of higher learning sports are such a major money-maker. So much so that they will give kids a free tuition and residence to come play sports at their school. And lots and lots of schools offer scholarships for golf, like lots of ‘em, and all the big ones. But yet they don’t give anyone a scholarship for darts or hacky sack or beer pong. If the NCAA is willing to sanction it, it goes along way to making a legitimate claim to being a sport.
5. MEMBERSHIP DUES
Did you knot that many golf courses require you to join their club in order to play. Literally, you actually have to join a club, and pay dues, every year. Annual dues usually run in the $20,000 – $50,000 range with initiation fees going as high as $750,000! Now don’t get me wrong, anything involving that kind of money should get consideration as a sport, but only if the player are winning it, not if they are paying it.
And since some of the clubs involved have historically been closed to most of the population, well that’s just not sporting—I mean a sport would never ban a whole race or gender, right?
CONCLUSION: HOBBY FOR RICH FOLKS
6. ENDORSEMENT DEALS
It’s a well-known fact that athletes make millions in endorsement deals, some continuing to do endorsements well into retirement. Basketball players and baseball players, even football and hockey players, have been racking in the dough by schilling for cola and shoes and fast food and even their own CDs.
So it would seem logical that if golfers were earning huge figures by hawking products they would have to be considered athletes, and athletes play sports.
Given Tiger Woods earns 65 million a year off endorsements, it seems golfers have arrived.
Too close to call. There are many things about golf that make its claim to sport-hood valid: the television deals, the prize money, the free ride through college, the smoking hot wives and girlfriends, but when someone like this:
Can be crowned champion, your games starts feeling more like a hobby. So maybe golf should be rightly called a ‘spobby’ or a ‘hort’ or just the easiest way to spend good money ruining an otherwise beautiful day.